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Latina Scientists Urge Climate Action Through ‘Science Moms’


Latina Scientists Science Moms

Climate change is wreaking havoc on communities across the US. The health impacts are already felt among Latinos and other people of color. That’s why a group of researchers started an exciting project: Science Moms. This "nonpartisan group of climate scientists and mothers," including several Latinas, are working to connect with other women in hopes of creating a grassroots movement to address climate change for future generations. "We founded Science Moms to help mothers who are concerned about their children's planet but aren't confident in their knowledge about climate change or how they can help," Science Moms state on their website. "Together, we aim to demystify climate science and motivate urgent action to protect our children's futures." Women Step Up for Climate ...

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Tasty News: FDA to Ban Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars


fda to ban menthol cigarettes and cigars 2021

Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. That is why, on April 29, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars within the next year. The aim is to save lives and prevent future generations of smokers. This decision was made in response to a citizen petition filed in 2013. Public health and civil rights groups have long argued people of color have been disproportionately harmed by menthol cigarettes. The tobacco has industry targeted its ads at Black and Latino communities for decades. “Banning menthol—the last allowable flavor—in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly ...

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Every New Arkansas School Must Have a Water Bottle Fountain


Arkansas School Water Bottle Fountain

Countless children across the country struggle with access to healthy, clean water at school. Schools that provide their students with water bottle refill stations can significantly improve their health over time. Cities and states throughout the U.S. are doing just that by installing these kinds of fountains in their schools. Legislators in Arkansas (7.7% Latino), with the help of the American Heart Association (AHA), recently passed a law to require all new schools built in the state to provide a water bottle fountain to their students. “We know drinking enough water can improve a child’s performance in school, making it easier for them to learn,” said Dave Oberembt, government relations representative for the AHA in Arkansas, in a statement. “Substituting water for ...

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With Smoke-Free Homes, Fewer Kids Admitted to Hospital for Asthma Issues


latino hispanic family in apartment housing home multifamily smoke-free policy

We know secondhand smoke is deadly. We also know that, inside places like apartments, people are exposed to secondhand smoke as it travels through doorways, halls, windows, ventilation systems, and electrical outlets. So what if we could cut secondhand smoke exposure in the home? Well, after a national media campaign to reduce cigarette smoking in homes in Scotland, hospital admissions of under-five-year-old children dropped 25%, according to a recent study in Lancet Public Health. "Our findings suggest that smoke-free home interventions could be an important tool to reduce asthma admissions in young children, and that smoke-free public space legislation might improve child health for many years, especially in the most deprived communities," according to the ...

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Resolving Microaggressions: A New Diversity Training from UT Health San Antonio


Resolving Microaggressions

The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio is launching a new diversity training called Resolving Microaggressions. This training aims to empower faculty members to recognize and speak out against acts of racism and discrimination. “The goal of this training is to turn spectators into active peacemakers in tense situations, where someone is being attacked, even subtly on the basis of their gender, race, age, training or socioeconomic status,” wrote Robert Hromas, dean of the Long School of Medicine, in an email to faculty members. The training is focused on microaggressions. These are typically more subtler forms of racism, within implicit bias, that can be overlooked. “Microaggressions are the extent to which individuals who are ...

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One Texas Suburb Just Declared Public Spaces ‘Smoke-Free’


Texas Suburb Public Spaces ‘Smoke-Free’

Secondhand smoke damages people’s health every day, including those who live in or occupy places that allow smoking. In Horizon City—a suburb outside of El Paso, one of the cities with the state’s highest Latino population (% Latino)—local leaders just banned smoking in public spaces and businesses. The ban aims to ensure that all who live in the Texas suburb can live without having to breathe in smoke, according to Eva Olivas, the community impact director for the American Heart Association of El Paso and a Horizon City resident. “When people live and work in a smoke-free environment, they can literally breathe easier because they aren’t being exposed to the diseases and risks that come from secondhand smoke,” she told the El Paso Herald-Post. “Far too many ...

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Philadelphia is Fighting Food Insecurity with Food Pharmacies



Food insecurity is impacting Latinos across the US, which includes the children of families who are struggling financially due to the spread of COVID-19. While civic leaders throughout the country need to provide greater support to these individuals, some organizations are stepping up. This includes the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) who recently announced a new location of its Healthy Weight Food Pharmacy — a neighborhood-focused resource that provides families healthy food. "Because food insecurity intersects with other social determinants of health, the Food Pharmacy team also screens patients for co-existing social needs and connects them to appropriate resources," said Alonzo South, Senior Director of Community Engagement at CHOP. "We know that many of our ...

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Texas Advocates Fight for Clean Oceans



Latinos across the US are reminding leaders and businesses of one simple fact: There is only one Earth and everyone must play a part in protecting it. It’s why advocates are doing all they can to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by the severe impacts of climate change — including urging for greater protection of the world’s oceans. Without immediate action, the effects of global warming will continue to wreak havoc across the globe, especially for commentates of color and other disadvantaged groups. It’s facts like these that are causing Latinos to develop a strong voice for environmentalism, according to a recent report from the Hispanic Access Foundation. “We know that the U.S. Latino connection to the ocean and coast is strong, historical and ...

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National Institute of Health Establishes UNITE Initiative to Combat Structural Racism



The National Institute of Health (NIH) has announced a new initiative to address structural racism – the UNITE Initiative. “With representation from across the NIH Institutes and Centers, UNITE aims to establish an equitable and civil culture within the biomedical research enterprise and reduce barriers to racial equity in the biomedical research workforce,” according to the NIH website. NIH hopes that this initiative will help address racism and discrimination that has impacted healthcare throughout history. “Historical racism has led to the marginalization and oppression of Indigenous peoples, African Americans, Latinos, and other communities of color. … Structural racism has resulted in persistent health disparities, poor health status, and premature mortality as ...

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