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Raheem Baraka Makes Latino Family Health a Civil Rights Issue in Boston



Raheem J. Baraka grew up seeing health inequity all around him in Boston (19% Latino). He saw people in one low-income neighborhood suffer more disease, less access to health care, and live 33 years less than people in a wealthy area just 2.7 miles away. He saw doctors treating illnesses, not addressing prevention or social determinants of health. He was fed up. So Baraka started Baraka Community Wellness. The nonprofit group makes health a civil rights issue by creating programs to address health equity and the social determinants of health, such as the unique "Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids" program to connect single moms to access to healthy eating, physical activity, and social support from financial aid to housing advocacy. "I truly have a disdain for disparity and ...

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Minerva Perez Busts Fear, Builds Mental Health Support for Latino Immigrants



Fear. Of being deported. Losing homes. Losing children. Minvera Perez knows Latino immigrants live in constant fear in East Hampton, N.Y. (17.1% Latino), which stresses these parents and kids—not to mention harming their physical and mental health. Perez wanted to help. How could she overcome Latino families' grim fears and stresses, and ease their mental health burden? Levels of Fear Perez is executive director of Organizacion Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island (OLA). OLA promotes cultural, social, economic, and educational development within Long Island’s East End Latino communities, specifically Suffolk County, N.Y. (19.5% Latino). Perez and OLA are speaking up for social justice for Latino immigrants. "Right now, Latino members in our community need ...

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Doctor’s Mental Health & Resiliency Training for Immigrant Kids─in School!


Dr. Heyman Oo Speaking at Families Belong Together San Francisco Rally Source Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Dr. Heyman Oo treated a lot of traumatized child immigrants while a pediatric resident at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and now as pediatrician at a California clinic system. Oo knows these kids often face extreme poverty before immigration. After, they face parental separation, detention, and discrimination. No wonder they also suffer stress, depression, and other mental health issues, and are at risk for dropping out of school and absenteeism, according to a Salud America! research review. Oo wanted to help. She joined a task force designed to support children amid a growing number of unaccompanied minors being apprehended at the California border, which led to a big change. Unaccompanied Minors In 2014, more than 68,000 unaccompanied immigrant minors were ...

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One Man’s Drive to Get Buses Moving in San Antonio


Councilmember Rey Saldaña checks his phone to locate his current route on the bus Source Scott Ball Rivard Report

A few years ago, San Antonio City Council member Rey Saldaña tried his own transportation experiment. He ditched his car and relied on public transit for one month. The good? Saldaña met great people. He read. He explored the city. Parking was no problem. The bad? When buses ran late, he missed connections and showed up late to council meetings. Rain drenched him at bus stops. He had to skip fun activities because of a lack of frequent routes. Saldaña’s eye-opening experiment led him to champion more funding for VIA Metropolitan Transit (VIA), the regional mass transit agency serving San Antonio and Bexar County, which operates with the least amount of funding among all major transit authorities in Texas. His efforts spurred the city to invest millions to improve public ...

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No More Us vs. Them: Trauma Training is Rebuilding Police-Community Trust



Police came to four-year-old Fatimah Muhammad’s house in Newark, N.J. (34% Latino), after an altercation between her parents. They came in with force. They had guns. They aggressively grabbed and body-slammed her father before taking him away, Muhammad said. “I was completely terrified,” she said. “Instead of feeling grateful.” As a kid, Muhammad didn’t have a name for some of the traumas that she and her neighborhood were experiencing, like police aggression, domestic violence, and mass incarceration. But she felt an “us vs. them” sense when it came to police. Years later, amid a wave of unlawful policing in Newark, Muhammad helped seize an opportunity to unite police and community to explore trauma and rebuild trust. ‘Unconstitutional’ Law ...

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Houston Doctor Starts Unique Clinic to Help Young Adults with Diabetes


young adult getting care at the diabetes young adult clinic

Latino youth are facing a rising diabetes crisis. Many lack support needed to manage their disease. That's why Dr. Siripoom McKay of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital helped create the Young Adult Diabetes Clinic to provide a medical home for diabetes management and support for Latino and all young adults. The program helps young adults ages 17-26 who may have been relying on parents for practical things like picking up their medication, setting appointments, and dealing with insurance. Young adults get connected to a physician, dietician, psychologist, social worker, and diabetes educator without parents to make sure they’re ready to go off on their own. This makes a smooth transition as they go out on their own and manage the chronic illness like ...

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Minerva Perez’s Free Ride Program Helps Latinos Overcome ‘Transportation Bullies’


Minerva Perez of Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island (New York)

Minerva Perez hates bullies. In elementary school, Perez did not like when bullies picked on her friends. She became their bodyguard. Today, Perez is standing up to a modern bully—transportation barriers. Limited access to public transportation is bullying Latino families into skipping medical appointments, instilling big fears of deportation, and jeopardizing health in Suffolk County, N.Y. (19.5% Latino). Perez is taking action as leader of Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island. She helped create a unique free van ride program that bridges transportation gaps. It also gives her an advocacy platform to improve public transportation at the local level. How did Perez do it? Is it working? A 3-Hour Bus Ride Getting around in Suffolk County isn't ...

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Nurses Visit Homes to Help First-Time Moms Create Healthy Kids, Families


Sylvia Lopez of the Nurse-Family Partnership in San Antonio

Sylvia Lopez knows low-income mothers need lots of support in South Texas and San Antonio. Lopez knows the research that shows Latino kids start kindergarten behind their peers, experience many childhood traumas, and are at risk of not getting the proper care, services, and environment they need for healthy formative development. That's why Lopez is connecting in-need pregnant women to home visits from nurses to ensure healthier pregnancies, families, and children, through a South Texas application of a national program—the Nurse-Family Partnership. See how the program works and how it's helping South Texas moms, children, and families! The National Nurse-Family Partnership The Nurse-Family Partnership got its start in the 1970s. David Olds, who had just graduated from ...

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