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Three Heroes Blazing a Path for Equitable Transportation


equitable transportation for Latino communities

Equitable transportation that is safe, affordable, and reliable can boost a person’s health and social mobility. But too often, public money pays for projects that widen historical gaps in access to transportation options for communities of color. Latinos, for example, face many transportation inequities that cut off connections to health-promoting assets─like affordable housing, green spaces, and medical care. This also makes it harder to lead healthy lives, according to a Salud America! research review, The State of Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space. That’s why we at Salud America! are spotlighting three Salud Heroes who are pushing forward for equitable transportation for Latinos and all people! Minerva Perez’s Free Ride Program Helps Latinos Overcome ...

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Priced Out: How a Brilliant Cartoon Explains the Housing Crisis in San Francisco


characters from the priced out series on housing in san francisco

Media producers Joseph Smooke and Dyan Ruiz have seen the harsh impact of unaffordable housing on Latino families in San Francisco. Rents rise. Wages don't. Latinos get priced out of their homes—forced to move further away from health-promoting assets like jobs, transit, and medical care. Many people don't know why this happens, or what to do. Smooke and Ruiz, who created a media group to advocate for equitable public policies, wanted to empower families who face housing crises and build public demand for solutions. So they went to the drawing board—literally. San Francisco and Unaffordable Housing Looking for an affordable place to live in San Francisco is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Especially in places like the city's Mission District. The ...

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Toledo Mom Fights for Clean Drinking Water for Her Own, All Children


Toledo Safe Water Action

Crystal Jankowski ran the faucet in her hospital room for 12 hours straight the day she gave birth — all in hopes that the tap water would come out clean for Amelia, her newborn girl. Just days before her delivery in August 2014, the city of Toledo, Ohio (8.3% Latino) told residents not to drink the municipal water. High levels of health-threatening toxins contaminated the public water supply sourced from Lake Erie. Jankowski, a Toledo-native, wanted to do something for her two children and all kids. So, she became an organizer for Toledoans for Safe Water (TSW), a group with an idea for a controversial Lake Erie Bill of Rights to enable residents to sue lake polluters. “When you fight for clean water you are fighting for people of the reservations, you’re fighting for ...

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Phoenix Children’s Hospital: Creating a Culture of Bike Safety for Latino and All Kids


Injury prevention specialist, Juan Tarango created a six-week, hands-on bike safety course for fourth grade students in Phoenix, AZ.

Juan Tarango of Tempe, Arizona, has been an avid cyclist for over 30 years. For him, it’s about exploring, exploring his city, state, country and even other countries. He loves to see kids ride bicycles, having fun and getting physical activity. But he hated seeing how many kids show up with bike-related injuries at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital ER where he worked. “One kid─wasn’t going fast, wasn’t doing tricks─falls, hits his head, and ends up with life-changing brain injury,” Tarango said. Tarango wanted to help. He wondered: What could he do to teach Latino and all kids bicycle safety behaviors, and thus reduce  bike-related injuries? Children, Bicycling, and Injuries Bicycling is good for your health. For kids, it can help develop muscle ...

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San Antonio Health Director Gets First City-Funded ACEs Coordinator


Dr-Bridger-sharing-brainstorming-ideas-at-Bexar-County-Trauma-Informed-Care-Consortium-meeting-on-June-29-2018-number2

Dr. Colleen Bridger knows the devastating effects of childhood trauma, from risky behavior to bad grades, to even chronic disease. Bridger saw many childhoods ruined by abuse, poverty, and other trauma in her 20 years running three health departments and a childhood research/advocacy group in North and South Carolina. Health departments rarely coordinate with schools, healthcare providers, police, the justice system, and family support groups to address and reduce the impact of childhood trauma. Bridger wanted to change that. Since taking over as head of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department in 2017, she has worked to create a network of coordinated trauma-informed care for children and families facing adversity, even creating city’s first-ever job dedicated solely ...

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Latina Environmentalist Dedicates Life to Saving the Planet for her Familia


Seguinot-Medina PBDE ACAT

At the end of her life, Samarys Seguinot-Medina hopes to say she made the world a safer place to live for the children in her family. Seguinot-Medina has known two personal truths since she was young: Nature, as well as humanity, are worth fighting for; and there are countless issues to battle — causing her to devote her time, career to promoting environmental justice and chemical safety. That is why, for almost 10 years, Seguinot-Medina and her colleagues at Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) worked to ban hazardous flame-retardant chemicals, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in Alaska (8.9% Latino). Those efforts eventually resulted in passing Assembly Ordinance 2019-15(S), or the Toxic Free Children Ordinance, an Anchorage-wide ban of products containing those ...

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Jorge Olvera Fights Food Swamps with Community Gardens


community garden and Jorge Olvera

Magnolia Park is one of the oldest Latino neighborhoods in Houston's East End. Unfortunately, its 17,800 residents live in a food swamp. Fast food access is abundant. Healthy food access is scarce, as are safe spaces to be physically active. Jorge Olvera wanted to boost healthy food and physical activity at the same time. His big idea? Community gardening. "A great strategy for addressing [food swamps and hunger] is to provide community members a safe space to grow their own food," Olvera said. The Great Need for Healthy Food in Magnolia Park Olvera works for El Centro De Corazon, a federally qualified health center. He witnessed the health center serving a growing amount of Magnolia Park and East End patients who had debilitating chronic and obesity-related ...

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4 Heroes Who Are Revolutionizing Trauma-Informed Care in Schools


4 heroes of trauma informed care and ACEs

Childhood trauma. Adverse childhood experiences. Mental health issues. Whatever you call it, trauma impacts a child’s brain and body. It undermines a child’s ability to learn, build relationships, and contribute in the classroom. Schools can play a big role in supporting students who deal with trauma out of school. That's why we at Salud America! are spotlighting four Salud Heroes who are creating school environments to address childhood trauma among students! 1. Ex-Coach Helps School District Change its System to Create a Culture of Care for Students of Trauma John Hernandez coached football in three disadvantaged school districts in Texas. When a player missed practice, Hernandez took it on himself to visit their home. He would check in on them and offer rides, so the ...

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Game Changer: San Antonio Police to Notify Schools if Kids Exposed to Trauma



Diana Centeno knows kids exposed to traumatic events don’t get the support they need at school. Doug Greene knows police come across kids at crime scenes but feel unable to help them cope. So, they teamed up to start a project where patrol officers send a notification to the district if a child was present at a traumatic incident, enabling monitoring and support for the child. Centeno, a student support leader at San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), is passionate about providing wrap-around, social-emotional services, particularly for children facing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Kids exposed to ACEs often act out in class, miss school, and fall behind, increasing their risk of dropping out, getting into criminal activities, and suffering from poor ...

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