C19 Coalition Volunteer Highlight: Alizay Rizvi
3,658 deaths. 302,000 cases. Texas reports the highest 1-day toll of deaths since the pandemic began.
As a Texas native, Alizay Rizvi saw first-hand the toll COVID-19 was taking on her community. Also, she realized that many were not acknowledging the pandemic and its effect on underfunded communities, especially where the majority of the population is Black and Brown. With a background and passion for health equity, Rizvi knew she had to step up and contribute to solving the PPE crisis.
Rizvi initially saw the listing for volunteers on LinkedIn and knew it was the perfect way to help. She sees health equity as the forefront of the pandemic and her equity-first approach for the coalition has been essential in growing and moving forward.
“I don’t think people have fully understood the toll COVID-19 disproportionately takes on Black and Brown communities. There’s a reason why Black and Brown people are dying 3-4 times the rate of white people, and I’m here to show others why and to stop this from continuing.Alizay Rizvi, C19 Coalition Volunteer
Rizvi’s passion and dedication to health equity have allowed our coalition to grow. She wants to continue our mission of solving our PPE crisis while also tackling the issues of inequity.
Q&A with Alizay Rizvi
Tell us about your background.
I’m from Dallas, Texas and I recently graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas. I majored in Public Health since I’m passionate about ending and spreading awareness about health disparities and fighting for health equity. I was really active in volunteering and that’s what I spent most of my time outside school doing. I was involved in Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, where I fundraised for childhood cancer research, for all 4 years of college and I eventually became the President of my college’s branch during my senior year. I also interned at the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society, where I went to elementary and middle schools to teach children about blood cancer. During my senior year, I served as a middle man for underserved and underrepresented patients who were often homeless and had no access to food; and I connected them with local agencies (food pantries, access to transportation, etc,.) through Baylor Scott and White, one of Texas’ bigger hospital systems. After graduating UT Dallas, I worked for the American Heart Association’s Office of Health Equity, where I worked on an undergraduate scholarship program for diverse, underrepresented students and other equity-based programs.
How are you helping to move C19 Coalition’s mission?
I started at C19 in the content marketing team where I was in charge of writing blogs and interviewing volunteers. Most recently, I became a part of the disproportionate impact team. I’m working on how we as an organization can be impactful for vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19. I’m making sure we connect with organizations and companies that are actually addressing these vulnerable communities. I’m also seeking out Black, Latinx, and Indigenous voices in the field to get a better understanding of these communities and to amplify their voices. I want to see our coalition become an equity-first organization.
When you think about our mission, what motivates you to continue volunteering?
Our mission is one that is easy to stand behind. Earlier in this pandemic and even now, we can see that there was a lack of PPE and how there wasn’t any funding to get ahead of this issue. The coalition is a great opportunity to advocate for the continuous use of PPE and to make a dent in the PPE crisis our nation is facing. Ultimately, it is an opportunity to save lives.
Rizvi’s long term goal is to create a startup that will help build an equitable society. In her free time, she does some freelance photography, listens to music, and enjoys cooking. She also loves her cats, Ace and Milky.
If you are interested in joining Alizay and volunteering with the C19 Coalition, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tracy Chen works on the hotline and social media for the coalition. She is a high school student planning on studying neuroscience on a pre-professional path. She spends most of her time running or on Depop. You can find her on LinkedIn.