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Greetings,


Last week, UACC's Core Leadership Team released a statement about police misconduct and the deaths of Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, James Scurlock, and many, many others. That statement can be found in the announcement section below. 

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is a phenomenal group that connects Appalachians with all types of resources. In this week's blog post, Mike Templeton discusses FAO's Emergency Relief Fund with Megan Wanczyk, Vice President of Communications and Programs, and how they used funds to help out families in 32 Ohio counties during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to FAO's COVID-19 grant, the UACC Research Committee is collaborating with the Appalachian Translational Research Network on a community survey. Keep reading to learn more!

Lastly, please enjoy two taped performances from two Thomas More University students Heather Konerman, theology and history double major, and Michael Thompson, who studies art and English and an upcoming virtual workshop for young writers co-led by Core Member Pauletta Hansel.


UACC
UACC's Research Committee Teams Up with The Appalachian Translational Research Network

The UACC Research Committee (overseen by UACC Core Team Member Mike Maloney and Miami University's Ashley Hopkins) is collaborating with the Appalachian Translational Research Network on a community survey that will assess the impact of COVID-19 on Appalachian communities, including those throughout the Cincinnati region. The survey will assess a number of factors such as access to testing and health care, the economic implications or the pandemic shut down, and how the pandemic is viewed through various cultural lenses. The survey will be disseminated widely to include a variety of community voices. 
 

The Coronavirus in Cincinnati: The Geography and Demography of It

 

The Demography

 

Race

Since tracking by the Cincinnati Health Department began March 23, as of June 1, there have been 1,129 confirmed cases, 230 hospitalizations, 52 deaths, and 694 recorded recoveries.  The racial distribution of the cases is hard to describe because early on race was not always recorded.  If we allocate half of the “unknown” cases to the black population it equals 39.5% of the confirmed cases and would not indicate racial disparity.  We need better data.  The death statistics show almost half the total deaths are among blacks.  So, we can conclude that blacks are more likely than whites to die from this virus.  Here is the data the Health Department posts:

Table 1: Race Distribution of Deaths and Confirmed Cases
Race Deaths Confirmed Cases
Black 24 368
Hispanic 0 195
White 20 324
Other 3 77
Unknown 5 165
Total 52 1,129
Cincinnati Health Department March 23 – June 1 data
 

Age

Most of the deaths have occurred in the population over 60 (90.3%) but most of the confirmed cases have occurred in the 20-60 age range.  The hardest hit group in raw numbers was people in their 30s (251 confirmed cases).  The younger groups are presumably less vulnerable hence the lower death rates.

Table 2: Age Distribution of Deaths and Confirmed Cases
Age Group Deaths Confirmed
Cases
0-9 0 22
10-19 0 42
20-29 0 172
30-39 1 251
40-49 1 160
50-59      3 158
60-69 12 134
70-79 5 79
80-89 16 73
90-99 11 35
100- 3 3
Total 52 1,129
Cincinnati Health Department March 23 – June 1 data
 

Geographic Distribution

 

Confirmed Cases

The coronavirus in Cincinnati is concentrated on the far west side.  More than half the confirmed cases as of June 1 were concentrated in seven West Side Neighborhoods from Lower Price Hill to the city boundary.  This cluster includes Westwood (209), East Westwood (21), Mt. Airy (40), West Price Hill (114), East Price Hill (154), College Hill (48), and Lower Price Hill (8).  A cluster of seven neighborhoods on the East Side (Reading Road / Montgomery Road Corridors) had only 141 cases, less than East Price Hill alone.  These east side neighborhoods are Avondale (47), Mt. Auburn (11), Walnut Hills (20), East Walnut Hills (8), Evanston (19), North Avondale (7), and Bond Hill (29).  Is the East Side/West Side difference in occurrences because some of the west side communities have a larger population size?  The difference does not seem to be wide enough to explain the level of variation.  Is it because the west side has more access to testing?  At the time of this writing, most of the test sites are on the East Side.  Right now, we can be sure that the data we have show the epicenter of the pandemic in Cincinnati is on the West Side.

Table 3: Covid-19 Virus Confirmed Cases by Neighborhood
Neighborhood Case Count Neighborhood Case Count
Queensgate 2 Roselawn 20
West End 13 Bond Hill 29
CBD-Riverfront 9 N. Avondale – Paddock Hills 7
Over-the-Rhine 7 Avondale 47
Mt. Adams 0 Clifton 18
Mt. Auburn 11 Spring Grove Village 5
Clifton/University Heights—Fairview (CUF) 9 Northside 17
Camp Washington 2 S. Cumminsville 3
Corryville 3 Winton Hills 12
Evanston 19 College Hill 45
E. Walnut Hills 8 Mt. Airy 40
Walnut Hills 20 Villages of Roll Hill 3
East End 0 N. Fairmount 5
California 0 S. Fairmount 3
Mt. Washington 27 Lower Price Hill 8
Columbia-Tusculum 1 East Price Hill 154
Mt. Lookout 9 West Price Hill 114
Linwood 1 Westwood 209
Hyde Park 20 Sedamsville 2
Oakley 29 Riverside – Sayler Park 3
Madisonville 18 Sayler Park 1
Pleasant Ridge 60 East Westwood 21
Kennedy Heights 20 Pendleton 0
Hartwell 42 English Woods 1
Carthage 11 Riverside 3
    Millvale 2
Source: Cincinnati Health Department June 1, 2020
 
Looking at the number of confirmed cases by neighborhood does not consider that some neighborhoods are huge.  So, we can calculate confirmed cases per capita.  Avondale has a population of 13,967 and 47 confirmed cases or .0034 per capita.  East Price Hill has a population of 14,224 and 154 cases or a per capita occurrence of .0108.  Bond Hill has a population of 6,826 and 29 confirmed cases.  Its per capita rate is .0042   West Price Hill has a population of 19,443 with 114 confirmed cases or .0006 per capita.  So, neighborhood size does not totally determine the difference. Other factors to consider is the amount of testing in the neighborhoods and the number of people in nursing homes.  Seventy percent of Ohio’s coronavirus cases are found in nursing homes.
 

Anomalies in the Data

Neighborhoods along the Ohio River, along Mill Creek and in the Basin Area (Downtown, Queensgate, West End, Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton) have very low numbers of occurrence.  Some, like Queensgate have small populations but neighborhoods like South Fairmount, Camp Washington, and Over-the-Rhine have significant low income and presumably at-risk populations and yet have numbers like Pendleton (10), English Woods (1), and Over-the-Rhine (7).  I know these neighborhoods have no nursing homes and some like Over-the-Rhine and West End have significant gentrification.  I still find the Health Department’s number of cases for these areas incredible.  I think testing has not been available and suspect that people are getting sick and their illness is not being recorded.

Conclusions
If Cincinnati is to continue recovering from the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for a possible phase two, we need to have testing centers throughout the city including low income and minority concentrations.  Testing needs to be universal in nursing homes and places of incarceration, of course.  Pharmacies and grocery stores are good but why not open the neighborhood health clinics, school-based health centers, and even churches and storefronts.  Right now, I believe there are serious questions of equity in the allocation of resources.  The failure to make testing available more broadly and fairly and the early failure to record race and ethnicity data needs the attention of our government at all levels throughout Cincinnati and the Tri-State.  Community leaders in smaller often left out areas need to be involved in decisions about allocating new public health resources such as outreach workers.  African American, Appalachian and Hispanic organizations must be involved.

Maps of poverty, Appalachian, and minority concentrations can be found at www.socialareasofcincinnati.org

Michael Maloney is Convener of the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition, a community organizer and social researcher.  His publications include the five editions of the Social Areas of Cincinnati: An Analysis of Social Needs (vols. 4-5 with Christopher Auffrey).
 
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL BLOG POST
The Patch: In Solidarity

Folks across Appalachia joined the landmark protests calling for an end to police brutality and systemic racism. The Daily Yonder highlighted protests in small cities like Harlan, Kentucky and Marietta, Ohio. Appalachian specific signs like “hillbillies for #blacklives” and chants were seen across the region. In Harlan, Kentucky, a group of around 100 people lined a major road with signs in support of Black Lives Matter. West Virginia had vibrant protests throughout the state. Morgantown, Huntington, Parkersburg, and Charleston all saw peaceful protests. Thousands are expected to turn out in West Virginia’s state capital of Charleston this weekend.

Read more about these protests, find educational resources, and explore links to Black-run organizations working for racial justice in Appalachia HERE!

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PERFORMANCES

"Nettie Jane"

Please enjoy this lovely piece written by Thomas More University history and theology major, Heather Konerman. Her poetic reading is about Nettie Jane, her great-great-grandmother. Growing up, her mom had a family story about everything from snakes to keys and barges. They were usually stories from her family’s life in Vanceburg, Kentucky before they moved north to the Cincinnati area. She was always intrigued by these stories that were handed down and slowly, her memories of them turned into poetry.

Heather's family was part of the Urban Appalachian migration to find work closer to a city (Cincinnati) and much of her creative effort is spent exploring her heritage and ancestor voices. Heather's poem won an honorable mention in the 2020 Words literary contest. When she's not studying, she can be found writing, making candles, or sewing.

"Pause"

Michael Thompson grew up with Appalachian values without even knowing he was Appalachian. Strong family ties, music, religion, and a passion for nature and the environment have always felt almost instinctual to him. All of those things and each of the intricate elements that they consist of frequently influence and inspire his work as an artist and poet. He wrote "Pause" one early morning when I woke up before the sun to go to a nature preserve. As the sun rose, he watched and listened as everything started to come alive right on cue. He attempted to capture this moment through metaphors of painting, music, and holy spaces; the things that make him feel alive.

Michael Thompson is an artist and writer amongst other things; some of which include amateur philosopher, botanical enthusiast, world traveler, and a sucker for a good walk. In the words of Richard Brautigan, “I'm in a constant process of thinking about things.” He studies art and English at Thomas More University. His poem "Pause" won the 2020 Sand L. Cuni Award for Creative Writing and the piece appears in Words, the campus literary magazine. Michael was recently part of a UALP grant team, promoting creative and educational interchanges related to Urban Appalachian culture through open mics, school visits and the Appalachian Studies Association conference.

Urban Appalachian Community Coalition Statement on Police Misconduct

June 4, 2020

 
The Urban Appalachian Community Coalition expresses its solidarity with all those, both here and in the mountains, who express their outrage at the continuation of police brutality directed at African Americans and other marginalized populations.  We are appalled at the killings of Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, James Scurlock, and many, many others.  We believe that police misconduct will not end until our legal system becomes willing to charge, prosecute and convict in cases of police brutality.  We urge Mayor Cranley and city leadership to act quickly and decisively to make long needed changes and to renew our commitment to the Collaborative Agreement.  We pledge to work toward that end.

The Urban Appalachian Community Coalition believes in a tradition of resistance to threats to individual, family, and community well-being.  Our history of opposition to economic injustice and misuse of power in the coal camps and mill towns of the Appalachian region and to discrimination against Appalachian migrants in Cincinnati and other cities informs our opposition to racially motivated violence and other injustices against people of color.  We believe that our conduct should show respect for community as both place and the people who live there.  We affirm our tradition of advocacy on behalf of those whose voices have not been heard.  We believe that the spirit of Appalachian people of all races and faiths can be a positive and powerful force toward individual, family, and community health, transformation and empowerment.  Through our work of research, advocacy, cultural celebration, and education we will continue to express that spirit in service to this community.

Sincerely,
The UACC Core Leadership Team
  • John Bealle
  • Jeffrey Dey
  • Pauletta Hansel
  • Nancy Laird
  • Michael Maloney
  • Maureen Sullivan
  • Debbie Zorn
My Story, My Voice
LIVE virtual sessions June 22-26 @ 11am

Core Member Pauletta Hansel is co-leading free online workshop for young writers! Ages 10 & up can engage in live sessions that will invite young writers to this collaborative exploration of poetry, prose, and creative writing! Enjoy the opportunity to write and share works with other teens, while being guided by professional writers. To register or learn more, please visit WordPlay's website.
Want to learn more? Vsit us at www.uacvoice.org or follow us on Facebook!

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Urban Appalachian Community Coalition · 5829 Wyatt Ave · Cincinnati, OH 45213-2122 · USA

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