underserved communities

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.



love.fútbol Japan × NIVELCRACK × CITY BOYS FC

This charity t-shirt is created by love.fútbol Japan, NIVELCRACK and CITY BOYS FC  to celebrate openings of community soccer fields in Mexico through love.fútbol projects.

love.fútbol partners with and empowers underserved communities to build simple soccer fields for youth without safe places to play.
80% of profits from every t-shirt purchase will be donated to love.fútbol.

[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).

“I think one of the things that people are addressing in these conversations about representation and being able to enter the field of publishing if you are from a disadvantaged background is how important it is in finding those organizations that support specifically underserved communities. And not only that to foster the people in those communities like “you’ve benefited from those organizations” but now it’s your responsibility to carry the torch and help people get into the field.”

Discussing how one gets into the industry brings about so many variations in answers and Diana Pho’s was a unique one in a way as well but also one in which she remembers to also extend that help as a minority to other minorities.


“In their time, they were the biggest hip-hop group in the world, and they managed to say what millions of kids in inner cities wished they could. Their music predicted what would happen if nothing was done about the tension between underserved communities and a too-aggressive police force. And those predictions are still coming true, which says a lot about N.W.A’s foresight, but not a lot about how much we listened.”

— Lizzie Plaugic, for The Verge


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.


BookUp, our after-school reading program for underserved communities, is expanding! In partnership with Inside Out Literary Arts, today we launched BookUp iO Detroit at Garvey Academy in Detroit.

Instructor Shawntai Brown said, “I’m in love with writing, I’m in love with poetry, I’m in love with the written word.” She’ll share her passion for literature with her BookUp students, helping them dive deeper into books and become lifelong readers.

Each BookUp student received a copy of Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, which is a Finalist for the National Book Awards. To date, BookUp has given away over 25,000 books to young readers.

Learn more about BookUp here.