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Harlem: How Has COVID Impacted You and Your Community?

Join THE CITY’s memorial project, MISSING THEM, for conversation at a community fair on 123rd Street in Harlem this Sunday, Oct. 2.

SHARE Harlem: How Has COVID Impacted You and Your Community?

THE CITY’s MISSING THEM project held its first community conversation in Elmhurst, Queens in September. Woodside On The Move, a local nonprofit organization, distributed hundreds of free meals at the event.

Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

This story is part of “MISSING THEM,” THE CITY’s COVID-19 memorial and journalism project. If you know someone who died or may have died due to the coronavirus, share their story here, leave us a voicemail at 646-494-1095 or text “remember” to 73224. 


Earlier this month THE CITY’s COVID-19 memorial and journalism project, MISSING THEM, held its first neighborhood conversation in Elmhurst, Queens about the COVID-19 pandemic and its collective impact on New Yorkers. 

Journalists and local volunteers spoke to dozens of residents at Moore Homestead Playground, a bustling neighborhood park two blocks away from Elmhurst Hospital, which was one of the early COVID-19 epicenters in New York City. 

Through conversations in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Urdu and more, residents shared stories of loved ones lost to COVID-19. They reflected on how the pandemic has exacerbated mental health challenges, food insecurity and homelessness in the neighborhood. Many also shared how they found a greater sense of community during the pandemic by turning to their neighbors, mutual aid groups and religious organizations for support. THE CITY’s co-hosts from Woodside On The Move, a local nonprofit organization, distributed hundreds of free meals and personal protective equipment, or PPE.

For our next community conversation, we’re heading to Harlem to hear from residents and understand how they have been impacted by the pandemic. Join THE CITY this  Sunday, Oct. 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Harlem Community Health Fair on 123rd Street, between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. 

The outdoor fair hosted by Ephesus Seventh-Day Adventist Church will also feature health screenings, fitness classes, giveaways and activities for kids. The event is free of charge and open to the public. 

Come by to talk to journalists and volunteers from THE CITY’s MISSING THEM project. We’d like to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your life day to day. What would you like to share about the losses you’ve endured, or lessons and insights that you’ve gained along the way? What are some of the questions you have, that we as journalists can help find answers to? We’re listening. 

Participants will also have a chance to share stories of loved ones lost to COVID-19. We will honor their legacy together by adding their name and obituary to our digital memorial.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 41,000 New Yorkers. THE CITY launched MISSING THEM in May 2020 as a collaborative effort to name every New Yorker who died of COVID-19 and tell a story about them. Throughout the past two years, we’ve heard from thousands of New Yorkers. We’ve recorded over 2,600 names and published more than 500 obituaries.

Over the next few months, MISSING THEM will spend time in neighborhoods across the city that were disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Our goal is to listen to and connect with New Yorkers, in their own communities, to understand how we’ve been collectively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any ideas or questions for our teams, or if you’d like to volunteer, please email memorial@thecity.nyc.

MISSING THEM is supported in part by the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia Journalism School.

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