Hispanic Heritage Month: Our Culture is Our Strength

This post is also available in English below. Nuestra cultura es nuestra fuerza El mes de la Herencia Hispana en los Estados Unidos se celebra desde el 15 de septiembre hasta el 15 de octubre. Aunque nosotros los latinos no limitamos nuestras celebraciones a días especiales, aprovechamos cada oportunidad que tenemos para celebrar. Siento orgullo poder celebrar nuestra cultura, nuestros éxitos y nuestra historia con toda la comunidad latina y con la comunidad de Filadelfia en general. Tenemos mucho para celebrar. En el poema, “La mancha de plátano, el poeta puertorriqueño, Luis Llorens Torres se refiere a esa cosa de nuestra herencia que ni el jabón no las quita de encima. Así como la mancha del plátano, tenemos esas cosas culturales que por mas que uno trate, nadie no las puede quitar. Ni deben intentarlo. Poder ser quienes somos de forma autentica es necesario para nuestro bienestar. Nuestra musica es musica de alegría. Nuestra comida fortalece el alma. Nuestra historia esta repleta de éxitos. Nuestro idioma acaricia el corazón. Para el Latino que es recién llegado a este país tal como el que nació aquí, a veces buscamos forma de quitarnos la mancha del plátano para poder asimilarnos. Desafortunadamente, nos olvidamos de esas cosas que nos hacen ser único y son esas cosas nos da [...]

2022-09-29T14:38:10-04:00September 30th, 2022|Awareness, Community, Racial Equity|

Minority Organ Donation

Did you know that over 60% of the people waiting for a new organ are minorities? Or that one individual donor can heal over 75 people with just their tissue?  Minority organ donation statistics are surprising.  For example, nearly 20,000 people of color received organ donations in 2021. Just one-third of those organs came from minorities. In discussions about organ donation, the truth is often mirky. “I’d like to help, but it’s against my religion,” or “My body is too old.” These statements are not true. That’s why minorities should be concerned about organ donation myths. Let’s look at some of them, and get to the facts: My doctor won’t give me life-saving treatment if I sign up to be a donor.  Physicians and other healthcare professionals take the Hippocratic Oath to “first, do no harm.” This includes the lives of donors. Preservation of life is the whole reason that organ and body donation exist. My health isn’t good, so I can’t donate.  Very few medical conditions screen you out as a donor. Regardless of your overall health, certain organs may be healthy and a match to someone on the waiting list. I’m too old to donate. Doctors evaluate each potential donor on a case-by-case basis using strict criteria. There is no set age limit for organ or tissue donation. [...]

2022-08-15T11:21:28-04:00August 15th, 2022|Community, Racial Equity|

The Search for Culturally Competent Care

Fans of the award-winning TV series ‘This is Us’ may remember the episode where Randall decides to switch therapists. The character—a successful commodities trader turned Philadelphia City Councilman—is African American, was raised by a white family, and struggles with anxiety and PTSD. He admits that he isn’t comfortable sharing many of his feelings with his current therapist. His new doctor is “cool, smart, funny, Black, young father... we got a lot in common,” Randall explains. Does your therapist ‘get’ you? The answer to this question is a key factor in mental health recovery.  Finding a provider you trust, who you connect with and who has experience working with people like you, isn’t always easy. Yet it is especially important for members of minority groups—many of whom suffer generational trauma from systemic racism, yet don’t receive the treatment they need.  The numbers are telling. Forty-five percent of U.S. adults with mental illness receive help, but just 23 percent of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) adults, 33 percent of Black adults, 34 percent of Hispanic/Latinx adults, and very few Native people with mental illness get treatment.  This is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month—a time to focus on the unique struggles around mental illness that minority communities in the United States face, along with the solutions. Finding culturally competent providers is one [...]

2022-07-05T13:10:15-04:00July 1st, 2022|Mental Health, Racial Equity|

For Black Women Who Say They’re OK When They’re Not

How are you feeling?  As leaders in our communities, workplaces, families, and homes, Black women are often carrying a physical and emotional load for themselves and those around them. Earlier this year we got a sobering reminder of the invisible baggage we carry when we learned about the death of Cheslie Kryst, former Miss USA and entertainment news correspondent at Extra.  From the outside, the 30-year-old appeared to have it all. With a pageant crown, multiple degrees, talent, and charisma, she exuded what some would describe as “Black Girl Magic.” But in a social media post confirming her suicide, Kryst’s mother, April Simpkins, revealed Cheslie was dealing with high functioning depression.   What is high functioning depression? The clinical term is dysthymia. According to Psychology Today, three causes of high functioning depression are trauma, intergenerational depression, and unresolved frustration, something many Black women know about. In 2007 the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development published the report “Cultural dysthymia: An unrecognized disorder among African Americans?” The report states, “After more than 250 years of enslavement, prejudice, and discrimination, dysthymia is reflected in chronic low-grade sadness, anger, hostility, aggression, self-hatred, hopelessness, and self-destructive behaviors.” As we’re starting to emerge from the pandemic and the stress of the past two years, it’s OK to not be OK. But if you’re not, it’s important [...]

2022-06-15T13:43:05-04:00July 1st, 2022|Mental Health, Racial Equity|
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