Confined Youth

Photo courtesy of theassailedteacher.com

Photo courtesy of theassailedteacher.com

As the number of incarcerated youths in America continues to rise, there is some hope to be found in alternative approaches that are being adopted throughout the country.

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Sight Privilege and You

Anthony Butler on the New School campus.

Anthony Butler on the New School campus.

It is the spring semester of 2014, and I am currently the only undergraduate student at the New School who is blind.  At times it has proven to be very difficult: making friends has been immensely challenging, as well as finding my way around campus, or even locating an accessible computer to print my assignments. Since coming to this university, I have suffered from a number of anxiety attacks, some instances of racism, and a multitude of broken guide canes, but overall it has been one great experience. As I walk the hallways of The New School, competing to find my way on to packed elevators, dueling with other students to make that right turn on the 5th floor, I think to myself, “How can these people be so damn rude?” But then I remember, it’s not their fault.

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Making Every Minute Count: An Insight Into Making the Most of Your Medical Appointment

Image courtesy of Drmgenesis.com.

Image courtesy of Drmgenesis.com.

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance has become more accessible. Prior to ACA, 21% of blacks did not have health insurance. However, with the Medicaid expansion and premium tax credits, 94% of uninsured blacks will be eligible for coverage. While over 6 million Americans have signed up for health insurance through the exchanges, it is impossible to determine how many of them are minorities at this time. Current administration hopes increased coverage will improve access to care and address racial health care disparities. A key component to successfully addressing these disparities is educating newly insured minority patients about making the most of their doctor visits. Regular annual physician visits are needed to detect and treat the initiation of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Equally important, patients should have any new symptoms or physical changes diagnosed and addressed by a physician. With this in mind, there are a few ways to prepare for either a new patient or new complaint visit.

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Victory of Vieques

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In April 2010 the W Hotel opened a Retreat & Spa on the beautiful island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Vieques now welcomes visitors from around the world… “Bienvenido a la Isla Bonita.”

From the W Hotel Website:

Lose yourself in the tranquil island life at this luxury Puerto Rico resort and let the stress of the every day recede with each wave. Frolic in our secluded natural haven and discover charmed island life amid lush landscapes. Starwood Preferred Guests can use their points to visit this luxury hotel and its white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Starwood Hotels & Resorts call it ‘a new way to escape’. You would never know from this that ten years earlier and less than 8 miles away, the US Navy was using this beautiful ‘island paradise’ as a practice range to test missiles, bombs, and other weapons.

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Breastfeeding Challenges in the Black Community

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When I was pregnant I heard from many of my friends how wonderful it is to breastfeed your child. They talked of the “liquid gold” that is breast milk and rattled off an endless list of health benefits. What no one really prepared me for was how many questions I would have when it was a supposed natural process. And even more so, the anxiety I felt about properly feeding the tiny baby in my arms. The questions and struggles were daily and I found myself spreading my questions out to my friends who responded with answers and pep talks.

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Through The Looking Glass: The House of LaBeija

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Pepper Lebeija from the documentary Paris is Burning.

The House of LaBeija “walked” onto the scene in 1960, when black drag queens started holding their own events in Harlem, where they would mix fashion and dance dubbing it “walking.”Ball culture, as this phenomenon soon became known, provided the underground LGBT community a place to gather, and find protection from a disapproving society; a place to truly let there hair down, and let the makeup fly.

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Preserve That Sexy

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We all know how hard it is. Choosing between the couch and a run after a long busy day. But we also know that if we actually do go for that run, that booty is going to keep sitting where it belongs!

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Tackling Food Justice at Corbin Hill Farm

Photo courtesy of the Corbin Hill Farm Facebook.

Photo courtesy of the Corbin Hill Farm Facebook.

As more of our food becomes processed and obesity rates skyrocket, attention naturally turns to issues of food justice—namely access equality and production sovereignty of affordable, high-quality, healthy, fresh food. One such organization tackling this issue is Corbin Hill Farm, started by Harlem-based citizens in 2009, under the leadership of New School Professor Dennis Derryck.

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April is Wellness and Environmental Justice Month!

The Social Media and Engagement team at Progressive Pupil is looking forward to celebrating Wellness and Environmental Justice month this April! We will be spending the month highlighting prominent Black figures related to the fight for improved wellness in communities and environmental justice for everyone via Black Facts, acknowledging significant dates and events in this context, and highlighting organizations that dedicate their work towards progressive wellness and environmental policy. Make sure to periodically check The Progress blog, our Facebook page, and make sure to follow our tweets and retweet! Pass along our accounts to activists, teachers, organizations and colleagues.

How to Accept Help (if You’re Black)

Berkeley Student Kashawn Campbell. photo by Bethany Mollenkof. courtesy Los Angeles Times

Berkeley Student Kashawn Campbell. photo by Bethany Mollenkof. courtesy Los Angeles Times

“How do you get students to accept help?” a teacher asked me.

She was one of a diverse group of dedicated, intelligent young educators who help high school students from smaller income neighborhoods attend college. During our recent conversation, it was mentioned that some of their most hard-working and focused students arrive at a university, confront challenges with course work and then—heartbreakingly—refuse to seek or take advantage of help that is available.

They are so determined to do it on their own, her colleague explained, “because they want to help their families.” These educators’ compassionate concerns and the heavy burden their students are carrying stayed with me. When a teacher asked me, “How did you manage to get the help you needed?” I realized that during my entire career as an African American, working-class, queer woman student (Pre-K through PhD) I never did.

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