In the wake of Harvard reducing idled workers' pay to 70 percent during the pandemic, we followed four Harvard employees over the course of three months, conducting interviews on a weekly basis. These four individuals shared their lives with us, and although financial challenges and the pandemic have touched each of them, the pay cut is far from the only reason why these stories need telling.
Councilor Quinton Y. Zondervan points out that an end to the pandemic could come with a surge in homelessness, as the eviction moratorium expires. “There’s going to be a wave of evictions, of people who couldn’t afford to pay their rent. It’s a horrible disaster waiting to happen,” he says. “[It will] disproportionately impact Black and Brown community members ... We can’t go back to normal,” he adds. “We have to [do] better, because normal was unjust.”
Final clubs were made for white men. Now, people of color — who were never supposed to step through their gates at all — are carving out communities inside them. They’re drinking their alcohol and smoking their cigars. They’re reveling in these spaces, instrumentalizing the white men’s mansions for pure fun.
In 2018, Massachusetts created a program to support cannabis entrepreneurs whose businesses will benefit communities disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs. Bitter disputes over the policy's implementation in Cambridge have since raised questions about what, exactly, equity and reparations should look like.