• Destinee Rea

#youareessential

I had the pleasure of producing a digital campaign with my favorite collaborator, friend, and partner Leandra Ellis- Gaston. When our producers approached us and shared with us Daniel J. Watt's poem, "The Gatherers" we both were beyond moved. If you know Daniel, you know, how timely and beautiful his art is. He has committed his life to challenging the status quo and I am always amazed by the way his mind works.


The Poem “ The Gatherers” Written by our leading man, Daniel, highlights and celebrates the hardwork and beauty of those deemed, during the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic” as essential workers. According to an article published by PMC, Non-Hispanic Blacks were more likely than non-hispanic Whites to hold occupations considered essential (e.g., in transportation, health care, food preparation, and cleaning services). Non-hispanic Blacks disproportionately occupied the top nine occupations that placed them at high risk for contracting COVID‐19 and for potentially infecting their households. This reality is a reality that has played out in the history of Black America. Being deemed as essential to the perpetuation of economy, industry, and culture, yet living in environments that put their life’s on the line. In this moment we have the opportunity to do what was not done in history before. To bring value and rehumanization to the life’s of those we deem essential. To clap our hands and stomp our feet in gratefulness and pride for the work they do. To raise our voices and honor those who are making a difference in our lives today; for history is only the story of the choices we make today.


Click below to watch the video which made it's debut on CBS Morning Matinee:



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