Major PFAS Legislation Works its Way Through Congress


Major PFAS Legislation Congress

Extremely harmful toxins, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), contaminate water supplies, products, food packaging, and other everyday sources. It's why some national legislators want to pass a bill to designate these chemicals as hazardous substances. This designation would then begin action toward federal cleanup standards. This is a critical issue, especially for marginalized communities that face exposure to PFAS, according to Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). “PFAS contamination is a pressing issue for countless communities, and while the EPA under President Biden is working hard to address the issue, it is still playing catch up after four years of inaction,” he said during opening remarks in the committee hearing. The PFAS Action Act of 2021 ...

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What Latinos Should Know about the Moratorium on Evictions


What Latinos Should Know about the Moratorium on Evictions

After a federal moratorium on evictions put in place by the CDC last fall expired on July 31, 2021, the CDC has issued a new two-month moratorium through Oct. 3, 2021. This new moratorium will extend protections for the millions of families behind on rent due to the economic fallout of the pandemic, particularly Latino and Black families, who have been hit the hardest. Let’s learn what exactly the new moratorium means, what your rights as a renter are, and what happens next. What is the Moratorium on Evictions? A moratorium by law is defined as a period of time when people in debt can pause payment. In September 2020, the CDC declared a temporary moratorium on evictions to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The reasoning was that several months into the pandemic, the ...

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Electric Cars: A Vehicle for Environmental Justice


Electric Cars Environmental Justice

The climate crisis is especially impacting Latinos and other people of color. Despite being low contributors to the rate of emissions—toxins that are one of the main issues spurring global warming—they are experiencing worse health outcomes, due to rising temperatures and extreme weather events. This is why advocates have been calling for environmental justice, a strategy to address climate change through a lens that focuses on those who are harmed most. Electric cars are an emerging piece of environmental justice. As more and more electric vehicles hit the market, experts are saying these cars can drive efforts toward environmental justice for people of color. “The electric vehicle transition has great potential to benefit Black and Latino communities, which are ...

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Bilingual Videos with Latino Doctors Help Answer Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines


Bilingual Videos with Latino Doctors Help Answer Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines

Latinos are getting vaccinated for the COVID-19 vaccine at much lower rates than other groups. This mainly due to a lack of vaccine confidence and abundance of misinformation that is targeting Latinos, who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. That’s why Greater than COVID partnered with UnidosUS to launch a new bilingual video series, THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN, to combat vaccine misinformation. By interviewing Latino healthcare workers who answer big questions, the series aims to promote vaccine confidence and urge Latinos to get vaccinated. “This is our chance to protect ourselves, those we love and our communities so we can start to heal,” said Dr. Ana G. Cepin, a doctor in the video series. About the Video Series THE CONVERSATION / LA ...

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Zo Mpofu & Dakisha Wesley: Forging Alliances to Declare Racism a Public Health and Safety Crisis


Zo Mpofu and DK Wesley Forge Alliances to Declare Racism a Public Health and Safety Crisis

Zo Mpofu believes protecting the health of mothers and babies in childbirth is a moral responsibility. That is why it alarmed Mpofu, a human services program consultant for Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina, that local black women are 3.8 times more likely to lose their baby in the first year of life than white women. Also, Dakisha “DK” Wesley, assistant county manager in Buncombe County, worried that black people accounted for 25% of the jailed population, despite being 6.3% of the local population. Mpofu and Wesley believe these are the results of structural racism. That is why these government employees collaborated with cross-sector partners to urge Buncombe County leaders to pass three resolutions declaring racism a public ...

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Farmer’s Markets Are Essential for Healthy Food Access amid COVID-19


Farmers markets are essential food improving healthy food access via farmers market coalition

Does your town have a farmers market? Farmers markets are a path to healthy food access. They are especially important now as the pandemic worsens food insecurity. Fortunately, the Farmers Market Coalition is stepping up to support farmers markets. They’re pushing for federal aid for markets, creating resources and anti-racist toolkits, and sharing how markets increase access to healthy, fresh produce and social connections, and engage farmers in the local economy. "Amidst a global pandemic and nationwide change, it is now more important than ever for [farmers] markets to bring people together," according to the coalition. "As hubs for connection and community resilience, farmers markets have particularly risen to the occasion this year by providing a necessary sense of unity ...

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Emelina Asto-Flores: Participant in a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial to Help Latinos!


Vaccine Clinical Trial Latinos

Why did Emelina Asto-Flores volunteer for a clinical trial to test a COVID-19 vaccine? Asto-Flores, a community health educator in Florida, saw how the pandemic devastated Latinos, and she decided to enroll in the trial to help her people. Not only did she help researchers make sure the vaccine is safe for Latinos, but the trial also gave her the knowledge and confidence to encourage others to get their shot. “Representation is important in a clinical trial,” Asto-Flores said. “You wouldn't want a clinical trial to be just consisted of one group. These results need to be proportionate to our diverse communities. It's so important for us as members of the [Latino] community to take that leadership role that could save lives. So those that are a part of that can say, ...

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Giselle Rincon: A Venezuelan Immigrant Sending Help to her Home Country


Giselle Rincon: A Venezuelan Immigrant Sending Help to her Home Country

When Giselle Rincon decided to start a nonprofit to help immigrants and offer humanitarian aid to her home country, she had no idea where to start with her background in teaching. “None of us have a nonprofit background, no clue how to begin a nonprofit, how to manage it. We have been learning every day, how to do it and talking to people, asking for consultants, asking for advice,” Rincon said. In 2014, Rincon started Venezuela’s Voice in Oregon along with a group of Venezuelan immigrants in the Portland, Oregon area. She and her team of eight team members work entirely pro-bono and volunteer their time outside of their full-time jobs. Through connecting with other nonprofit leaders and members in the Latino community, Rincon has taught herself how to run her growing ...

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Latino College Enrollment Shrunk During COVID-19


Latino College Shrunk COVID-19

Latinos are suffering high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with low vaccine rates. But in addition to the health impact, the pandemic is worsening underlying health inequities for this population in areas like access to housing, federal aid, and healthy food. Now, new research shows that the pandemic is even reducing the number of Latino students enrolling in college. The economic crisis brought on by the spread of the coronavirus, which hit the Latino community hard, made it hard for many Latino students to enroll. “Because our adults tend to be blue-collar workers who have lost out in this economy, having additional hands, all able-bodied folks working, has become essential,” Deborah A. Santiago, chief executive of the nonprofit advocacy group Excelencia in Education, ...

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