Social Vulnerabilities and COVID-19
Presenter: Suzanne Frew MFA ’86 | Jessica W. Pardee, Ph.D.
| Associate Professor
Webinar Date: 06-02-2020

Social Vulnerabilities and COVID-19

Join us as we present a series of thoughtful discussions about what it means to live, survive and thrive during this pandemic. We will feature members of the RIT community and leading thinkers in this area from business, non-profits, academia, and government.

We begin by featuring Ms. Suzanne Frew MFA ’86 of The Frew Group, and Dr. Jessica Pardee of RIT who will discuss the role of social vulnerability in the pandemic experience. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, preexisting social vulnerabilities and inequalities are brought into view with each passing day. As we attempt to mitigate emergent impacts in real time, we consider how the patterned nature of social life can inform our experiences. Looking forward, we also ask: how do we pivot our practices to support vulnerable people in the face of known, forthcoming, & concurrent disaster circumstances such as hurricanes, fires, and heat waves to minimize the impacts of vulnerability during compounded disasters? Come and be a part of the conversation.

Sponsored by: RIT Alumni Relations, the RIT Fram Chair in Critical Thinking, The Institute for Business Government and Society at RIT, and the Collaboratory for Resiliency and Recovery.

What You'll Learn

Suzanne Frew MFA ’86
Suzanne Frew MFA ’86 /

Suzanne Frew MFA ’86 leads The Frew Group, a woman-owned small business based in the San Francisco Bay area. Suzanne supports public and private sector clients in creating culturally competent policies, programs, exercise and training, and communication strategies in disaster resilience, response and recovery. Her unique focus is applying a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion to serving widely diverse populations (whole communities). Suzanne is an adjunct instructor for the University of Hawaii's National Disaster Preparedness Center (NDPTC) and serves as the liaison between the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Emerging Technology Committee and Diversity Committee. After beginning her career with FEMA 30 years ago, she moved into the private sector, consulting throughout the U.S., Asia Pacific, SE Asia, Caribbean, and Canada.

Jessica W. Pardee, Ph.D.
Jessica W. Pardee, Ph.D. / Associate Professor

Jessica W. Pardee, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Science, Technology, and Society Department at RIT. Dr. Pardee earned her degree in 2009 from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, where she was enrolled at the time of Hurricane Katrina. In 2014, she published the book Surviving Katrina, a study of the survival strategies of low-income, African-American women during and following the hurricane. This book and related research investigates the intersection of race, class, gender, and geography, in relation to disaster preparedness, lived experience, and recovery. Dr. Pardee also devotes time to examining the meaning of conducting research on traumatic community events from a reflexive perspective. Additional projects include assessing the disaster preparedness of childcare facilities in the greater Rochester, NY metropolitan area, and using agent-based modeling to forecast the effects of family evacuation patterns on decision-making and timeliness.