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Delray Beach groups work together to document coronavirus stories

Teens collecting stories of hardship
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Posted at 12:44 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 16:49:42-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — COVID-19 has hit minority communities the hardest in many ways.

But Delray Beach groups from different backgrounds are working together to document the challenges in hopes of preventing history from repeating itself.

It may sound like a simple concept, but the work behind it proves otherwise.

“No one knew what COVID-19 would bring, but we knew that we had to what we’ve always done, which is be that resident voice,” said Kenya Madison, the senior director of Healthier Delray Beach.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed a disparity in many minority communities. That sparked a new partnership between Healthier Delray Beach, Palm Health Foundation and The Emanuel Jackson Sr. Project.

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“Sense maker is a software that captures residents' stories,” said Madison.

“One reason we were really wanted to get stories from the community was to hear that pulse. The other reason was because decision makers, who making decisions about what to do in emergencies, are often making decisions based on the information they have, which may not be the information that’s really relevant in a community,” said Andrew McAusland, the director of Grants at Palm Health Foundation.

That’s where the EJS project comes in.

The non-profit is made up of a group of teens who are collecting these stories of hardship.

“We changed the prompt question to tell us how coronavirus has impacted your life, so that helped us right then get real-life data and feedback on what people were going through,” said Dupree Jackson, the founder of the EJS Project.

The answers are now displayed at the Spady Cultural Museum in Delray Beach. This group is now responsible for documenting one small piece of history.