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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

Jennifer Morris Brings Hispanic Heritage Month to her English Language Learners


Jennifer Morris teacher hispanic heritage month

You probably haven’t heard of Jennifer Morris. She’s an English Language Learner teacher at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in Philadelphia. But to her students from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Colombia, she is a hero. When Morris noticed that some of her immigrant students weren’t as engaged, she felt a need to add more Latino culture to her classroom. That’s why she helped bring Hispanic Heritage Month to her school. Becoming an ELL Teacher Morris has always wanted to make a difference in her classroom. Her aspirations to become a teacher began early. “From as long as I can remember, I was always playing school at home. I would beg my mom to go out to buy my sister prizes so I could teach her how to do certain math lessons,” Morris ...

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Moral Disengagement Fuels ‘Pandemic Fatigue’ & How We Can Avoid It


Pandemic Fatigue

As we reach the seventh month of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are pointing to a new cause in an uptick of cases: pandemic fatigue. “Pandemic fatigue refers to feeling overwhelmed with still having to maintain a state of constant vigilance, in this case six months after the pandemic started, and a weariness to abide by restrictions,” according to Gavi Vaccine Alliance. Understandably, people are tired of the daily inconveniences caused by avoiding the COVID-19 virus and want their lives to return to normal. However, if we fall complacent and begin disregarding guidance from public health officials, we take part in moral disengagement and it becomes more difficult for our communities to put an end to COVID-19. When we disengage morally from safety and virus prevention, ...

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This Día de los Muertos, Let’s Remember Lost Loved Ones and Protect Our Living


Dia de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead, is the annual holiday where we honor our loved ones who have passed away. This year, Día de los Muertos is celebrated Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. During Día de los Muertos, Latino families gather to remember relatives who have died and often honor their memory by preparing the relative’s favorite foods and building ofrendas, or alters, decorated with candles, flowers, and photographs of those who passed. While a typical Día de Los Muertos celebration calls for parades with large gatherings of singing and dancing, this year it will look different. Latinos and COVID-19 The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means many cancelled celebrations or virtual gatherings. But it also means a greater loss in the Latino community. The COVID-19 ...

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Denise Hernández: Finding Herself by Unlearning Implicit Bias and Embracing Her Chicana Heritage


Denise Hernández salud hero chicana implicit bias

Denise Hernández is a proud Chicana and a 5th generation San Antonian. She is the founder of Maestranza, an organization based in San Antonio that empowers community members through education, activism, and collaboration with other local social justice groups. She also coordinates events and constituent services for San Antonio City Councilman Roberto Treviño. MySA named her a “Rising Star in Their 20s.” She’s led speaker series, workshops, and even a TEDx talk. Denise Hernández is an educator, activist, and advocate for her community. And at only 29 years old, she’s just getting started. But the journey here was anything but easy. It took years of self-discovery, unlearning biases, and confronting the discrimination that her family has faced for ...

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Police Departments Move to Diversify Workforce to Better Reflect Population


Police Departments Move to Diversify Workforce to Better Reflect Population

Across the country, police departments are making efforts to diversify their workforce to better reflect the populations they serve. With more Latino, Black, and other non-white police officers, law enforcement may have a better opportunity to connect with the community. “Having better representation within the department may help address some of the reservations about police,” according to WGN9. However, many police departments are facing challenges in recruiting diverse officers. Cities That Are Diversifying Police Departments Despite hiring more people of color in the past 30 years, the majority of police departments are still predominately white and do not proportionately represent people of color. “The share of minority officers nationally has nearly doubled in ...

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Ángela García: Helping Her Community Through Art and a Free Fridge


Ángela García Free Fridge

Ángela García wasn’t planning on becoming an artist. She entered college in the pre-med track, intending to go into a medical career. But then she started taking art history classes. And she kept taking them, despite still being in the pre-med track. “I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t like this. Maybe I don’t like the sciences as much as I thought I did. And I’m really interested in this art history curriculum.’ So, I switched over at the end of my sophomore year,” García said. Now she’s a senior art history major at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with several large-scale art projects under her belt, having rekindled a passion for creative work from her childhood. “I used to do painting when I was younger but I kind of fell out of it for a ...

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Universities across the U.S. Move to Address Systemic Racism


University Students Address Racism

With student pressure, universities across the nation are beginning to make statements and take action to address the systemic racism that impacts students, staff, and faculty of color. These statements from universities come as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement. As the discussion about injustices that Black people, Latinos, and other people of color face from law enforcement and other authorities continues to grow, it gave room for students to confront university administrators about racial injustices happening on campuses. Many universities are committing to change and putting new policies in place. Others are making statements in solidarity, but with less of a commitment to change. How can students be sure their universities are serious about these ...

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National Latino AIDS Awareness Day: Highlighting the Disparities in the Latino LGBTQ Community



HIV and AIDS are a serious threat to the Latino community. Latinos make up about 26% of new HIV diagnoses, despite being 18.5% of the population, according to the CDC. The number of HIV diagnoses among Latinos is growing, especially in the LGBTQ community. About 85% of Latinos who have HIV/AIDS are gay or bisexual men, according to a new research report from ViiV Healthcare, an organization focused on fighting HIV. The study, released shortly before National Latino AIDS Awareness Day on Oct. 15, 2020, indicates the need to address this vulnerable community. About the Study: Here as I Am ViiV Healthcare’s new report is called Here as I Am: A Listening Initiative with Latinx Gay and Bisexual Men Affected by HIV. The report includes a six-month community-based research study ...

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