I ask my students, who are you meant to care about in society? The answer is always clear to them – I have been taught in such a way that I’m mostly incapable of caring about indigenous peoples. It’s not that they don’t want to, it’s that it takes years of hard work. And who has that much time or is willing to be vulnerable in the face of the seemingly unending gulf that lies before them?

Darryl Leroux, "In Honour of Loretta", an Inuk woman found murdered in New Brunswick on February 26th. c/o Halifax Media Co-op.

historical oppression does seem like an unending gulf, indeed.

As with health-related matters, the process of transformation begins with recognizing that there is a wound. In this case, the process begins with listening to the needs of those who have been historically excluded from higher education and wounded by its complacency. Supporting students of color in higher education thus means supporting their wellbeing, which is inextricably linked to risk factors beyond individual determinants of health.
explore-blog
It is difficult to change our lives because we constantly tell ourselves stories about who we are and what we’re capable of. However, your story is often changing, so you may feel compelled not to mention anything until it is certain or has already happened; we aren’t something, until we are.

Sarah Kathleen Peck offers some advice on answering the dreaded “So, what do you do?” question. 

Also see Philippa Perry on how revising that inner storytelling keeps us sane and Timothy Wilson on why it’s the root of psychological change.

(via explore-blog)
The point is that it’s important to plan our cities, towns, and villages with efficient transportation in mind, so it’s not so hard to get where we’re going — no matter how pretty and Norman Rockwell-esque those curly cul-de-sacs may seem
Everything that’s wrong with the suburbs, in one image. For example, walking or biking a mile in Bellevue (a suburb in Seattle) does not get you as far as a mile in Seattle.

ATTN Public Health-ers. Ban proponents say e-cigarettes are a public health issue. I got this link from a School of Public Health classmate on Facebook. Smoking cigarettes is a long-standing public health issue, with its association with higher risks for disease. Banning smoking has been used as an intervention to decrease rates of smoking, but effects have varied across populations, for example, among adults. Two commenters point out:

1) Honestly, “If this device turns out to be safe”? It’s been proven to be safer than cigarettes. This is not for our own good, but for control.

2) “That’s true, and it’s also the point.” So the point is to limit incentives for smokers to switch to a clearly safer product? Or is the point control?

Safety of e-cigarettes as an alternative to cigarettes, and control of an uncontrolled product with unknown long-term effects - what do you think? Also consider public spaces, effects of mass media attention on the issue… how do the physical and social environments play into e-cigarette use and regulation?

When my mass communications professor asked me, “What’s the biggest issue facing public health today?” my answer was income inequality. I’ve come from the other end of the spectrum, being interested in the experiences of living in conditions of poverty and homelessness. This is a great piece by Alan Berube that illustrates what has been happening with income inequality using statistics. Oddly, even though these are things we know and see and perceive on the daily and I am not a statistically-minded individual, I actually really like the way this information is presented. And, check this very early paragraph:

Inequality may be the result of global economic forces, but it matters in a local sense. A city where the rich are very rich, and the poor very poor, is likely to face many difficulties. It may struggle to maintain mixed-income school environments that produce better outcomes for low-income kids. It may have too narrow a tax base from which to sustainably raise the revenues necessary for essential city services. And it may fail to produce housing and neighborhoods accessible to middle-class workers and families, so that those who move up or down the income ladder ultimately have no choice but to move out.

This takes it away from a “them vs. us” or “us for them”, but towards a “cities are complicated and we all live in them and we need to talk about it” way. Still, the question remains: how the heck do we dig ourselves out of this one?