Santana Lee and David Easterly

Recorded June 8, 2020 Archived June 8, 2020 32:35 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: chi003310


Santana Lee [no age given] has a conversation with her mentee David Easterly [no age given] about how COVID-19 affected their community, the recent Black Lives Matter protests, and the positive side of the pandemic.

Subject Log / Time Code

S talks about her community work with All 4 Kidz. S also talks about the adjustments and the stress she has experienced by COVID-19. D talks about some of the things he hasn't been to do because of the pandemic.
D talks about the challenges for community members to access the technology during the pandemic. S talks about how overwhelming it was for children and teenagers to complete homework during this time.
S talks about the positive side of the pandemic finding time for family, praying and meditation.
S talks about their mentorship group and how they supported each other through their zoom calls.
D talks about the recent Black Lives Matter protests, and his views on the social uprising.
S says the protests were so empowering for her, and inspire her to be great.
S and D reflect on the things they have learned during the pandemic.


  • Santana Lee
  • David Easterly

Venue / Recording Kit

Partnership Type

Fee for Service



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00:02 Hi, my name is Anthony Lee and I live in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Today's date is June 8th, 2020 and I have with need a bit High. I'm David easterly. I live in Wisconsin. Today is January I mean, June 8th 2020.

00:31 And I'm here with me sleep so here at my house doing an interview for Generations United to just talk a little bit about RX.

00:41 Kobe 9

00:43 I will say a little bit of background about me and I've been living Milwaukee all my life. David is a really close friend of one of my sons. I've been around our family for a long time. He also was a youth leader of my organization offer kids and he been spending a lot of time with us during the the covid epidemic that's going on. I will say for a meeting.

01:10 Dealing with the covid-19 was really stressful, especially in the beginning because it kind of hit us out of nowhere and I have nine children and eight of them live in a house. So to go from home regular school into homeschooling was alive so they have to prepare meals more often throughout the day when I wasn't expecting to what's up a big adjustment and just trying to make sure that my kids mental health State and check being stuck in the house for a situation that they barely was able to understand at the time was really hard for me. I would say that the covid-19. It really affected me because around the time that it first hit out I was trying to I was trying to like sign up for driver's ed. I was trying to find me a part-time job that adjusted around.

02:10 All for kids schedule at on top of that. I still have to deal with school. But then again, it's like the Kobe kind of took everything away because it was just like it just came out of nowhere in the middle of everything. It just shut everything now. I have my parents worried about it. Like I was worried about getting sick going places at my mom. She has a heart condition so it could attacked her it was just like a lot of stuff it was for me to worry about and I think it was one of the biggest things besides like food and adjusted the food schedule was focusing on the mental health for the young people. You know, it's like one thing that is just hit us out the blue and me trying to process all the changes and then on top of that trying to adjust my kids to all the changes.

03:10 So my own personal kids it was it was a bit of a just man, but it was more scary to me when I got into the community and saw how the community was not taking well to it. One of the biggest things that why they was afraid to close school. It's because they like old kids. Most of the some type of Statistics was around majority of the kids mostly eat at school. So if they're not going to have school, how are the kids going to eat? So like food was a bit concerned and then it was like the medical the hospitals was flooded and you couldn't barely gets in the hospitals. And if you did you couldn't you have to be alone by yourself because they didn't want to spread it. There wasn't really giving us enough information about actually how to catch it or how to stay away from it. And then it was like a mandatory shutdown. So what does that do for the people that I still have to work at? How do you sanitize your house if if you're outside Partners to have to work in?

04:10 You have to quarantine and it was it was just like

04:15 Arie it was really scary because we didn't have enough information to beginning to figure out. How do we

04:24 How do we go through this and in what's the best way to make sure we save our family safe and also deal with the stay-at-home, you know, so and in the community you would like the community was in and it was just in a frantic because if you did go to the grocery store either all of us stores wiped out of food or everybody is packed in lines is long just to get food in the food was scarce and it was the mass in all the hand sanitizing all disinfected. It was just leaving off the shells and it just was really hard to adjust those type of situations.

05:04 I will say that even though the city is open it up. Now. You still have a lot of precautions which way do we supposed to move now is it safe is and I say do we still keep our families at home? Even though they said that the city is opening up if we are out there. How do you keep social distances and beast in still try to beat go back to a little bit of normal normal life before the Kobe? And how do you respect other people's space with the how they feel the social distancing in all the meetings to resume have to learn how to use zoom and as you can see I was having I'm still having technical difficulties with you with all of these different programs to talk to people because I'm a in-person type of person, you know, yeah. I'm not really a big technology guide.

06:04 The light light computers and TVs and phones. That's the it don't it don't attract my attention. So for me, it's harder to even use this stuff because I'm so used to talking to everybody in person to now just you got it either FaceTime everybody or group chat or just like get on all this technology and it was just a hard adjustment for me because I got to learn how to use all different a whole different ballgame. It's something that's just out of my league for me that I never did a lot of people so you can do homework and the homework with this with the teenagers are the older kids was so overwhelming that they was just that I'm not doing that. So you got to worry about them getting further behind in school trying to motivate them to take it more serious. It took a long time for the school to even start giving out Chromebooks for them to even do their homework, right? So it's like

07:04 It was just a lot a lot to handle. The technology part was really hard. I was wondering if we could expand more on that lack of resources when it comes to technology as you mention. Like there's you know, like we I mean people were not ready for that. I mean there's this lack of I guess of training or even resources right like at the library. I mean kids sorry just becoming overwhelmed with that technology to

07:40 Okay. Well, I would say.

07:45 I don't really know because it's like a lot of people a lot of people nowadays. They just have found on a lot of people they don't even like to use computers and stuff unless it has something to do with school or even businesses. Why and then with everything shutting down I was saying it was kind of harder because now it's like you have to wait for everything. So if you did want a computer now, you can't even like go to the store and go get it. You will have to wait for it to come up online order it offline. That's if they even have it. It's just like Corona Mae. I will say it made technology more popular, but at the same time is harder to get it now expected expense that people have to go order all of these laptops and Chromebooks and you know, I pass whatever just for the kids to be able to do work before school's even start offering the Chrome.

08:45 You know, so that was really scary for for me because I have multiple age groups. We smack dab in the middle of the semester. They can't afford to miss too many days of school. First two wishes school was out then it was little phone calls. Like we might have Chromebooks available. Then it was like it was a survey that came out at Muni Chromebook. So he had to shut the schools down nothing. We hear nothing from the school. Then a survey came out then once they kind of slipper through who priority needed to Chromebook spin. It was like a meeting to drop off or pick up the Chromebook and then spray for us to go from that to trying to program our kids to get used to doing homework on a Chromebook for 8 hours or however many hours it took to complete the assignment that's coming every single day so they couldn't complete the ones from the day before and not a feeling overwhelmed and

09:45 Free to give up and I will say it was harder for teenagers because we were in the middle of the school year and Thumper. Well, it was starting to get towards the end but towards the end we have we have exams. So most of some students they might be it might be back on a grave and they might depend on exams to help them get that grades up. So now you got students worrying about failing school or staying in the same grade. So now we had to like talk to her school to see what they were going to do. Are we going to be issue any help for the work that we might not have understood it was just like a lot going on and it was over a woman because a lot of my youth my teenagers for my program. They were trying to email, counselors and teachers in a teacher's wasn't getting back to them just to find out that the teacher didn't even know what to what was going on.

10:46 You know, so it's like it was just overwhelming to try to like I said try to keep everybody mental health in check when we just scare sent around trying to figure out what do we do? What is happening? What's right what's wrong? So that's how I feel about the resources when it came to school and also the food resources people was clearing out the stores stores arguments in lying, you know, Lulu commotion about food all the hygiene products and all the sterilization products, which is not only flying off the shelves but wasn't even being restocked. All the tissue was leaving from the shells. It was just it was almost like we was I was in the movie

11:36 You know, it was really uncomfortable to go to the stores and just try to get something for your family because before they put limits on how much stuff you can get people was just clearing off the shelf in the storage wasn't able to restock in enough time for everyone to feel comfortable with having basic needs for the for their home and for their children.

12:00 How did you handle your mental health dementia little bit about that?

12:09 I was safe for me. I handled it. It was mostly because my mom she kind of just like she she kept us in the house and like we just did stuff like she bought a bunch of board games for us to do she bought really like she bought like family. I don't know how to word it come together. Have fun with each other or like we have movie night. So really for me to keep my mental illness just like being around my loved ones and make sure they were straight and date. They didn't go through any sicknesses at the time and made sure like everybody had what they needed and basically just stayed in the home and stay safe.

12:54 For me to piggyback off that I will say for me personally. Covid-19 virus wasn't all bad. It appreciate about it. Is it dead bring on that day that necessary family time that I wouldn't have usually been able to get if my life was so busy like it. Normally is it also gave me time to reflect on myself. So to answer your question. How did I keep my mental health in check? I'm a very spiritual person. So I already do a lot of meditating a lot of prayer and pray but I wouldn't feel like overtime and not only did I just pray and meditate by myself. I included my family in prayer and meditation just to keep that guy can cover us through days and give us proper guidance to be able to make it out.

13:47 But other chain courage other people to be strong enough to know that God Comforts. All right, so first to ask you a question my mental health aide in check because I just went and feel like a deep prayer and reflection process for God's revealed to me and talk to me or what he needed me to do during this process for I can share that with others to keep them grounded.

14:18 Now do you want to talk about your community activism how you're involved?

14:24 Okay. Well since the cogat we kind of just like just got back started and getting in groups and stuff. Like we used during a Coby we called and checked on the boys are like, yeah, we can for most part. We called and checked on them see how they were doing. See if anything new came up. But since like the city open back up, I'll say how many times would be my second time meeting with the boys since everything open back up and I would say like it's group still flows the same we had still have the same wonderful Vives from the boys and some of the ladies that we have. We still why we continued our summer program with we going out to Parks Week start off with art with whatever activities we have damp we go play basketball or if they

15:24 Want to go just play on the playground or sometimes we just didn't have to fix.

15:31 I'm basically so I will say just to give a little context to what David was saying. I have an organization called off for kids and it's a support group for teenagers that's in the foster care system. So when he said the boys what what when the kobuk was going on, we have to stop or are groups in person groups and it turned into a mentor over the phone and no resume and over the messenger chat. So we staying in contact with the youth that's a part of our program during the Kovach and then maybe a month ago. I asked you start going in and doing Wellness checks in person just to check on everybody to make sure that they are okay because it was starting to get to the point that they were starting to kind of get anxious about staying in so I just checked on everybody and make sure that they was okay and now that things are slowly starting to open up we still practicing the social distance.

16:31 Have argued that sit outside so they can still get out and get some of that energy out and have fun but also respect the social distancing. So that's what we do in the community.

16:45 We think we've been apart since we were there we start cleaning up the part, you know, we started this kind of like organizing how we going to do things in the community movie for some of us protested recently with all of the stuff that's going on peacefully protest. Tell us about the lottery flights on how have you experienced? You don't like the latest events and how I don't know. How has it impacted View?

17:23 With the protesting. I feel like people should just keep it peaceful because I feel like you're like the people who are protesting they have a good point for protesting but I feel like once they get to Lieutenant breaking stuff. I feel like there's no point of that because asked if you actually George boy story and you was a gentle giant so why would you call for someone or as a matter of something that I feel like it shouldn't have been violence you you guys to speak your mind without having to tear our own City down because like it say when the city does open back up now we got to wait for them to rebuild the building or maybe we got to wait for them to open certain things backed up because things are destroyed now or it's taking forever to get rebuilt. It's just like I like

18:22 They should just keep it peaceful. I enjoyed the process because you know me and a few of my youth went out and we have to because I think that it was for the used to see so much Unity, you know, it was people of all different background all different races, you know gender just everything mixed together wanted to ask to make a stand for something. That's so prevalent that is going on in our communities and it was beautiful for them to witness unity in a situation that is surrounded by chaos. You can still see the beautifulness in it and be a part of the positive impact that protest in can

19:11 Can't call like protesting kid and bring forward, you know, so for me, it's emotional. It's like emotional situation but it is the emotion it was good for us to exercise our right to be positive and breathe out that was surrounded by so much negativity. I encourage my you to make a stand for something and if you going to make a stand for always know that positivity the sun outweighs the darkness right B positive even through the negative situations because the reward is so much greater.

19:55 Thought we was not a part of eluding but we definitely other part of peaceful and Powerful protest of what's going on in our community and I encourage anybody to be positive to to then on something that is so powerful that that things need to be changed in a positive way. And that's a great way to start teaching you to be involved in community for them to see it experience it in a positive way share that with other people that Inspire to do so or haven't had a chance to do it yet.

20:32 Do you want to ask each other any questions?

20:37 So when you was apart of the peaceful protest, what was the feeling that was over you in a mist of that powerful moment?

20:47 While I was supposed to say I was just more happy to see that people are finally listening to what we have to say and understanding of where we're coming from. We say we're outside of these things happening to our people or well to put in a bar. They always say I'm happy that we finally got a voice now and people are finally listening to what we have to say as African American people and we really next nobody really listen to anything we ever said like as far as when it came to this matter, it was always kind of pushed over but now that is being made a big deal. I feel like more people are bringing it to light and into and bring it to their attention.

21:32 Infer me it was just over. It was just overwhelming with joy to like I said the the to be in the atmosphere and watching all of it going old. It was so empowering.

21:47 Not watch it on TV now watch it on social media, but to be a part of the movement and to just watch so much it was it was like so much anger, but with so much love and respect for each other all at the same time that it just inspired me to.

22:11 Bee Tattoo be great, you know, so I will say after it was all over did being a part of that atmosphere. Did it give you some type of Hope? Did they give you some type of it made me feel like I feel like

22:29 After all light after all this is over with I feel like the world is definitely going to be different and we're going to have a chance to speak up now that all this happened but I kind of feel like things are going to change and seal. This may be happens again or it might happen maybe to someone who like, I don't know. I feel like it's going to be a change, but something is telling me like, there's not going to be a change. I'm very hopeful that

23:03 When it's all said and done people can understand the bigger picture about what's happening, you know, you have people that want to pick and choose what part of the protest that they feel like is not relevant or not important, but I'm hopeful that when it's all over we can get the people that don't understand where the anger is coming from to at least be open-minded to other groups of people situation and hopefully it put something on a heart to want to change whatever biases that they had towards a certain group of people.

23:48 Any more questions among you?

23:53 Only young person for me. Do you want to ask some questions from the list?

24:05 I want to look at it.

24:10 What is your biggest worry in your biggest Joy? Okay. What is your biggest?

24:18 I would say.

24:20 My biggest Joy it is cc'ing me in the people around me succeed. That would I say my biggest my biggest worry is probably falling victim to what's going on in the world right now cuz like

24:40 Everything that's going on. I would feel like that would just like it wouldn't everything that's going on. It just like I don't know how to work this option.

24:54 I think I understand what you saying. Okay, I can't answer the question for me. And my biggest worry is for my children to grow up in a world that they don't feel like they are valued as people that they don't feel like

25:17 Their life is important to other people. That's a worry to me, but I would say my biggest Joy is I enjoy teaching my kids.

25:31 To the best of my ability in the world that we live in to understand what's going on to be smart about what's going on support positivity in negative situations into actually watch all my hard work be lived out through my kids.

25:49 So watch him being put in situations and everything that I pour so much time into teaching them be shown through their actions that my hard work did not go in vain that's like a very big to me with with my children and and also to you that I that I do it, you know, that's a joy to me. That's like the best thing ever. You can't buy.

26:16 We're coming back to need my biggest like I was saying my biggest worry is falling victim to what's going on because then I would even though I wouldn't be here if that was still show me like nothing has changed in this world after all this time of us fighting for equal rights fighting to just be treated the same as everybody else is just another African-American will be tooken from us, and it's just pointless.

26:48 I just wanted to see a biggest or it will be sent every me and everybody around me my friends or my family succeed in life. Even if it's even if your plans are not to be the richest person on the planet. I will still want to see you succeed in whatever whatever you want to do in life. I just want to see my people be happy and succeed.

27:14 I like the question words say can you think of any outcome of the covid-19 that may be unexpectedly positive for your family?

27:23 Like I said personally, I feel like the cold has been good to me because

27:32 When you get time to sit still when normally your life is so busy. It gives you time to reflect on things that you cannot normally reflect on and it was so personal to me to sit still and reflect on things and actually tap into thoughts and ideas and feelings that I normally wouldn't be able to to feel or understand because of my life so busy, I think that

28:00 The reason why I said was good to me because not only did it teach me give me time to learn a lot about myself it gave me time to get to know my kids on a very intimate and personal level that help build them where they are.

28:18 When normally we just kind of like go through the everyday or go to school brush your teeth on work, you know it gave us time to pause and enjoy each other love each other relearn each other standards and expectations for each other and actually watch it actually watch it manifests into such a beautiful time with each other. I feel like they needed more me I feel like I needed more of them and to see what that time did for us.

28:53 Very very positive then it was like the like the covid-19 wasn't all bad and I am blessed to say that none of my kids was affected by it.

29:07 Not even close people around me was affected by a first-hand and I think God like that. That's a blessing to me.

29:19 5 minutes left

29:21 Yeah, so that's the answer the question of basically, can you think of an outcome that the Kovach may have I meant that maybe unexpectedly positive rate for your family brought me in my family closer because like my mom she's the teacher so she's gone by the time I wake up for school. She's already gone. And by the time I come me and her gets home. She's probably dealing with some stuff to help our job or something like that and then she's tired and she goes right to sleep. But now since the Kobe it kind of gave us more time to be together it gave us more time to have fun enjoy ourselves and basically bring us together as a family and just bring more love in our household.

30:21 Do you want to have anything else?

30:27 If I was to say anything to anybody that's watching is I was just say

30:33 No matter what when it's looking like a dark like it's going to be going through dark times right now always trying to find a little bit of Hope to hold onto and let the policy beti Pierce through the darkness. You know, we just have to understand that the good always win at the end of the day.

30:53 The Kovach is not going to take us out the Kobe. I feel like on a spiritual level was sent here to give us a sign right God is trying to get our attention and I just will hope that everybody would just take heed to what God is trying to get our attention and kind of like Let the Smoke stream stuff fizzle out is it's a bigger is bigger than what the media is put in our face. I look at it as a spiritual thing and let's just just be positive keep our faith route is through the situation.

31:32 Anything you want some for me parsley? I would just say.

31:40 I just hope everybody stay away from it and I really hope that we get a cure for it because right now it's just kind of like people who get the Cove if they kind of just get it for tea and then it's done but I really hope that they find a cure so people won't have to just if they get this sickness then they can fight it they want their own bodily system or they won't just have to sit there through the two weeks of courting and suffer. I just hope we get a cure and everybody stays what you don't have to stay at home. But I hope everybody stays in as much as much as possible and stay safe.