This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indiana Black Expo (IBE) is announcing a series of initiatives to help small businesses, educators, job seekers, and youth in the community.

According to IBE, the African American community has always suffered from higher unemployment/underemployment, and that COVID-19 has heightened this problem to historic proportions.

The organization said IBE and its partners will present program solutions in the coming weeks to address all these areas through a series of virtual events.

IU Education Conference

The conference will provide professional development to K-12 educators and higher education leaders across the country to assist students with success during and after a COVID-19 world. For more information, click here.

Employment Opportunity Fairs

IBE has teamed up with its sponsors to offer three virtual career fairs in 2020 to make the job search seamless for our community and keep members abreast of in-demand careers and educational opportunities to maximize earning potential. For more information, click here.

Minority Business Series

Through the Minority Business Series presented by KeyBank, IBE will provide a series of webinars and forums throughout the year to focus on supporting both existing and start-up minority businesses. For more information, click here.

IBX – Our Youth Programs

IBX is a series of virtual programs and opportunities tailored to our youth, from middle and high school students to young professionals. The virtual initiative will also host IBE’s Real Talk Forum, Youth Leadership Summit, Business Series, and Education Summit. For more information, click here.

More from Indiana Black Expo:

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on low-income communities and communities of color in nearly every area that counts. The virus is disproportionately impacting the African American community due to pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma and upper respiratory illnesses, and a lack of access to healthcare.

Educators and administrators are struggling psychologically due to COVID-19 fears. They are in need of expertise and resources due to such rapid change from teaching in a live learning environment to a virtual environment. And the reopening of schools is one of the essential complications to address, and thoughtful planning is needed.

Small minority businesses have traditionally been impacted more than their non-minority counterparts during economic disruptions due to their inability to access financial resources to retain employees and cover operating expenses. Many of these businesses have been inadequately informed and lack adequate access to banking relationships to take advantage of available stimulus relief and loans. Small businesses are in dire need of resources, counseling services, and training to stay viable.