Maddalena Marinari


A Minnesota-based research team led by Gustavus Adolphus College history professor Maddalena Marinari has been awarded a Rapid-Response Grant on COVID-19 and the Social Sciences by The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) to explore the impact of COVID-19 on African, Asian, and Latinx immigrant and refugee communities.

The grant is one of only 62 awarded to research groups across the globe from a pool of over 1,300 applicants.

“I’m particularly grateful that the SSRC is funding this project at a time when immigration numbers are so low and we’re seeing increased anti-immigrant sentiment and legislation in the United States,” Marinari said. “As a historian, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to record these voices that have too often been erased from history. We envision that the final product will be useful not just to academics, but also to researchers, legislators, students, and activists who seek to be informed about the impact of COVID-19 on immigrants in the United States. We hope that this information will help people come up with equitable and social justice-centered responses to the pandemic.”

Marinari will partner with University of Minnesota Regents Professor of History and Asian American Studies Erika Lee and Gustavus student researchers Cat Lim and Lillie Ortloff to contribute to a curated digital collection of news reports, data, perspectives, and other resources documenting the experiences of immigrants and refugees across the country.

The collection, created at the University of Minnesota under the leadership of Lee, focuses on health, economic, and social impact and covers the first six months of the pandemic. Professor Marinari and her researchers will cover the rest of 2020 and expand the coverage of refugees and asylees in the collection.

“History is happening right now,” Marinari added. “I am excited to be part of an effort to preserve this moment in time and give a voice to communities that are often marginalized or ignored.”

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