Podcast examines ethical issues regarding COVID-19 and race

Contact: Sandra Borden

Image with the words What COVID Teaches Us and a grid of silhouettes of diverse people wearing masksKALAMAZOO, Mich.—A new Western Michigan University podcast is gathering campus and community voices to address ethical issues such as race equity, democratic governance, health care and wealth inequity as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Listen to episodes of  "What COVID Teaches Us," hosted by the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, beginning Tuesday, Oct. 19. The podcast will also air that day at 6 p.m. and continue on Tuesdays on WIDR. Tune in to 89.1 FM or stream the show by clicking the "Listen LIVE" button at the top of WIDR's home page.

“As we head into the second year of the pandemic, this is a good opportunity to reflect on what we have learned about systemic racism from the stark realities of COVID-19’s disparate impacts in a number of vital areas,” says Dr. Sandra L. Borden, the center’s director.

Other University units involved with the podcast's production include the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Lewis Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations and WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. Production and editing was provided by Western's Student Media Group.

Topics and participants

  • Racial equity, hosted by Dr. Candy McCorkle, vice president of diversity and inclusion with guests Nathan Nguyen, director of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Student Services, and Liliana Salas, associate director of the College Assistance Migrant Program.
  • Democratic governance, hosted by Victoria Vuletich, founder and CEO of Ethics Squared and a member of the Ethics Center’s board, with guest Devin Schindler, of counsel with the Warner, Norcross & Judd law firm in Grand Rapids.
  • Health care, hosted by Dr. Cheryl Dickson, associate dean for health equity and community affairs at WMed, with guests Dr. Elissa Allen, assistant professor of nursing; Dr. Martinson Arnan, vice president and chief clinical officer of the Bronson Medical Group, and Dr. Carolyn Whatley, chief medical officer of the Family Health Center in Kalamazoo.
  • Wealth inequity, hosted by Dr. Linda Reeser, professor of social work a member of the Ethics Center’s board, with guests Dr. Don Cooney, associate professor of social work; Alyssa Stewart, vice president of impact and engagement at United Way of Kalamazoo, and Stephanie (Moore) Williams, program director at Mothers of Hope in Kalamazoo.

 Learn more about the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society and its activities.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.