How do poverty and racism put people at risk for COVID-19, and how do we protect those most vulnerable? On the latest episode of Add Passion & Stir, Sojourners Founder and President Jim Wallis and Billy Shore discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the inequities in our society. “Poverty and racism are preexisting conditions that help you get the disease,” says Wallis. “We need to consider how can we redeem this time not just for immediate response, but also how will this change us going forward.”
As the two discuss Wallis’ work addressing those in need within the faith community and Shore’s work feeding hungry kids and families through the No Kid Hungry campaign, these two change-makers reflect on the need for leadership – political and otherwise – now more than ever. “SNAP [the federal food stamp program] is maybe the most effective way to serve people’s immediate needs and revitalize the economy at the same time… We need politicians from both sides of the aisle to prioritize poor people,” Wallis believes. “One of our responsibilities from a leadership point of view is to help people see how we can make some permanent changes, so that the next time there’s such a crisis, the vulnerable are not as vulnerable,” says Shore.