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Residents Unite to Prevent Private Road from Cutting off a Trail



As an avid cyclist, Brian Pearson loved riding the new $8 million hike-and-bike trail in his town of Fall River, Mass. (8% Latino). Then he learned a new road project could damage the trail. The 2.4-mile Alfred J. Lima Quequechan River Rail Trail—which fully opened in May 2017 after nine years of work and an $8 million investment by the state to improve mobility and access to safe places to play—was jeopardized when city officials tried to enable a developer to build a road that would have crossed and re-routed the trail. Pearson and others were outraged. They gathered information, attended city meetings, and held a rally. They even hired a lawyer to fight for trail preservation. Would it be enough to save the trail? Restoring the River The Quequechan River Rail ...

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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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How One National Park is Attracting Latino Visitors



Cam Juarez knows the bad stats. Latinos are just 2% of visitors to Saguaro National Park, despite being 40% of the population in Pima County, Ariz. They miss a big chance to connect with nature and be physically active. Heck, Juarez himself lived nearby for 26 years before visiting Saguaro. Now Juarez's job—Saguaro's "community engagement coordinator"—is to raise Latino park attendance. And, by mixing cultural events with workforce diversity and bilingual community and school outreach, he's helped raised attendance and at the same time created a model for other parks to solve a national issue: How to get Latinos to come to national parks. How'd Juarez do it? Latinos, Physical Activity, and National Parks Cam Juarez was born with a heart defect—likely due to the ...

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Pediatricians Host Spanish-Language Health Podcast


Dr. Edith Sanchez hosting Las Recomiendas

Getting Latinos to go and see a primary care provider is hard enough. Even when they reach a doctor, many families get frustrated with little time to ask questions. In response, two Latina pediatricians started a Spanish-language health podcast for Latino parents! Drs. Edith Brancho Sanchez and Angela Castellanos of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia started the podcast, "Las Doctoras Recomiendan," in March 2018 to provide reliable, free health information, whyy.org reports. Why and how did they make it happen? The Issue of Latino Healthcare Access At least 27% of Latinos report having no usual health care provider, according to a Salud America! research review. Latino parents face barriers to medical care, like lack of insurance, legal status, language, high cost. This ...

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Latina Filmmaker’s Web Series Helps Bodegas Push Healthier Food



Evelyn Brito went to buy some vegetables for her 2-year-old daughter, but was stunned to find no fresh produce in her local bodega, a small grocery store in her Spanish-speaking neighborhood in Lynn, Mass. (38% Latino). Instead, unhealthy chips, cookies, and processed foods lined the bodega shelves. Brito wanted to change all that. Brito, an independent filmmaker and marketer, turned the cameras on the local food environment and engaged bodegas in finding a solution. That led to “Bodega Makeover,” a unique docu-reality web series. The Junk Food Problem in Lynn Brito grew up around bodegas in Boston. Her father worked in one when she was a child. “I would go to a bodega to get freshly peeled oranges for less than a dollar and the owner would ask me how my ...

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