Chronicling Race and Ethnicity During COVID-19

Communities of color have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, due to underlying health and socioeconomic disparities. Across the country, Black, Latinx, Asian, and American Indian individuals make up a significantly higher proportion of confirmed cases of and deaths from COVID-19 compared to their percentage of the population. This is true in Iowa and across the U.S. Additionally, Asian individuals have experienced harassment and xenophobia related to COVID-19.  

If you identify as a person of color living in Iowa or the Midwest, we welcome your stories of your experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.  

Who can participate? 

Anyone who self-identifies as a person of color living in Iowa or the Midwest.  

What should I record? 

Any aspects of your experience that you wish. The following are suggestions if you need something to get you started.

  • Day-to-day thoughts and experiences. How is the coronavirus impacting your day-to-day experience? When did it start to affect your experience? What are your fears and frustrations? How have you been impacted by state and federal government response to the coronavirus? How are you adapting to social distancing in your day-to-day? If you aren't (or can't) practicing social distancing, what has your experience been like?

  • Working life. Are you working from home? Lost your job or been furloughed? Are you an essential worker? Whatever your experience, what has it been like? How have things changed? Do you own a business? How has that been impacted?

  • School experience. Are you a student at home? Are you continuing to do classes? How? What challenges have you experienced?

  • Health. Have you or someone you know been sick? How have you dealt with that experience?

  • Home life. Do you live alone? Have a spouse? Children? Do you care for older relatives in your home? What is your family life like? Do you have kids at home? Far away? How do you stay in touch? Have you visited with family or friends, or are you self-isolating? How do you spend your free time?

  • Experiences with technology. Do you have internet access? Is it fast or slow? How has that affected your ability to do business, go to school, keep in touch with family and friends?

  • Experiences of harassment or discrimination. Have you experienced direct harassment, xenophobia, or discrimination specific to COVID-19?

  • Disparities in health care, treatment, and/or access to services. How do you feel inequities and racist societal structures have affected your experiences during this crisis?

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How long should I engage in this project?
    • This situation is ongoing with an uncertain end date. Please feel free to record your experiences for as long as you are interested.
  • When/how often should I submit?
    • You may submit a series of entries over time, or you may submit all at once at the end of your project.
  • Can I restrict materials?
    • Yes, you may restrict materials for 1 year, 3 years, or another period of time that you indicate from date of deposit. You may specify the period of time for restricting materials on the submission form for digital submissions, or deed of gift for physical submissions. Because we collect stories in order to ultimately make them available for research and use, we will not accept submissions to be kept restricted indefinitely. If you have concerns, please reach out directly to Amy Bishop at
  • Can I submit anonymously?
    • Yes, if you feel your submission would endanger your well-being, you may choose to submit anonymously using our submission form.

Questions or concerns?

For any other questions or concerns, please contact Amy Bishop at