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Paul Flores, in collaboration with Acción Latina, will create, We Are Essential/Somos Esenciales, a community art and research project that explores the impact of COVID-19 on Latinx health outcomes in San Francisco’s Mission District. The project aims to humanize the pandemic’s impact on Latinx day laborers and domestic workers. It will culminate with a multimedia performance and video installation.

A San Francisco artist of Mexican and Cuban American heritage, Flores has built a national reputation for provocative spoken word and interview-based theater integrating Latino and indigenous healing practices to tell the stories of real people impacted by immigration and systemic inequalities. Other collaborators include writer Adriana Camarena, Colombian dancer and choreographer Andreina Maldonado, documentary filmmaker Rafael Flores, the Latino Task Force, and Mission District health and social service agencies.

Acción Latina is a multi-faceted cultural and media organization serving the Mission District for decades. Over the last year, it has been publishing articles by Adriana Camarena analyzing and disaggregating COVID-19 data from the Department of Health by ethnicity and race, while also featuring profiles of Latinx and indigenous immigrants who have suffered losses of employment, housing and health due to the pandemic.

 Photo of Paul Flores by Gustavo Rodriguez