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Héctor Rodríguez: Bringing Latino Representation to the Comic Book World


hector rodriguez

To his students, he’s Mr. Rodríguez. To his fans, he’s the creator and author of the comic book and graphic novel series El Peso Hero. When he noticed a need for more Latino representation in comic books and literature, Héctor Rodríguez launched his long-time project as a web series in 2011. El Peso Hero is a Latino superhero who fights corruption, drug trafficking, immigration, and other real-life social and racial justice issues happening on the Texas/Mexico border. Now almost 10 years later, Rodríguez has printed several comic books, produced a radio novella and short film, and is working on developing El Peso Hero into a Hollywood production. Rodríguez first found inspiration for El Peso Hero during his childhood on the Texas/Mexico border. Inspiration on the ...

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Jennifer Morris Brings Hispanic Heritage Month to her English Language Learners


Jennifer Morris teaching

You probably haven’t heard of Jennifer Morris. She’s an English Language Learner teacher at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in Philadelphia. But to her students from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Colombia, she is a hero. When Morris noticed that some of her immigrant students weren’t as engaged, she felt a need to add more Latino culture to her classroom. That’s why she helped bring Hispanic Heritage Month to her school in 2019. Becoming an ELL Teacher Morris has always wanted to make a difference in her classroom. Her aspirations to become a teacher began early. “From as long as I can remember, I was always playing school at home. I would beg my mom to go out to buy my sister prizes so I could teach her how to do certain math lessons,” Morris ...

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Denise Hernández: Finding Herself by Unlearning Implicit Bias and Embracing Her Chicana Heritage


Denise Hernández salud hero chicana implicit bias

Denise Hernández is a proud Chicana and a 5th generation San Antonian. She is the founder of Maestranza, an organization based in San Antonio that empowers community members through education, activism, and collaboration with other local social justice groups. She also coordinates events and constituent services for San Antonio City Councilman Roberto Treviño. MySA named her a “Rising Star in Their 20s.” She’s led speaker series, workshops, and even a TEDx talk. Denise Hernández is an educator, activist, and advocate for her community. And at only 29 years old, she’s just getting started. But the journey here was anything but easy. It took years of self-discovery, unlearning biases, and confronting the discrimination that her family has faced for ...

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Ángela García: Helping Her Community Through Art and a Free Fridge


Ángela García Free Fridge

Ángela García wasn’t planning on becoming an artist. She entered college in the pre-med track, intending to go into a medical career. But then she started taking art history classes. And she kept taking them, despite still being in the pre-med track. “I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t like this. Maybe I don’t like the sciences as much as I thought I did. And I’m really interested in this art history curriculum.’ So, I switched over at the end of my sophomore year,” García said. Now she’s a senior art history major at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with several large-scale art projects under her belt, having rekindled a passion for creative work from her childhood. “I used to do painting when I was younger but I kind of fell out of it for a ...

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Jordana Barton: Helping Close the Digital Divide Amid COVID-19


Jordana Barton

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is surging across the U.S., and the American death toll has eclipsed 130,000. Worse, this crisis is widening the gap experienced by households without internet access — a long-festering problem that has made unequal educational opportunities even more unbalanced, said Jordana Barton, a senior advisor in community development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. "The COVID-19 pandemic has brought national attention to the digital divide—the gap experienced by households without internet access," Barton wrote. "Directives for social distancing and stay-at-home orders have made access to broadband an urgent necessity for families as they struggle to stay connected with schooling, jobs, health care, government assistance, and more." The Digital ...

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Need Help? Erine Gray’s FindHelp.org Can Connect You to Local Social Services amid Coronavirus


Erine Gray, founder of auntbertha and findhelp.org social services websites, with his mother in Austin Texas

When he was 16, Erine Gray's mother caught the rare brain disease encephalitis, causing permanent damage and memory loss. Gray moved his mother to Austin, Texas, a few years later to help care for her. He was just out of college with an economics degree, doing contract work. She was 57 years old at the time with early-onset dementia, and no income. He struggled helping her with daily tasks and making sure she took her medications. Gray had to find a sitter for her when he left the house. Eventually she required 24-hour care. "Nobody has a road map for these types of situations, I learned that very early on," Gray said in an interview with Salud America! "We didn’t know what services were available to help." That's why, now 28 years after his mother's diagnosis, Gray is ...

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Jason Rosenfeld: Using Healthcare Messaging to Inform His Community about Coronavirus


Jason Rosenfeld in Africa Ethiopia spreading health awareness communication knowledge

Communication is a critical aspect of the human experience, and, for Dr. Jason Rosenfeld, it is the key to making any societal shift. From working with small communities in Africa to helping rural towns in the Rio Grande Valley, he has devoted his career to crafting the right phrase or infographic that can effect change. This work in healthcare communications has led to numerous victories over countless threats. With the spread of the current novel coronavirus, COVID-19, Rosenfeld, his colleagues, and a team of medical students at UT Health San Antonio are addressing this new danger by creating health messaging to help people understand what this illness is, how it spreads, how to stay safe, and other critical pandemic information. Rosenfeld, DrPH, MPH—an Assistant Professor of ...

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Eric Cooper: How San Antonio Food Bank Feeds People Amid Coronavirus


Eric Cooper directs the San Antonio Food Bank to Help Feed Families amid Coronavirus

Eric Cooper knows what it's like to depend on public assistance programs. He grew up in a low-income family, relying on free school meals and food assistance to get enough food to eat. Today, as CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank, Cooper helps families like his. And with rising amounts of food insecurity amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, he led the Food Bank to orchestrate a whole new way of operating. An army of volunteers has stepped up to meet the needs of so many, by working in back-to-back shifts and implementing new strategies, such as drive-through pickup lines or COVID-19 preparation kits. Their efforts have garnered national acclaim and have turned a crisis into a rallying point for those who need it most. "I think all of us, as human beings find ourselves in ...

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Neighbors Create Mutual Aid Network to Help Neighbors with Groceries, Care


mutual aid grocery delivery for neighbors amid covid-19 coronavirus

How is your neighbor doing during the coronavirus pandemic? In the Boston area, Anna Kaplan, Jessie Norriss, Sophia Grogan, Miriam Priven, Hannah Freedman, and other neighbors saw their neighbors lose jobs, with no money for bills or groceries. They saw college students and non-English speakers get no support. They each wanted to help their neighbors. So, together, they helped create Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville (MAMAS), an on-the-fly mix of multilingual online documents, Google maps, social media, and text-message threads where neighbors can offer to help, and/or ask for help with grocery deliveries, filing for unemployment, emotional support, and more. Since March 12, 2020, MAMAS has connected over 1,000 neighbors to each other and raised over $90,000 to meet ...

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