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James Rojas: How Latino Urbanism Is Changing Life in American Neighborhoods


James Rojas Latino Urbanism

James Rojas loved how his childhood home brought family and neighbors together. The L.A. home had a big side yard facing the street where families celebrated birthdays and holidays. Uncles played poker. Aunts tended a garden. Children roamed freely. Mexican elders—with their sternness and house dresses—socialized with their American-born descendants—with their Beatles albums and mini-skirts. Rojas was shocked to find some would look down on this neighborhood. “Why do so many Latinos love their neighborhood so much if they are bad?” he wondered. Rojas, in grad school, learned that neighborhood planners focused far more on automobiles in their designs than they did on the human experience or Latino cultural influences. He wanted to change that. Rojas has spent ...

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Police Chief, Superintendent Start Program to Support Traumatized Kids


Gault and Savage launched the Handle With Care Program in Moline Illinois

Police Chief Darren Gault believes kids deserve more support in avoiding risky behaviors. Gault knows when police officers interact positively with kids inside schools and out, they help kids stay in school and stay away from crime in Moline, Ill. (16.8% Latino). But officers already have so many unfunded mandates on their time. That is why Gault was so excited when he learned about the low-burden, no-cost “Handle With Care” program, which provides positive interactions for kids who experience traumatic events. Gault shared the program with Rachel Savage, superintendent of Moline-Coal Valley School District. Together, Gault and Savage—with help from a Salud America! Action Pack—are launching the Handle With Care. People in Moline Face Stress, Violence Gault and ...

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Amanda Merck: Propelling Civic Engagement in San Antonio and Beyond


Amanda Merck

Amanda Merck isn’t only a content curator for Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, a public health representative for the Active Living Council for a Healthier San Antonio, and a teacher of group classes for Fitness in the Park. She is a fighter for equitable transportation, equitable access to parks, and an advocate for children who experience trauma. Merck is a poster child for civic engagement for health equity─and she is dedicating her time and career to help countless others become civically engaged, too. ‘Never Any Talk about Civic Engagement’ Merck grew up in many different places including California, Texas, and Montana. As the daughter of a low-income, high-school dropout, working was meant to pay the bills. “There was never any talk about civic ...

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From Living in a Sick Home to Making Others’ Healthy


Hayward Sick Home Score

Bill Hayward learned a disturbing truth when he ventured into the crawlspace underneath his home. For a year, he, his wife Adriana, and other members of their family experienced consistent migraines, mood swings, extreme fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and a host of other health problems — with no root-cause explanation. They sought help from experts and professionals alike to no avail. Using a last-ditch, do-it-yourself test, Bill discovered their home itself was full of mold and that it was responsible for their symptoms. "It's terrifying and heartbreaking," Adriana said. "I felt really hopeless; the medical profession not really knowing what to do with it and dismissing it. It was just a very dark and sad time for our family." Mold and other environmental factors can lead ...

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Alison Corcoran: Why We All Must Stand Up to Bias, Health Inequity



As a white woman living in Boston who grew up all around the world, privileged and well-educated, Alison Corcoran was a stranger to injustice and health inequity. “I’ve never been denied anything,” Corcoran told Salud America!. That all changed 11 years ago when she became a foster parent to her African American son. Experiencing Health Inequity and Bias First-Hand When Corcoran’s son joined the family, he was only in the first grade. During the family transition meetings, his social worker had told her: “Make sure you take him to the dentist soon – I don’t think he has ever gone.” So Corcoran took him to the family dentist for a cleaning and exam. During the appointment, it was no surprise that her son had multiple cavities. Then, it came time to visit ...

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This City Ditched its Car-Centric Traditions to Better Serve All Transportation Users


Road Diet on Union Street to include bike lanes

Fred Dock knows that, as cities grow, managing transportation gets tougher. Dock, who headed up transportation for Pasadena, Calif. (34.4% Latino), also knows many cities overly focus on reducing automobile congestion and boosting speed, thus neglect walking, biking, and transit. Two things happen in these cities. Roads become dangerous for people walking and biking, and people are forced to depend on automobiles—the dirtiest, least efficient, and most expensive mode of travel. Dock wanted to help Pasadena out of this trap. Pasadena city leaders hoped to create an integrated, multimodal transportation system with choices and accessibility for everyone. But they wouldn’t achieve this vision using current auto-centric road metrics—that’s when Dock stepped up to ...

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Dr. Jabraan Pasha: Tearing Down Implicit Bias in the Doctor’s Office


Jabraan Pasha implicit bias training doctor and leader

In training, doctors and other healthcare providers are taught to disregard their own personal upbringings, and that of their patients, from clinical decisions. But doctors are susceptible to their unconscious bias. Dr. Jabraan Pasha is changing that. Pasha created a workshop to spread awareness of implicit bias─the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions unconsciously─in the healthcare system. “The workshop aims to make us realize we are not bad people because of [implicit bias],” Pasha said. “We have these biases that are there. Agree or not they are there, and this can help people take steps to correct it.” “It’s important to remove shame and guilt.” Pasha’s Discovery of Implicit Bias Pasha, a native of Tulsa, ...

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