The fourth Nasry Michelen Allied Health Lecture series took place on Thursday, October 15, 2021, as part of an ongoing civic and humanistic collaboration between the Nasry Michelen Foundation and Eugenio María de Hostos Community College.
Nasry Foundation Board Chair Cira Ángeles moderated the virtual event and welcomed Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis. “The Coivd 19 pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of our lives. It has changed the way educators teach, students learn, it has altered our behavior in public and in private, and strained our emotional intellectual and financial resources,” Cocco De Filippis said.
She also shared she was delighted to have trailblazing entrepreneur Benny Lorenzo join them and expressed her gratitude to Ángeles for “putting together this very important presentation.”
Ángeles introduced Lorenzo, who delivered an exemplary presentation, titled “The Economic and Financial Impact of COVID in Our Community.” He is a powerful orator who presented alarming data with humanity and wisdom that connected long-standing systemic inequities to our present time and moment in history. His presentation revealed in numbers how the COVID-19 pandemic showed the true face and cost of economic and financial systems that have distressed disenfranchised communities.
He highlighted how COVID-19 impacted women. “Schools were closed, and daycare was not available, and many women had to stop working…the pandemic has created a persistent gap…and accentuated decades if not hundreds of years of inequality,” he said.  
Lorenzo added: “When you reach the level of inequality that we have today, where 10% of the people get 90% of the benefits it’s too skewed and it actually hurts the economy because you really need that middle class.”
None of the figures that Lorenzo shared were news to the Hostos community they were just confirmed facts that vitalized the College’s resolve to move ahead and educate and empower some of the nation’s most disenfranchised students, those who need education to be agents of change in the United States.