underserved communities

Imagine on a hot day you had to walk miles to get some water for yourself and your family and carry gallons of water back to your home. Then imagine, you have to do this every day. This is only one of many challenges many people around the world faces to access water. United Nations General Assembly recognizes the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledges that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights. Yet clean and safe water is not very accessible for many underserved communities around the world.

“I work for Waukegan Public Library in Waukegan, IL. My department provides education and literacy for this underserved community including low literacy levels, low computer skills, low English language skills, low graduation rates, low socioeconomic levels. I have the pleasure of witnessing success stories of our patrons who attend the digital literacy programs that I coordinate.  The most recent one involves a man who was working as a temporary employee at a local business.  He found out that in order to be hired permanently he needed computer skills.  He signed up for our 6-week basic computer class.  He gained the skills to prove to his supervisor that he was qualified to become a permanent employee.  Along with getting hired, he received a $2/hour raise!  While he is continuing to take additional computer classes at our library, he is working towards his GED.  He has become a computer helper to the other students in his GED class based on the skills he obtained at our library’s digital literacy classes.  These types of programs are crucial in helping to bridge the digital divide that continues to increase daily between our underserved community members and those who are more fortunate.”

— Kim Lunt, Digital Literacy Coordinator, Waukegan Public Library

Tell us your library story.

'Black Lightning' Boss: 'This Is an American Story, This Is Not a Black Story'
EP Salim Akil breaks down The CW’s new midseason super series

The CW’s superhero slate is expanding even further with Black Lightning.

Slated for midseason, this update of the groundbreaking comic tells the story of electricity-manipulating metahuman Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), who has logged nine years as a high school principal when he is jolted out of superhero retirement after his own soon-to-be-super daughters are essentially threatened by local gang The One Hundred.

Developed by executive producers Salim and Mara Brock Akil, alongside Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, this Black Lightning’s battles are even more grounded in social justice than when Jefferson debuted as one of DC’s first African-American heroes in 1977. While topics like Black Lives Matter, race relations, and police brutality are on the docket, Salim Akil stresses, “This is an American story, this is not a black story… We’re going to be culturally specific, but universal in our themes so everyone can see themselves in these stories.”

Below, Salim Akil previews the new drama ahead of its Comic-Con debut. (Stay tuned for an exclusive first look of Jefferson building his new suit, along with an interview with Williams.)

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sorakhhikari98  asked:

Why am I always thinking of altean Lance, I mean IT LOOKS that it perfectly suits him! And it could explain the wormhole in the first episode of season 1. I mean *sighs* dreams of a fangirl...

I am not a fan of altean!Lance, and let me tell you why.

Lance is canon Cuban. He is a PoC and is representation for a very underserved community in entertainment. And when we finally get some interesting latinx representation, you guys want to take it away.

That would be like saying that Lance’s Cuban-ness was just a mask, something pretend, something to be in the interim before returning to his “““true””” Altean self, and I am not comfortable with that at all. It delegitimizes his actual real earth culture.

Another big problem with this is that why is there a hyperfixation on Altean Lance? And the answer is because he has dark skin and is skinny. Why isn’t anyone asking about Altean!Hunk? You know why. Also I really really loathe the mentality that fandom can take where dark skin = Altean. Like Coran is proof that Alteans come in all colors. So why are you trying to throw away the culture of the dark skinned characters? Why not Altean!Pidge? That could be interesting. The Holts being Altean. Or Altean Shiro??

So I would much prefer Lance not be Altean in canon. In fact, on the minuscule chance he turns out to be, I will probably be angry.

For fanon and AUs, I feel similarly. FanFiction is a great way to explore cool ideas, and exploring an Altean!Lance could have the potential to be interesting. Before I talk about this, I want to clarify. Within the popular Altean!Lance fics and AUs, there is two main camps. One is where Lance has secretly been Altean during the events of the show. The other are AUs where Everybody’s-an-Alien. I am completely fine with Altean!Lance AUs where everybody’s an alien. Like Keith is Galra and Hunk is also Altean and Pidge is a cyborg or however you want to slice it. Those are cool, because they shift the position of all the characters, not just Lance.

But the problem is the former. I literally have never seen an Altean!Lance fic that was set where Lance is Altean the whole time he’s in Voltron that also isn’t racist. Because these fic writers pay absolutely zero attention to the Cuban part of Lance, and focus on Altean. Which is so backwards because Voltron has zero world-building. Literally none. It’s actually a pet peeve of mine. There literally is no Altean culture. We have yet to see any sort of consistent behavior or actions that could constitute a culture. On the other hand, we have an actual, real, in this world culture, that is beautiful and intricate and interesting yet which one do these fic writers choose to focus on?

I have already said that I would be willing to read an Altean!Lance fic set in the Voltron universe if it wasn’t racist. I’m not saying all Altean!Lance fics are bad or racist, cause that’s not true. It’s just there’s been a lot of subliminal anti-latinx sentiment in this fandom and I am not on board with that, especially not for fanon.

The Integrity of Medical School

I’ve been in medical school for a little over a semester and I have become very disillusioned with medical school as an institution. I’m glad I’m in medical school and I know how lucky I am to be in medical school, however, I’m struggling with the ethics of medical school as an institution.

It took me six years to get into medical school. In that time I got a bachelor’s degree, a graduate degree, I worked full-time and volunteered nearly 20 hours a week. I took the MCAT and went on interviews and paid for my applications. In that time, I also probably spent well over 30 thousand dollars trying to get into medical school, not including the student loans I had to take out to pay for my pre-med and graduate classes. The cost of my applications, alone, was 5 thousand dollars. And that was the second time I applied. The cost of my interviews were also easily 5 thousand dollars as well. 

When I got into medical school I was excited to become a doctor. I was proud of myself and felt vindicated that all of my hard work paid off. I was ready to start learning how to be a doctor. My first semester was absolutely miserable. The morale of my class was extremely low. We go to a school that heavily emphasizes wellness but a slew of new changes based on feedback from students ahead of us created a schedule that was unsustainable and didn’t leave time for any self-care practice or wellness at all. The idea of wellness became a running inside joke in our class where people would proudly state that they participated in self-care by taking a shower for the first time in two days or by sleeping in past 7am on a Saturday.

But we got through that first semester, propelled by second year students telling us that it would be all downhill after that and that once we started organ systems second semester, we’d be so much happier and have so much time to take care of ourselves and study (because our schedule was so jam-packed that it left very little time to study and our attendance in class is required). We had third year medical students telling us how they would rather repeat their entire third year of medical school and all the crazy rotations that go with it than repeat their first semester. And so we took all of our finals and set off for winter break looking forward to next semester.

Our second semester started a little over three weeks ago. News that we lost six of our classmates spread through the class. They chose to leave or weren’t allowed to come back by the administration. It was an elephant in the room that none of us can talk about because of privacy rules. Still, morale is higher when we start up our organs systems classes.

And that is when I realized what a money scam medical school is. I am required to go to class if I want my class rank to be high not because our classes actually teach us information but because your grade is connected to your attendance, so poor attendance = a poor grade = a lower class rank. I sit in class for up to 9 hours a day and have clinicians read powerpoint slides word-for-word to me, none of which are interesting or helpful to my actual learning and all of which I could have read to myself at home. I am told by our academic administrators to buy resources like First Aid to study for Step 1, they bought us a Q bank but we have to pay for everything else. $900 later, I have subscriptions to Pathoma, RX, Sketchy, and Firecracker. I wanted to buy a set of clinical case books recommended to us but the price on Amazon was $653. By the time I take Step 1 I will have taken out 150 THOUSAND dollars in student loans ON TOP OF the student loans I already have from two bachelor degrees and a master’s degree. 

I will need to pay the fees for the Step exams on my own. I am expected to join various professional societies and pay their yearly fees because it will make my residency application look better even though joining those professional societies has no impact on what kind of physician I will be, how much I care about others, or my Step 1 score. And, of course, those professional societies are so generous and give you a discount because you’re a medical student, so instead of paying $500 you’re asked to only pay $150. But isn’t it worth it to add some fake prestige to your residency application by saying you went to the AMA conference one year? The AMA that endorsed Tom Price for HHS secretary? The AMA that endorsed someone who wants to remove the ACA and condemn 43,000 additional people to death due to lack of insurance every year. Sign me the fuck up, right?

I am disgusted with the cost of medical school. I knew it would be expensive but I feel it is unethical to ask students to spend so much money applying to medical school and taking the MCAT and then asking them to pay EVEN MORE. Especially when there was so much hand-wringing from the AAMC and NBME about how to make medical school more affordable and how to increase the diversity among students and increase the number of first generation physicians (since studies show that children of doctors tend to be worse doctors than their first generation peers). I have an idea:

Get rid of the first two years of medical school. Make Step 1 the admissions exam for students. Get rid of application fees and the MCAT altogether. Start students up in January, give them a ten week course in gross anatomy, followed by a two week intensive clinical skills course and a first aid/CPR certification, and start them up on wards in April, a full 2 to 3 months earlier than most schools. This gives students 5 to 6 months to explore specialties after their required rotations instead of 2 to 3 which aren’t even really used for students to explore since those are the rotations they need to do in order to get the letters of rec they need for their residency applications (may be the lack of time to explore specialty options is why 60-90% of physicians hate their fucking jobs). 

And then, of course, you have to spend thousands of dollars on your residency applications and travel for interviews, which are not factored in to your student loan awards. 

This will never happen, though, because the AAMC makes billions of dollars in application fees, MCAT fees, and official test prep materials. The NBME makes billions of dollars off the backs of students paying for their exams and the LCME makes just as much. None of the organizations that could change the system have the incentive to do so because they are too busy milking medical students for all the money they have.

I know it sounds like I’m too money focused. The truth is, I’m not. I gave up hope of ever paying off my student loans years ago. I will never pay them back and I didn’t want to be a doctor because of the salary. My disillusionment with medical school as an institution is due to the ethics of it all. When I was applying to medical school there was a huge push to improve medical class diversity and encourage more minority and lower class students to apply. You can get fee waivers and financial assistance to cover the cost of your MCAT fees. But that doesn’t go far enough. Those application fee waivers don’t make booking flights for interviews any cheaper, they don’t lower the cost of having to rent a car or buy a suit for an interview. 

How can we expect students living in poverty to drop 5 grand on interview costs just to get in to medical school? How can we expect students living in underserved communities to afford the cost of Step 2 and the price of travel to and from the 6 locations in the country you can take it? Underserved communities NEED students who understand what living in those communities is like to go back and be their doctors. And, yes, there are scholarships and small-scale help, but I’m arguing that the entire system, right now, is designed to keep students who can’t afford to pay for medical school admittance out. Is a student whose family is on food stamps really going to have $150 to pay for the MCAT? No. 

I look around at the people in my class, which to my school’s credit is exceedingly diverse in race and religious background, however almost everyone in my class comes from a family that was middle class or above. Half of my classmates have parents who can afford to pay for their tuition and living expenses. I am part of the other class that has to take out loans. But when I was applying to medical school and there was a mix up with my teaching assistant stipend that lead to it being delayed, my dad was able to loan me the $2500 I needed to submit my AMCAS application on time. If I had not had a full-time job as a graduate student, though, I would not have been able to afford the cost of interviewing, and a third of the interviews I went on were local. 

In class, we are asked to think about treatment plans for patients and discuss them with each other. The girl sitting next to me says she thinks this ethics class is a waste of our time. The patient is an overweight child who we need to counsel, she lives in a run down part of a large city. We work together on her treatment plan and my partner comes up with a list of groceries to buy. I point out that the patient in question is a minor and likely not in charge of her food and that the education needs to be directed towards the parent and the patient. I also point out that due to the income level of the area they live in, the patient’s mother is likely relying on food stamps. I go over the grocery list and not a single thing is realistic. I point out that food stamps cannot be used to buy milk. My partner is shocked, her eyes widen; when I tell her how food stamps in my state can’t be used to buy rice, her entire world is turned upside down. I voice this in class when we are invited to share. A male classmate who is openly gay and voted for Trump comes up to me and asks me to explain why food stamps can’t be used to buy milk. I do and he doesn’t know what to say.

I look at my classmates who do not understand what poverty looks like in reality and I think about the people I know in rural towns who blew their entire savings trying to get into medical school only to be told when they didn’t get in that they needed to go take the MCAT again because the 29 they got wasn’t good enough, they needed a 30. The people suggesting this to my friend recommend taking an MCAT course not realizing the closest one would be two hours away and that the nearly 3 grand the course costs makes that impossible, not to mention the cost of taking the test again. It doesn’t matter, though, because she wouldn’t be able to afford all of the resources for Step 1 let alone the cost of THAT exam once she got into medical school. She works as a CNA in a nursing home.

How can we put such a financial burden on students applying to medical school? How can we ask medical students to pay so much money for residency applications, licensing exams, and tuition? How can we do that and then ask them to enter a profession that requires them to get permission from insurance providers and hospital administrators to order a damn chest CT? How can we ask them to pay so much money and then ignore the fact that there aren’t enough residency spots available for all of them to train in? How can we ask pre-med and medical students to pay so much money when the health care system is in shambles and the only people making money are hospital CEOs and insurance companies? How can we expect medical students to pay back their massive student loans in a system like that? Why are institutions like the AAMC so comfortable setting so many medical students up for failure?

Because my school emphasizes wellness, we have mandatory wellness classes we have to attend. Because, in medical school, giving students time to practice self-care isn’t as important as requiring them to attend a four hour class telling them they need to practice self-care and get lots of sleep, all while requiring them to be at school by 8am and making us sit in class until 5pm, giving us five hours of the day to study before we do it all again. And, of course, in those five hours of study time we also need to fit in time to exercise, feed ourselves, and maybe speak with our loved ones for five minutes to make sure they are still alive. Because self-care!

I wouldn’t say I’m jaded about medical school this early on but I am questioning why this system is in place. Why pay for two years of medical school when everyone just uses First Aid and Step resources to get a good score? I think medicine, as an institution, is really stuck in this idea of “well, I had to do it so you do, too” which I think is a really dangerous way of thinking. I think if medical students have extremely high rates of depression and anxiety (myself included, however mine was with me long before medical school) and it just gets worse through residency and becoming an attending there’s something wrong with the system. And if something isn’t working, why shouldn’t it be fixed? “Because I went through it and you should, too” isn’t a good enough answer for me. It’s also not accurate, right? The doctors who are saying that bullshit excuse went to medical school in a different time, where they could actually make decisions about patient care without having to call an insurance company for permission first. They went through medical school when it was actually affordable. They went through medical school when the idea of a woman being a doctor was either not allowed, unheard of, or looked down on, because who would take care of their kids at home while they went through residency if their wife was in medical school? 

So, yeah, they went through medical school and worked all of these hours and paid for medical school but the context was different, so I still want to know why such an archaic system that is already financially unattainable for people we NEED to be doctors and is quickly becoming financially unattainable for anyone who doesn’t have a trust fund is allowed to exist. I want to know why a 60-90% dissatisfaction rate is considered acceptable among physicians without any examination of the system that makes them into physicians.

@blackwall.st - Currently, there are about 35,000 coin laundries in the United States, generating nearly $5 billion in gross revenue annually. This 70-year old business concept is especially popular in the country’s inner cities, but very few laundrymats are owned by African American entrepreneurs.

Here are a few Black-owned laundrymats in various cities.

#1 - S&R Laundry Services: Back in 2009, owners Simeon and Ruth Chance (originally from Guyana) came up with the idea for their company when their washing machine broke and they had to use a local laundrymat. Soon after, they launched their very own pick-up and delivery laundry service in the Baltimore, Maryland area. Since then, they’ve opened their first storefront dry cleaner store.

#2 - Heavenly Washes Laundry Matt: (pictured above) Based in Winter Haven, Florida, CEO Shaterra Jordan came up with the business idea while sleeping in a dream when she was collecting unemployment from the field of her studies, nursing. She stepped out on faith with her 401k in hand and opened her first location in 2013. She opened her second location in 2015.
#3 - Laundry Cafe: Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this Black-owned laundrymat is the creative vision of two humble individuals who grew up in the inner city and share the commitment of providing an upscale laundry experience to their customers in underserved communities. They say that this allows them to reinvest in and uplift the communities they serve.

#4 - Kimbark Laundry & Dry Cleaning: In 2007, after selling some South Side apartment buildings they co-owned, Fylynne Crawford and her husband Darryl were shopping for a new business venture in the Chicago, Illinois area. Through a broker, they learned that Kimbark Coin Laundry was for sale, and so they bought it. They have since added a drop-off laundry service, a dry-cleaning service and a pick-up and delivery service.


In this series, we highlight works on view in the recently-opened exhibition “Nuestro Mundo.”

Victor Reyes, La Piña, oil pastel on paper, 2017.

Victor Reyes, Mission of the Humming Bird, linoleum print on paper, 2017.

Artist’s statement:
The Mission of the Hummingbird is a linoleum block print inspired by a story from the land of the Quechauas in which a flower transforms into a hummingbird moving a god to tears with its courage. The tears awaken a serpent, its wings shedding rain on the earth, thus saving it from a terrible drought.

The exhibition “Nuestro Mundo” features two dozen paintings by young adults ages 18 to 26 who are mentored by Art Division, a non-profit organization that trains and supports Los Angeles youth from underserved communities who are pursuing careers in the visual arts.  The students used “Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin,” another Huntington exhibition, as inspiration.

“Nuestro Mundo” is open weekends only Sept. 16, 2017, through Jan. 8, 2018, in the Brody Botanical Center.

How To Not Get Your Soul Sucked Out

Hello to my followers, with a special wave to my new followers!

You may have read that I recently took a social media writing job which took up most of my time. Due to the nature of the job, I found I was working very hard to generate writing that was mostly derivative, most attempts I made at addressing issues that were at all controversial were denied. I found myself too tired to do anything else, including my writing and photography. It felt almost like having my creative soul sucked out.

Now I find myself mostly unemployed again, save some freelance work. This brings me back to two regularly occurring life questions that I’m sure all of you have asked at some point:

  • What can I do to make a living?
  • What do I want to do? - which in my case includes being creative.

I’ve decided to pursue two tracks in addressing these questions. The first will involve a more traditional job search of applications and networking. The second will focus more on reaching out to share and communicate with others on creativity and how to promote creativity and mindful expansiveness in our lives. 

So, I’m brainstorming. I want to increase my creative output so people like you, who have enjoyed and supported my fan fic and other work, can get the fruits of the labour I love, and I can satisfy my soul’s need to generate original work and art. I also want to have a stable and livable income.  

I’m thinking of starting one or more sites to explore these themes, concentrating on creativity (especially creative arts,) mindfulness, and fear, as in the fear that holds us back from doing things and how to counter it.  These sites would have content, but also might serve as places to communicate and share support with other people who want to increase creativity in our lives. I would love for all of it to have a special emphasis on diversity and how creativity can be fostered for women, people with mental health issues, lgbtqia people, people of colour and other underserved communities who do not have as many resources available to them as “normative” society allows more socioeconomically dominant other people.

Here are the types of questions that could be addressed about creativity:

  • What does it mean to be creative?
  • How can you fit creativity into your life?
  • How can you use creativity in various aspects of your life?
  • How are your opportunities for creativity different than for other people?
  • How can you spark creativity?
  • How do you move creative spark into doing?
  • How can you enjoy creativity and overcome perfectionism?
  • How can you encourage creativity in yourself and others?
  • How can you find people to collaborate with?
  • How can you approach other people about collaborating?
  • How can you make money being creative?

As for tying in how fear fits into the picture and how one can address it:

  • How does fear affect your creativity?
  • How do you recognize fear as it happens in yourself?
  • How do you recognize fear as it happens in others?
  • How can you address fear when it happens?
  • How can you accept fear without immediately reacting to it?
  • How can you process fear and move through it without escalation?
  • How can you put fear to good use?
  • How can you collaborate with other people to address fears?
  • How can you handle fears surrounding creativity and making money?

I’d love to hear if any of this interests you and any thoughts you have on it.  Please  send me a message about it if you’d like to share! 

Cheers! :)

Daniel ___ is a clinical social worker, a leader in team-based mental health treatment programs, an advocate for hope and recovery, and the nemesis of stigma and oppression.

As a graduate of ___, he majored in Biological Basis of Behavior and Science, Technology & Society. It was there that he learned about his love for majors with long names and his fascination with the way that historical, biological, psychological, and technological systems influence individuals and entire communities. He eventually went on to pursue his master’s degree in social work at ___ and was a participant in the ___ Project for Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in Mental Health.

Prior to the start of his professional career, Daniel was brought to this world in Pennsylvania by his parents, Cambodian refugees who experienced the terror of the Khmer Rouge, and he grew up as part of the sole Asian, Teochew-speaking family in an underserved area of north Philadelphia selling Chinese take-out to a neighborhood with sinking homes. After years of taking part in acts of internalized racial oppression through making conscious and unconscious attempts to live up to the false mythology of the model minority, Daniel discarded the route of popular prestige. He became a social worker to create system-level changes within a framework of anti-racism and recovery while accepting discouraging amounts of money for encouraging the well-being of young adults in underserved communities.

Following his internships in youth development and education programs and a forensic ___ team, Daniel went on to work in a ___ program in Coney Island for the __. After having been a social worker for a little over three years, Daniel was selected to become the current Team Leader and ___ for the agency’s ___ program. He utilizes motivational interviewing along with other evidence-based strategies to foster hope, resilience, and recovery. Because the majority of the ___ participants are employed and/or attending school, he is proud to highlight his team’s success in portraying the importance of reducing the duration ___ and the need for early intervention and coordinated specialty care. He is actively invested in family involvement, trauma-informed approaches, and systematizing collaboration in a multidisciplinary community. He is currently learning Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to further his clinical skills.

Daniel was also chosen to become one of the leaders of the __’s Confronting Structural Racism ___ initiative and facilitates its ___ People of Color Caucus. Utilizing his interdisciplinary mindset and knowledge of structural oppression, lessons learned from his published research, and his experience as an Asian American who is ambivalently unafraid to bring people to the edge of discomfort, Daniel has been actively building a community to undo racism at his workplace and in the community. He is also an active member of the ___ Asian American Mental Health and serves as a leader in the Professional Development Group’s planning and organizing committee.

His passions in the empowerment of entire populations and limiting the effects of oppression have led to his current goal of developing a broad network of individuals seeking to mentor one another, redefine the meaning of wellness, and create sustainable changes to improve the systems people encounter and occupy.

So I am participating in an alumni panel discussion and was asked to provide my bio.

Parents, mentors, curiosity inspire passion for science

For Black History Month, we asked NSF Graduate Research fellows “Why a career in science?” Here are more of their answers.

“I study new technologies for making fertilizers and disinfectants from human urine. Why? Because making value out of urine can avoid water pollution and increase access to toilets. I use electrochemistry and ion exchange to capture nitrogen in useful forms. Science has always been exciting to me because of the model of asking and figuring out how to answer questions. I am thankful for lots of mentors and opportunities that pointed me to where I am today: combining my love for problem solving with improving the health of overlooked people and our environment.”

– William A. Tarpeh,  Ph.D. student, Department of Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

“Early in my scientific career, the NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) supported my research project at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) identifying pharmacological regulators of cilia length. This experience inspired me to join the Physiology program at Yale, which allows me to pursue similar interests and apply my basic science training to a medically relevant disease.”

– Lindsey Stavola, Ph.D. candidate, Yale School of Medicine

Keep reading

Here’s another one for you: 31 year old female comes into the ER complaining of abdominal pain for 6 months. When asked when her last period was, she responded January.

Me: “is there any chance that you are pregnant?”
Her: “no I don’t think so, I’m too old.”
Me: “You are still able to carry a child at 31. Are you using any birth control?”
Her: “no, I told you I’m too old.”
Me: “….so I’m going to have you pee in a cup for me, ok?”

This is what happens when we neglect to provide our underserved socioeconomic communities with access to basic healthcare education. Diabetes patients don’t know how to test and control their blood sugar, and 31 year old females are walking around ignorantly 5 months pregnant.

Cuba: Where Real Human Rights are the Foundation of Society

The whole world reacted to the death of Cuba’s historic leader Fidel Castro. For most of us there was sorrow; respect for a life well lived. The revolutionary process he unleashed created measurable improvements to the lives of many ordinary people on every continent.

But there was another reaction, too. Pres.-elect Donald Trump declared he wanted a “better deal,” demanded that Cuba release political prisoners that don’t actually exist and rolled out slanderous code words “dictator,” “tyrant.” In a little more than a month, the president-elect will lead a country where police kill Black and Latin people – men, women, children, transgender – with impunity. Yet he is quoted by the Washington Post saying that Fidel’s legacy is the denial of human rights.

With International Human Rights Day around the corner, the National Network on Cuba will not let this slander go unanswered. Without going into all 30 articles of the Declaration adopted Dec. 10, 1948, the first sentence of the preamble says that recognition of “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all member of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

As winter begins to bite in the Northern Hemisphere, over 500,000 will be sleeping on U.S. streets, under bridges, families with children will be living in cars. Not in Cuba. One mural in Cuba says, “300 million children will sleep in the street tonight, not one of them is Cuban.”

The average U.S. 2016 college graduate owes $37,172 in student loans. Not in Cuba.

In the U.S. millions are being evicted from their homes because of sky rocketing rents and mortgages. Not in Cuba

According to a Kaiser Family foundation survey, the average 2016 family insurance premium costs $18,412 per year.  In 2016, 83% of workers have a deductible — an amount that they have to pay themselves for medical care before insurance covers it — with an average of $1,478. For the first time since 1999, more than half of workers must pay more than $1000 in medical costs before insurance coverage begins. Not in Cuba.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Literacy in an April 2016 study, 14 percent or 32 million adults can’t read in this country. Not in Cuba.

Trump openly advocates water boarding and other forms of torture. From the more than 800 U.S. military installations around the world people have been “renditioned” to torture sites. Since 2002, torture has been taking place in Cuba, BUT ONLY in the territory illegally occupied by the US military base in Guantanamo.

We assert that the Cuban Revolution is an excellent example of the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today. Cuba is a small island country, with development hampered by centuries of colonialism and slavery, and despite having to endure to this day an economic, financial and commercial blockade that has lasted for over 56 years – one designed to impose hunger and privation on its people, the island remains a bright example of humanity to the world.  

The full resources of Cuba are used to develop each individual Cuban to their fullest potential. Universal health care, free education through university, the right to employment, to housing – to dignity is not only guaranteed but implemented.

Over $4 billion was wasted this year on the presidential campaign in the U.S. Just imagine for a moment what that money could have been spent on in terms of social improvements. Meanwhile the people of Cuba enjoy free and fair elections untainted by financial influence. Every Cuban is registered to vote on their 16th birthday. Every vote is counted under the honest and watchful eyes of children. In addition to representation, the Cuban people are directly consulted about the direction of their society through community, union, women’s, agricultural, youth and other organizations. Their views are heeded. Transgender individuals have been elected to represent their area.

So when we hear about Human Rights Day on Saturday, December 10, remember the fundamental human rights enjoyed in Cuba where the 1959 Revolution converted military barracks into schools. One of them is the Latin American School of Medicine where youth from underserved communities around the world – including some from the U.S. – learn to be doctors for free, then go home to serve the people.

Yes, that is real human rights.

Co-Chairs, National Network on Cuba

Alicia Jrapko

Banbose Shango

Cheryl LaBash

Greg Klave

Nalda Vigezzi

Today ten health organizations and community groups filed a legal amicus brief in support of NYC’s proposed sugary drink portion cap rule. The rule, proposed by the New York City Board of Health, limits the size of sugary drinks sold to 16 ounces or less.

The brief recognizes the importance of taking action to stem obesity and chronic diseases, particularly for underserved racial and ethnic communities. It is directed at overconsumption of sugary drinks, a key driver of the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics.

The Institute of Medicine has identified sugary drinks as “the single largest contributor of calories and added sugars to the American diet.”  The rate of sugary drinks consumption is significantly higher among Hispanics and African-Americans. In New York City neighborhoods with the highest levels of obesity, residents are four times as likely to drink four or more sugary drinks a day as residents of neighborhoods with the lowest obesity rates. As a result, African Americans and Hispanics suffer from higher rates of chronic disease and obesity.

The consumption of sugary drinks by African-American and Hispanic youth, in particular, has been fostered by racially and ethnically targeted marketing by beverage companies. Ads for sugary drinks are more frequently present in magazines and television shows that target African Americans and Hispanics. Lower-income black and Latino neighborhoods also contain more outdoor ads for sugary drinks than do white and higher-income neighborhoods.

The brief points out that larger default portion size has led to increased consumption. By reducing standard sugary drink portion size to less than 16 ounces, NYC can move towards stopping the twin epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Read the full brief here to learn more about the effects of sugary drinks on American, and read NYC Health Commissioner Mary T Bassett’s statement in support of the brief here.

Thank you to the following organization for supporting this important policy by joining to file the brief: National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Association of Black Cardiologists, Harlem health Promotion Center, New York State American Academy of Pediatricians, United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park, Harlem Children’s Zone, The Children’s Aid Society, National Congress of Black Women, Montefiore Medical Center, and Mount Sinai Health System.

[C]ertain fields in the humanities (e.g., English and Philosophy) place increased value on single-authored scholarship versus collaborative work. This practice may seem at first glance to prioritize (in a nondiscriminatory manner) scholarship that makes it easier to evaluate individual merit. However, this ‘pragmatic’ valuing of single-authored scholarship risks distorting a central feature of the *politics* of producing new knowledge—that is, new forms of inquiry often require new institutions of validation (e.g., feminist presses, new journals) and new forms of collective research and action (e.g., interdisciplinarity and participatory action research). The value given to single-authored scholarship distorts the ways in which collective work is often the only route toward changing academic norms and dominant values, and better attending to the needs of underserved communities (e.g., low income and racial-ethnic minority communities). For instance, edited collections, such as anthologies in feminist and ethnic studies, are rarely valued as significant, promotion- or tenure-worthy contributions by research universities. Yet they constitute one of the most important methods minority intellectuals have pursued for establishing new fields of inquiry and for challenging the status quo. Valuing single-authored publications or peer-reviewed journal articles in high-ranking journals, in other words, is not an unbiased preference for 'high standards,’ since it has historically marginalized new forms of knowledge production (Antonio, 2002).
—  Stephanie A. Fryberg and Ernesto Javier Martínez, “Constructed Strugglers: The Impact of Diversity Narratives on Junior Faculty of Color,” in The Truly Diverse Faculty: New Dialogues in American Higher Education, eds. Fryberg and Martínez (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Cuba-Trained Doctors Head to Standing Rock

A delegation of doctors trained at the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba announced they will head to Standing Rock to “serve in solidarity.”

Dr. Revery P. Barnes, a graduate of ELAM, said in a post on Facebook, “We answer the call to serve in alignment with the mission and core principles of our alma mater and dedication to our commitment to serve underserved communities in our HOME country.” The delegation will work in collaboration with the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council.

“While Cuba instilled in us an unwavering commitment to internationalism, with the acceptance of a full scholarship to medical school at ELAM, we made the moral commitment to respond to the needs of our most vulnerable communities here at home in the U.S.,” the statement continued.

On Wednesday, the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council – which has been providing emergency and chronic health care services to the thousands of water protectors gathered at Standing Rock – issued a warning about the grave health and safety threats posed by escalating use of violence by Morton County Sheriff’s Department and Dakota Access Pipeline security personnel, whom they described as creating “war-like conditions.”

The Latin American School of Medicine was created in 1999 by the Cuban government and is one of the largest medical schools in the world, with approximately 19,550 students from 110 countries. All students receive a full scholarship, including room and board, and preferential treatment is given to applicants from marginalized groups who intend to return and practice in their own communities. The school plays a key part in Cuba’s widely-hailed medical internationalism, which has seen the socialist country send over 80,000 health care workers to over 94 countries to provide treatment and assistance to impoverished or underprivileged populations.

anonymous asked:

Hey! Just wondering if you had any Stanford!Sam and/or Sam/Brady (as friends or a couple idc) headcanons? Just in a Stanford!Sam mood and was wondering :) :) :)

Goodness yes! Ask and you shall receive, beautiful anon.

  • I have so many heart-breaking, angsty-as-hell headcanons about the first time Sam gets sick away from home. Fevered Sam asking for Dean and confusing his roommate. I have oodles of feelings about this.
  • Brady is the first person Sam really talks to, a day or two into orientation. They meet, and Brady first thinks Sam is shy and stuck-up, but he says or does something that hits one of Sam’s buttons and earns a tirade + bitchface combo. That’s when he knows they’ll be great friends.
  • (And they are.)
  • Brady is not immune to the puppy eyes. No one is immune. Sam doesn’t actually know when he’s using them, though.
  • Brady was the son of a single working mother who was adopted by rich AF relatives when his mother passed and you can’t convince me otherwise. 
  • I love the idea of both Brady and Sam occupying a space they don’t really feel comfortable or confident in, of Brady longing for the simplicity and closeness he had as a poor kid with his Mom and Sam longing for the sort of middle-class one-home-for-life-with-a-two-car-garage-and-a-dog-and-freaking-holiday-dinners life he’s only read about. Both of them see it in the other but also understand that sense of displacement and get along like wildfire after a questionable first meeting. Ugh, I’ve pretty much headcanoned out their entire friendship right up to that fateful Thanksgiving Break when Brady came back demon-possessed.
  • Brady finds himself weirdly protective of Sam, who is sometimes reckless to the point of self-endangerment.
  • Sam feels guilty that he has no pocket change to spend on outings and tries to earn money where he can.
  • Yep. Did anyone ever wonder how Sam got so freaking good at poker that he won against a centuries-old witch in season 5?
  • But when Sam can’t pay, Brady brushes it off with a joke about making Sam carry his books or something and covers Sam.
  • Brady and Sam definitely tried to have at least one gen-ed class together per semester and were dangerously competitive when they did. It was great for their GPAs.
  • Brady went into pre-med with big dreams. He saw how working so hard and having no medical care to speak of wore his mother down, and he wants to be a doctor in underserved communities. He wants to give his services instead of taking, and it’s all tied up with a little guilt. Probably why he got along so well with Sam. 
  • They talk about their respective pasts while they’re drunk one night after midterms in their sophomore year; we know how Sam is when he’s drunk. Brady thinks Sam means ‘demons’ and ‘ghosts’ in some really deep symbolic way. If only he knew.
  • Sam definitely went on at least one hunt while at Stanford. Probably something simple like a vengeful spirit. Something he thought he could do with his eyes closed. I’m thinking pre-Jess. Probably Freshman year, when he’s still sort of lost and having trouble meeting people, questioning himself and his decisions. So maybe, just the once, he reverts to old behaviors and gets thrown headfirst into a claw-legged old-fashioned bathtub and has a nasty concussion, misses two days of classes (and knows no one well enough to ask for notes and also feels shaky and inferior at the idea of talking to his professors), but manages to get rid of the ghost. Job well done, but he’s never doing it again. 
  • Sam tried hard to be normal and be worth the attention and care of the people around him. After Brady went off the rails, he wondered if it was his fault, or if someone else would have been able to help Brady get better.
  • After that, Sam sort of went through the motions with friends like Zach and Rebecca Warren, and he enjoyed their company and they enjoyed his, but he never really tried to open up again.
  • (Not until Jess.)
  • Brady took Sam home for Christmas in their Freshman year because he absolutely refused to accept that Sam planned to find part-time work through Winter break and spent the holidays in his dorm room alone. Jess took Sam on a road trip for Spring Break of his senior year.
  • *quiet sobbing* Someone stop me or this will never end.

An in-depth look at the lives, experiences, and professional careers of Black mathematicians in the United States.<br
Erica N. Walker presents a compelling story of Black mathematical excellence in the United States. Much of the research and discussion about Blacks and mathematics focuses on underachievement; by documenting in detail the experiences of Black mathematicians, this book broadens significantly the knowledge base about mathematically successful African Americans. 

Beyond Banneker demonstrates how mathematics success is fostered among Blacks by mathematicians, mathematics educators, teachers, parents, and others, a story that has been largely overlooked by the profession and research community. Based on archival research and in-depth interviews with thirty mathematicians, this important and timely book vividly captures important narratives about mathematics teaching and learning in multiple contexts, as well as the unique historical and contemporary settings related to race, opportunity, and excellence that Black mathematicians experience. Walker draws upon these narratives to suggest ways to capitalize on the power and potential of underserved communities to respond to the national imperative for developing math success for new generations of young people.

Beyond Banneker adds to a little-known piece of American history.” — CHOICE

Erica N. Walker is Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the author of Building Mathematics Learning Communities: Improving Outcomes in Urban High Schools.