What do the heat wave of 1995 and COVID-19 have in common? Short answer: a disproportionate impact on Black and brown residents in Chicago. In both cases, the city of Chicago has been slow to action, highlighting the damage that occurs when structural racism interacts with public health. As of July 10, 81% of COVID deaths in Chicago have been people of color; and survivors of the 1995 heat wave remember a disproportionate amount of African Americans dying from the heat. But with an increased push for racial equity, the hope is that Chicago improves its response to extreme crises.