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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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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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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Extremely COVID-19 High Rates among Latino Farm, Food Workers


COVID-19 Latino Farm Food Workers

Nearly three-fourths of all coronavirus cases in some of the country’s most critical industries are happening among Latinos, the group already experiencing harsh burdens from the virus. Of the 5,721 workers in food processing, food manufacturing, and agriculture fields who tested positive for COVID-19 early in the outbreak, 72.8% were Latino, according to October 2020 data from the CDC. These numbers shouldn’t come as a total surprise, based on the conditions these laborers face in the workplace, said Dr. S. Patrick Kachur, a population and family health professor at Columbia University. "Workers come and go from the workplace on a daily basis,” Kachur told TODAY Food. “If they are living in communities with widespread transmission, or households with other persons who ...

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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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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 29% 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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Study: Americans are Delaying Cancer Screenings, Believe Racism Affects Health Care



Almost 60% of Americans believe that racism can impact the health care an individual receives, according to the National Cancer Opinion Survey conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The survey also found that about two-thirds of Americans have skipped or delayed scheduled cancer screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is disproportionately harming Latinos. These results have wide-ranging implications for preventative care and the perception of health care disparities in the United States. About the Survey on Racism, Health Care The National Cancer Opinion Survey is conducted annually. This year, ASCO surveyed over 4,000 U.S. adults older than 18, with over 1,000 of them former or current cancer patients. “This survey assesses Americans’ ...

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How Cities are Using Community-Based Workers for Effective Contact Tracing


Community-Based Workforce

As we continue the battle against COVID-19, public health authorities are urging cities to increase their contact tracing efforts. “Contact tracing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helps protect you, your family, and your community,” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. But identifying people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and tracking their whereabouts and potential infection sources has its challenges. People may be skeptical to release information to contact tracers calling on the phone if they’re wary of scams. And because COVID-19 disproportionately affects Latino and other minority communities, there may be a language barrier or sense of fear when discussing health information with state employees. What can be done to face ...

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