PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Community leaders, health experts and activists locally and nationwide have teamed up to launch the #MasksForThePeople campaign.

Their goal is to raise $1 million to buy protective masks and hand sanitizer for people of color and educate them on the novel coronavirus.

While there are no official statistics yet, Johns Hopkins University has released data showing the toll coronavirus has taken on the minority community.

Dr. Carla C. Moreira, RPVI, a surgeon with Brown Surgical Associates, says she is doing her part to spread awareness, including making informative videos on the virus for the Cape Verdean community in Creole.

Dr. Moreira says since most local and national press conferences are in English, minorities and immigrants can’t know the correct information if they don’t know what’s being said.

“We have to be very mindful in Rhode Island we are very diverse,” she added. “There are Cape Verdeans, Hispanics, Africans.”

Other factors besides language barriers are causing the pandemic to significantly impact the Black and Hispanic communities, according to Dr. Moreira.

The U.S. surgeon general spoke to CBS News about how racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in a densely populated areas and occupy lower-wage jobs that do not offer paid sick leave or the option to work from home, as well as have underlying health conditions and less access to health insurance.

“For example, African-Americans have a higher rate of high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol,” Dr. Moreira explained.

President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, both addressed the issue in a press conference on Tuesday.

“This is a real problem, and it’s showing up very strongly in our data on the African-American community. It’s terrible,” Trump said.

And closer to home, Congressman Joe Kennedy wrote an open letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health asking for racial data.

“I am writing regarding recent reporting showing that communities of color across Massachusetts and the country are disproportionately hit by this pandemic,” he wrote. “While these stories are horrifying, they are not surprising, because these inequities persist past COVID-19.”

Dr. Moreira plans to host a virtual town hall on the coronavirus Thursday from 3-6 p.m. on Facebook.

English: Facebook Live Town Hall Meeting, April 9, 3-6 p.m., Cape Verdean-American Community Development of R.I. Facebook

Creole: Reunião de Communidade Direto na Facebook: Manhan, 9 di Abril, de 3 pa 6 de tardi, na pagina de Facebook di CACD (Capeverdean American Community Development of R.I.) Reunião ta ser na Kriolu de Cabo Verde mas penalistas tambe ta fala Inglês, Português e Spanhol. Por favor acompanhanu manhan, nu ta respondi qualquer progunta sobri Coronavirus e nu ta da recursos ki bu ta meste pa bó e bu familia continua seguro e protegido na comunidade.

Campanha di Seti Mascras (7 Masks Campaign)

Communidadi di Central Falls teni un novo campanha ki txoma “Seti Mascras” ki ta djuda tudo algem na nos communidadi pa toma medidas necessario pa protegi nos cabesa e nos familia. Porfavor djunta ku nos e txoma (401) 578-0215 e djudanu djunta povo pa nu fazi um encontro na applicason “Zoom” ku nhos amigos e familia pa nu djuda companhero compartilha informason pa nu manti protegedo. Campanha di seti mascras (401) 578-0125. Porfavor txomanu hoji!

Cape Verdean-American Community Development (CACD): Centro di disenvolvimento pa Cabo Verdianos na America (CACD) (401) 305-6908.