Lenience Flowers plays several roles these days: Mom, wife, tech professional and, most recently, teacher.
Like millions of American families, when the pandemic hit and schools closed, she and her partner were faced with juggling the responsibilities of managing their four-year-old twins at home. “I think the pandemic has sort of made visible all of the ways in which our government doesn’t support families or parents, and how that really negatively affects women, especially moms,” Flowers says.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that nearly all the job losses occurred in 2020 affected women, particularly Black and Latina women who disproportionately work in some of the hardest-hit sectors in the pandemic, often in roles that lack paid sick leave and the ability to work from home.
Studies show that Black and Latinx children are facing the greatest disruptions to learning and disadvantages since the pandemic began. The digital divide, hallmarked by inadequate internet connectivity and access to computers and other digital learning aids, made for a rough transition to remote learning as lockdown restrictions tightened.
Investment in education, both traditional and non-traditional, could play a factor for advancing opportunities for Black Americans from the start and lead to a more equitable future once they enter the workforce.