Dear Reader,This summer is a unique time to be conducting research. Nothing is untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic or the civic unrest following the death of George Floyd. I will explain how these events can impact participants in the study. The research participants, who are mostly women of color, are some of the people most deeply affected by these events.
COVID-19 began impacting large numbers of Ohioans in late March. This is when schools became digital and shelter in place orders were issued. People were confined to their homes. Any non-essential businesses were ordered to temporarily close, and as a result, unemployment skyrocketed. People of color were disproportionately affected by this pandemic.
Another influential event is the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed. George Floyd, a black man, was arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit twenty dollar bill. A police officer then restrained him and kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes, even as he was unresponsive. Soon after, George Floyd died in the hospital. This act of violence sparked protests around the United States, including Central Ohio. The government has responded to these protests with curfews, aggressive policing tactics, and the National Guard.
In these times, especially, research should be conducted on the participants terms with the utmost respect. There are enough stressors in participants' lives; academia should not add to them. I promise to do my best to fulfill that in my study.