Kimberly Rice of Stratford participates in a Yale University Union Local 34 and 35 rally on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven on July 29, 2020.
“I say it’s the largest car caravan in the land since COVID-19,” shouted the Rev. Scott Marks of New Haven Rising. “No backing up. Ain’t no stopping us now. We’re going forward. ... The university’s austerity does not equal ‘Yale, Respect New Haven.’ ”
Marks and others said the pandemic has shown who the most vulnerable people are — the Black and brown residents of neighborhoods such as Newhallville — who have suffered the most cases and deaths, and who are a large part of Yale’s unionized workforce.
He said COVID-19 has only increased the suffering of people who cannot support their families. “Half of the Black population is unemployed. There is pain,” Marks said. In addition to COVID, he said people of color suffer more from “home foreclosures, asthma, childhood poverty and hunger, violence, absentee landlords and so much more.” Yale can go a long way to alleviating those problems with good jobs, he said. less