C19 Coalition Volunteer Highlight: Laura Mignott and Impact
The concept of equality cannot exist without equity, especially in times of complex hardship as we are facing today. There are communities living in this country that do not have access to basic systems like housing, schooling, capital, healthcare, or even nutritious meals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indigenous, Black, and Latino communities have disproportionately higher rates of infection and hospitalizations. These are the communities that have been affected by long-standing systemic health and social inequities.
In response, priority and mission are placed on distributing PPE and other medical equipment to communities that need it the most at C19 Coalition. Laura Mignott, volunteer and lead of the coalition’s disproportionate impact team, has formed this mission into reality. Mignott created rules for the coalition and partners to connect with communities of color and lead by empathy.
Empathy is essential to reach and support organizations that serve disproportionately impacted communities.
As Mignott says, “Bear in mind that not everyone has the access or abilities that we have living in larger coastal cities. It may be July 2020 in NY or LA, but it might be July 1998 in smaller rural communities. Not everyone can just Slack a question and yes, people still use fax machines. There might be limitations as to how fast people can move based on their local capabilities.”
Often, community leaders are not brought into the equation when decisions are made. Getting local and asking those on the frontlines is key for sustainable and scalable action. “Listen, Learn & then take meaningful action.”, as Mignott says when asked about how to reach out to different communities.
There is much to be done to reach equity and the Coalition is doing their part to be of the solution.
Q&A with Laura Mignott
Tell us about your background.
I am based in New York City. My day job for the last 10 years is being the CEO of DFlash, a communications agency where we create experiences that are at the intersection of culture & technology. We have worked with large brands like Netflix, Microsoft, and Bose. I am also the creator and host of “The Reset Podcast” where I bring in and interview a C-level executive on marketing, businesses, and even government to see what’s happening in the industry. Outside of this, I sit on multiple women-led boards within my community, including education and youth empowerment boards.
What are some of your passions?
Doing good for people. I have built a course on how to be nice to people as that is the key to being successful in business. I always follow the golden rule in every task that I am to do. As a Black woman, I have a passion for the Black community and communities of color. I grew up in Long Island and carried certain privileges growing up. I attended NYU where I further my education and I knew that it was important for me to lift as I progressed. It’s important to use that opportunity to help others and elevate those that do not hold the same privileges that I do.
What made you interested in volunteering with C19 Coalition?
Once COVID hit, a number of my family members got hit by the disease. I was saddened by what happened and couldn’t understand why these organizations couldn’t get PPE. So I was like okay, let me find the right good people. That is how I found the C19 Coalition. I started by speaking to one of the team members of the coalition about what I was seeing on the ground and how people of color were dying from the disease and why they were being hit the hardest. I knew that’s why my voice was. So I was onboarded to lead this mission - to ensure that these communities are being looked at.
C19 is on the right path and because the disease is not going away, this is an opportunity to help. There are so many great organizations that need help and may not even know we exist because of access. I am trying to provide guidance, strategy, and my voice for this.
If you are interested in joining Laura and volunteering with the C19 Coalition, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alizay Rizvi is a blogger with the C19 Coalition. She has worked on health equity programs, including at the American Heart Association, to increase diversity in the health and social justice sector and aid in finding solutions to lessen health disparities and inequities in the United States. As a young professional, she is passionate about educating and empowering her generation to become agents of change. You can find her on LinkedIn.