Marked by Covid
Co-founder Kristin Urquiza’s father died from COVID after trusting Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s claims that “it was safe to resume normal activities” in June, as the state surged with COVID cases and her childhood neighborhood of Maryvale — a low-income community with a large population of immigrants and Latinx residents — recorded some of the worst numbers on the planet. So we invited a reporter to his funeral and published the first Honest Obituary, which told the unvarnished truth about his death and held public servants like Ducey to account.
The story and obituary went viral, and within days, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey was asked about her father at a press conference by a reporter from The Washington Post. A few days later, Trump was seen wearing a mask in public for the first time. Since then, dozens of Marked By COVID Activists have become leaders in their own hometowns.
We have organized actions aimed at healing and advocating attended by thousands.
Taking cues from our Activists, we’ve funded more Honest Obituaries, and organized a number of events, including a National Day of Action, Week of Mourning, Dia de los Muertos Vigil, Gratitude Gatherings, a community watch party and panel about the importance of recognition in conjunction with the Lincoln Memorial COVID lighting, and more. Mayors and other elected officials have supported our call for a national, coordinated data-driven COVID response plan. On March 1, 2021 more than 120 grassroots COVID Memorial Day events were held by Activists across the country in solidarity with all #MarkedByCOVID and to call for a national holiday and permanent memorials. State legislators and other public officials also marked the date: At our urging, 152 mayors in 36 states took official action to proclaim the first Monday in March COVID Memorial Day. In response to this groundswell and in collaboration with Marked By COVID, Representative Greg Stanton (D-AZ 9th) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives expressing support for the designation of the first Monday in March to be COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day. State legislators in CA, AZ, MI, CO and other public officials have also filed COVID Memorial Day resolutions. We are currently coordinating a sympathy card exchange, amplifying personal stories, hosting regular Meet & Greet and COVID Action Meetings and more.