Survey: Despite Pandemic, Many Don’t See Systemic Racism as Barrier



The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many of the disparities impacting communities of color. Not only has COVID-19 led to a disproportionate number of deaths and severe illness among Latinos, but it has also contributed to financial struggles, homelessness, and students falling behind in school. These disparities are linked with discrimination and impact Latinos throughout their lives, according to a Salud America! research review. But despite the evidence, many Americans don’t see systemic racism as the cause of the inequity. A survey by the RAND Corporation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) found that only 42% of respondents think that systemic racism is one of the main reasons people of color face health inequities. The majority does not believe or feel neutral ...

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Find Out If You Have Implicit Bias and What to Do Next!


implicit bias test with diverse faces in head and brain

Many people think they harbor no bias toward other people. Or they believe they know their biases and don’t act on them. But everyone has implicit bias. Implicit biases are stereotypes that affect our actions and decisions about others, beyond our conscious control. Fortunately, these biases also can be “rewired” toward more compassion for others. Download the free Salud America! Action Pack “Find Out If You Have Implicit Bias and What to Do Next.” This Action Pack will help you see if you have implicit bias, learn from others who have overcome their own implicit bias, and also encourage others to learn about implicit bias, too. GET THE ACTION PACK! Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, created this Action Pack. With the ...

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Study: Latino, Black Physicians Experience Racial Discrimination and Bias from Patients


doctor providing medical care - medical oath medical school

More than 40% of Latino and Black resident physicians experience racial discrimination and bias from the patients they serve, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. The experiences range from explicit racial epithets to a patient’s refusal of care. And on top of that, most physicians (84%) do not report the incidents to their leadership. “To address the issue of biased patient behavior, interventions are needed at the institutional and interpersonal levels,” according to researchers Shalila de Bourmont, Arun Burra, Sarah Nouri, et al. Racial discrimination and implicit bias must be addressed. What the JAMA Study Showed about Bias and Discrimination The study conducted by de Bourmont, Burra, Nouri et al. surveyed 232 internal medicine residents from three ...

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In New Class Oaths, Medical Students Commit to Fight Racial Injustices


University of Houston College of Medicine Class of 2024 student reciting their oath. Source: University of Houston

In medical schools across the country, students in medical, nursing, and physician assistant programs participate in a ritual known as the white coat ceremony. This signifies the beginning of their journeys to achieve the long white lab coat, a well-recognized symbol of respect and professionalism. During the ceremony, students receive a short white lab coat and recite a class oath or pledge, acknowledging their obligation to compassion and scientific excellence as health care providers. Incoming students often write their own class oaths. This year, amid a civil rights movement protesting police brutality and global health pandemic, students at two medical schools stand out for writing class oaths that acknowledge racism’s impact on public health. These new oaths call for ...

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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 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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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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