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Julia Weis

Julia Weis joined Salud America! and its home base, the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, in September 2020. With a degree in Communication from Trinity University, Julia has previously worked in journalism, marketing, graphic design, and technical writing. She loves biking and hiking in the Central Texas outdoors and is passionate about environmental and social justice issues.


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Articles by Julia Weis

System Justification Leads to Ignoring COVID-19 Safety Precautions


latina looking at face mask with system justification in covid-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has been a force in our lives for the last 10 months. At this point, we know the standard procedures for safety precautions, like wearing a mask, keeping physical distance, and avoiding crowded public spaces. We’ve even started administering a vaccine to healthcare workers and the elderly, with the FDA emergency-use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this past weekend. But despite all this, the pandemic still isn’t over. COVID-19 cases are spiking in many areas across the country as people move events indoors due to colder weather and are travelling more for the holidays. Not to mention pandemic fatigue. Another big safety concern is using “system justification” to ignore safety precautions. This happens when people rationalize unsafe behaviors ...

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Latino Students Fall Behind in Math, Reading Due to COVID-19 School Closures



When schools closed down and switched to online learning at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, some students began falling behind in class. The students most affected? Latino and Black children. Several studies measured testing scores in math and reading for elementary school students in Fall 2020 compared to Fall 2019. A report by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) found that while some students are improving, Latino and Black students are falling behind their white peers. “While a majority of students did better than expected in reading — scoring at levels similar to typical nonpandemic years — this wasn’t true for Black and Hispanic students and those who attend high-poverty schools,” according to NBC News. The trend is concerning as it highlights the ...

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New Equity in Education Initiative Seeks to Build Opportunities for Black and Latino Students



North Carolina A&T State University and Walmart have partnered together to launch the Equity in Education Initiative, a new program focused on giving educational opportunities to Black and Latino students. The program, launching in early 2021, will support undergraduate students of color and provide resources in disciplines such as business and engineering, which are often predominately white. Walmart partnered with North Carolina A&T State, the largest historically Black university, to work on eliminating the traditional barriers to career opportunities. “The Equity in Education Initiative is not only an important step in advancing Walmart’s focus on eliminating barriers to opportunity, it also lays foundational building blocks with a diverse pool of talent who we ...

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Latino Students Misdiagnosed with Learning Disabilities Raises Questions about Discrimination, Bias


Group of kindergarten kids friends drawing art class outdoors

Latino children in Santa Barbara schools are disproportionately represented in special education classes, and often incorrectly, as per a new report from the California Department of Education. “Children from Latinx families are 3.43 times more likely to be identified as having learning disabilities than their white peers in the Santa Barbara Unified School District,” according to the Santa Barbara Independent. The state flagged the district for the “significant disproportionality.” This issue highlights the potential bias against and lack of resources for Latino students who are struggling in school, especially those from Spanish-speaking or immigrant households. It also emphasizes the need for school officials to ensure students are treated with equity, no matter ...

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New Tobacco-Free Schools Initiative Fights Youth Vaping Through Supportive Environment


youth vaping

The CVS Health Foundation, American Heart Association, Alliance for a Healthier Generation have launched a new initiative to help reduce vaping in schools. The Tobacco-Free Schools Initiative gives schools resources that focus on positive reinforcement for tobacco cessation and prevention, rather than traditional forms of punishment. Addressing the rise in vaping and e-cigarette use for young people is urgent. “Youth vaping is one of the biggest obstacles we face in helping to create the first tobacco-free generation,” said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health and President, CVS Health Foundation, in a press release. “Coming together with the American Heart Association and Healthier Generation allows us to support ...

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Héctor Rodríguez: Bringing Latino Representation to the Comic Book World


hector rodriguez

To his students, he’s Mr. Rodríguez. To his fans, he’s the creator and author of the comic book and graphic novel series El Peso Hero. When he noticed a need for more Latino representation in comic books and literature, Héctor Rodríguez launched his long-time project as a web series in 2011. El Peso Hero is a Latino superhero who fights corruption, drug trafficking, immigration, and other real-life social and racial justice issues happening on the Texas/Mexico border. Now almost 10 years later, Rodríguez has printed several comic books, produced a radio novella and short film, and is working on developing El Peso Hero into a Hollywood production. Rodríguez first found inspiration for El Peso Hero during his childhood on the Texas/Mexico border. Inspiration on the ...

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