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Better Together: How Rutgers is Helping to Create a More Equitable Recovery from COVID-19

June 8, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

As part of the Better Together series, Rutgers University Alumni Association and Rutgers Global Health Institute present a virtual event at noon on June 8 to discuss Rutgers’ role in helping small businesses in low-income and minority communities overcome challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Better TogetherSmall businesses are vital to the fabric of their communities, and they are in peril. Pandemic-related economic hardships already have led many of these businesses to close permanently. For those that are still open, serious economic and operational challenges remain.

While all communities are suffering, low-income and minority communities are suffering disproportionately. For minority- and woman-owned businesses, the financial challenges and disparities they faced before the pandemic are now compounded. Low-income and minority communities also face greater risks of COVID-19 infection and death—a fact that poses a huge threat to overall recovery.

Recently, Rutgers Global Health Institute launched a program that addresses these inequitable circumstances and offers a pathway toward overcoming them in New Jersey. The program, Equitable Recovery for New Jersey’s Small Businesses, is designed to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations in low-income and minority communities.

In this webinar, members of the institute will be joined by university and community partners. They will discuss the challenges minority communities are facing across the state, problems unique to underserved neighborhoods in Rutgers’ backyard, and what is needed to address these disparities—during the pandemic and beyond.

The speakers include:

  • Michelle Bodden, chief diversity & inclusion officer for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), who leads efforts to cultivate equity both within the NJEDA and through the resources it provides to the state;
  • Jaymie Santiago, president and CEO of the nonprofit New Brunswick Tomorrow, a key partner in the institute’s Equitable Recovery Program in New Brunswick and an expert on the city’s Esperanza Neighborhood and immigrant populations;
  • Kevin Lyons, a core faculty member of Rutgers Global Health Institute, supply chain management expert, and associate professor of professional practice at Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick;
  • Richard Marlink, director of Rutgers Global Health Institute, Henry Rutgers Professor of Global Health, and an expert on issues of health equity and developing community-led solutions; and
  • Arpita Jindani, manager of education and training at Rutgers Global Health Institute, who leads the Equitable Recovery program.


Online via Zoom

Advance registration required. Free and open to the public. For more information, email



June 8, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Rutgers University Alumni Association
Rutgers Global Health Institute