A Letter from the Dallas TRHT Director: It’s Time for TRANSFORMATION

The State of Texas is opening up businesses on May 1st, a day after posting 50 new COVID-19 related deaths (Texas’ largest single day total), which directly contradicts federal guidelines for reopening businesses stating that there should be a “downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period or a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period.” Dallas County has met neither guideline. In fact, on May 1st, Dallas County posted its largest single day increase of coronavirus-positive infections yet, following data that indicated its largest single-day just a day before.

Heeding warnings from scientists, health professionals and in solidarity with front line workers, Dallas TRHT will not be holding any in-person meetings in May or June 2020. We want you to stay at home, if you can, and reach out to us if you or your community members have any needs.

We have created a COVID-19 Resource page on our website, and we encourage you to add resources on their by emailing us at info@dallastrht.org.


My heart broke on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

I learned that 17-year-old City of Lancaster and Dallas County native Jameela Dirrean-Emoni Barber died from COVID-19, a novel coronavirus currently ravaging this country, especially Black and Indigenous communities.

Jameela, a smart, beautiful and sweet Black girl, honor student, daughter and big sister, is the youngest person to die from COVID-19 in Dallas County.

While the State of Texas, Dallas County and the City of Dallas prepares to open public facilities despite scientific evidence and federal guidelines that clearly explain the danger of those actions, Jameela’s family members have stated that “nearly everyone in her immediate family has also tested positive” for the novel coronavirus,” halting their grieving process while they all fight a virus with no cure in sight. We should all be angry and devastated.

Black and Indigenous communities across this country are being hit the hardest by COVID-19, primarily because structural racism is a determinant of health outcomes, and this global pandemic has only exacerbated preexisting racial disparities. Recent reports have shared that ALL of the COVID-19 related deaths in St. Louis, Missouri and Richmond, Virginia are Black people. As a result of racist messaging from the government and media, Asian communities in this country are also experiencing upticks in race-related threats and violence that they have dealt with for more than a century.

What is does a city and county look and feel like that cares about its people over its businesses, especially the youngest and most vulnerable amongst us? What does a city and county look and feel like without structural and institutional racism that causes Black, Brown, Indigenous and Asian communities to contend with environmental injustice, racial segregation, income and wealth gaps, health disparities AND disproportionate outcomes from a global pandemic?

These are our questions to answer now, not later. 

Join us at Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation to help answer these questions and more. We need your support. If you are explicitly working on matters of race, racism, racial equity, racial healing and racial justice in Dallas County, reach out and partner with us here. If you can, financially contribute to the mission of Dallas TRHT here.
Jerry Hawkins
Executive Director
Dallas TRHT

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