By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, BROCKTON, MA, Weds. Sept. 9, 2020: A Massachusetts city is highlighting the work of Black home health aides and their fight against inequities intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic by featuring a Caribbean immigrant on a giant billboard.
The city of Brockton, MA, has put the spotlight on Maxine Williams, a Black Jamaican immigrant, who has been a home care worker for four years and a city resident for 14 years.
“I feel good and very special,” Williams told Enterprisenews.com of the honor. “I think (the campaign) is a good idea. You can see that we’re trying to risk our lives trying to take care of people.”
Williams appears on one of two billboards promoted by 1199SEIU United Healthworkers East. Her’s says: “Black homecare workers are leading the fight against COVID — and racism.”
There are more than 100,000 home care workers in Massachusetts who care for the elderly and people with disabilities. Like Williams, many are women of color, immigrants and live in communities like Brockton that have been especially impacted by the coronavirus. Nationwide, 87 percent of home care workers are women, and more than half are women of color, according to the union. Three in 10 home care workers are immigrants, the union says.
MA Gov. Charlie Baker declared Sept. 4 Home Care Day to highlight the role home care workers play in health care and the diversity of the profession. The administration is also committed to working with partners in the field to support home care workers on the front lines, he said.