Latina LEADS Empowers Latinas to Pursue STEAM Education and Careers

Posted on 08/25/2021 @ 11:45 AM

Tags: Technology, Education

By Melissa Cossio

LULAC recognizes that it is critical to empower youth and create a pipeline for Latinas to pursue STEAM college degrees and careers to reduce the economic and educational disparities that are all too prevalent in our communities.

STEM workers are enjoying significantly higher median annual wages than others in non-STEM occupations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in STEM occupations were earning a median annual wage of $89,780, as compared to workers in non-STEM occupations earning $40,020 in 2020. Not only are STEM occupations amongst the highest paid jobs, they are also some of the fastest growing industries. STEM occupations are projected to grow by 8% from 2019 to 2029, as compared to 3.4% for non-STEM occupations.

Although women across the United States have made significant strides in education and economic security, statistics show that Hispanic women still lag behind compared to their non-Hispanic counterparts. Even within the STEM fields, research finds significant pay gaps across gender and racial and ethnic lines. According to a report published in 2021 by the Pew Research Center, the median earnings of women in STEM occupations are about 74% of men’s median earnings in STEM. Hispanic women’s median annual earnings stand at $57,000 as compared to White men’s median annual earnings of $90,600. Furthermore, the National Science Foundation found that while women comprise 25% of the science and technology workforce, Hispanic women represent only 3% of this workforce.

In order to prepare our young women to break into in-demand careers, we must start early. This means promoting better career opportunities through education and mentoring at a young age.

Adding the “Arts” to STEM education is creating new opportunities by connecting the critical areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics together with arts practices and elements. STEAM education is an approach to learning that helps solve real-world problems and drive innovation. STEAM teaches students to take thoughtful risks, think critically about how to solve a problem, embrace teamwork and collaboration, and be creative.

LULAC and Spectrum, part of Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR), a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator, developed the Latina LEADS (Leadership Entrepreneurship Academia Development Series) program. This robust and impactful program for Hispanic middle school-aged girls aims to increase their exposure to STEAM fields through workshops, interactive STEAM activities, keynote speakers, job shadowing, academic and career guidance, and more. The program curriculum features lessons in technology, engineering, cybersecurity, and broadcasting.

The 2019 program pilot cycle featured three (3) sites in Austin, TX who served 100 students. After completing the program, students reported feeling more supported by the adults in their lives and demonstrated an increased interest in succeeding academically, attending college, and pursuing an education and career in the STEAM fields. After participating, 100% of students now feel it is important to graduate from high school, and 95% now believe it is important for women to be in the STEAM fields.

LULAC and Spectrum are welcoming eight (8) sites for the 2021-2022 Latina LEADS program cycle. Learn more about each site below:

San Benito County LULAC Council #2890 - Hollister, CA
San Benito County LULAC Council #2890 believes it is highly imperative that young Latinas are supported with the opportunity to advance their knowledge in STEAM. These next generational leaders must know how important they are to our community and the country. They seek to serve Latinas with 21st century skills in growing demand and hope to encourage academic achievement, strategic and critical thinking, and an understanding of the digital world.

LULAC Women’s Council of Florida #7269- Bartow, FL
LULAC Women’s Council of Florida #7269 identified a great need for STEM education programming within the Polk County Schools and community in Florida. The Latina LEADS program will open their minds and the doors to numerous avenues for young girls, allowing them the opportunity to grow and foster their future careers both academically and professionally. Their vision for this program is not only to educate, but inspire. A key ingredient in their own council’s mission.

LULAC Council #39000 - Dayton, OH
LULAC Council #39000 wants to ensure Hispanic students in Ohio have access to quality and enriching STEAM opportunities to help them dream big and reach high for their own future and career goals. They are highlighting the importance of early academic intervention to support the development of lifelong learners and the future STEAM labor force of Ohio.

Latinitas - Austin, TX
Latinitas is dedicated to empowering all girls to innovate using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to 3,000 girls and teens across Texas annually. Their goal of cultivating a pipeline from the classroom to the technology workspace is achieved through Latinitas’ digital media+tech+culture formula that builds community and inclusivity.

SMU LULAC Council #4277 - Dallas, TX
Southern Methodist University (SMU) LULAC Council #4277 is empowering the next generation of Latina STEAM leaders by increasing their exposure to college and the STEAM fields. They believe that by providing students with experiences in STEAM they can spark an interest that a student may have not discovered otherwise. This exposure lets students discover new fields beyond the traditional career paths they are accustomed to hearing about.

Fab Lab El Paso - El Paso, TX
Fab Lab El Paso is providing Latina students in the El Paso and Greater El Paso area with workshops in critical 21st-century skills such as 3D printing, virtual reality, robotics, computer coding, and more through a PBL (project-based learning) model. They are an important education innovation advocate in the El Paso region and play a critical role in helping El Paso students access career pathways in technology fields.

LULAC Herencia Council #4297 - Killeen, TX
LULAC Herencia Council #4297’s mission is to inspire, nurture, and support the educational attainment of members of the Hispanic community and elevate those in need while fostering leadership to do the same for future generations. They are providing quality, meaningful programming for students in the Killeen area. The Latina LEADS program’s curriculum will reach at-risk Latinas who would normally not have access to STEAM programming outside of school instruction.

LULAC Concilio Zapatista #4383 - San Antonio, TX
LULAC Concilio Zapatista #4383 has partnered with the Brentwood STEAM School of Innovation with the mission “to build capacity in their students and staff, the next generation of leaders and explorers, using innovative STEAM practices to spark their learning to ensure they are globally competitive and armed with the tools and confidence to own their futures.”

Learn more about the Latina LEADS program at LULAC.org/LatinaLEADS.

Sources [i] www.bls.gov/emp/tables/stem-employment.htm
[ii] www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/04/14/6-facts-about-americas-stem-workforce-and-those-training-for-it/

Increasing Digital Literacy Skills & Internet Safety for Latino Students

Posted on 08/17/2021 @ 12:15 PM

Tags: Technology, Education

By Melissa Cossio and Priscilla Garcia

With technology becoming more present in our lives, Latinos must know how to take advantage of its benefits. In 2019, a study found Latinos are behind the national average at internet adoption compared to their white counterparts. Only 61% of Hispanics reported having a broadband connection at home, compared to 79% of their white counterparts. A lack of internet access can result in the loss of employment opportunities and educational success. During the past year, a significant number of Latino students across the country attended classes virtually, and those without access to the internet or internet literacy skills have suffered academically.

Now more than ever, internet safety and digital literacy skills are essential to be a responsible digital citizen and protect your privacy online. LULAC acknowledges the critical role that internet safety has in protecting the community. Latinos who are not familiar with safety are vulnerable to sharing confidential information such as health, identity, and bank information. LULAC has been at the forefront for technology access through LULAC’s technology centers and programs that has serviced over 250,000 people across the country and Puerto Rico since 2007.

In 2019, LULAC created the Conexiones program to address the barriers that low-income youth come across with technology in their communities. The program provides youth between the ages of 14 to 18 with basic computer literacy skills and teaches them how to manage the internet in a safe and ethical way while developing their digital skills. Workshops focus on topics such as technology, digital citizenship, how to use the internet for career readiness, privacy and security, and cyberbullying.

During the pilot cycle, 95 students participated in the program of which 73% stated they were able to take the lessons learned in the workshops and apply them to their everyday lives, and 92% were interested in pursuing a STEM career after graduating from high school. Youth familiar with technology will have safer internet habits and be less likely to fall behind in school.

In partnership with T-Mobile, LULAC is welcoming five sites in Arizona, Florida, New York, Texas, and Virginia for the 2021 Conexiones program cycle. LULAC and T-Mobile’s commitment to address the digital divide, expand awareness of internet safety, and highlight the benefits and opportunities to connect to the internet will empower students to create positive technology habits that will be used in everyday activities.

The Conexiones program will also promote exposure to STEM fields of study and careers in an effort to increase the pipeline for students pursuing STEM-related occupations. According to a Pew Research Center report published in April 2021, Latinos are underrepresented among both STEM college degree graduates and STEM workers. Hispanic workers account for 17% of the total workforce across all occupations but only 8% of the STEM workforce, compared to their White counterparts who make up 63% of the total workforce and 67% of the STEM workforce. To increase the representation of Latinos in STEM industries, Conexiones is connecting students with STEM professionals who are serving as role models.

2021 Conexiones Awardees

Richmond Region LULAC Council #4614 - Richmond, VA

Richmond Region LULAC Council #4614 serves the Latino community in their city as well as the surrounding counties in the region. They focus their work on improving the education of Latino students and this year they are focusing on increasing Latino representation in local and state leadership roles while also organizing child center activities that encourage Latino students to continue their education. They have partnered with the Tuckahoe Middle School of Henrico County Public schools to be a strong catalyst in regional efforts to improve the lives of students by developing and implementing high level, futuristic STEM courses, curricula, programs and resources for students which spark interest and develop competencies needed for STEM studies and careers.

Northside High School - Houston, TX

Northside High School’s mission is to promote student creativity, problem solving, resiliency and employability skills through real world, hands-on, college and career readiness community service projects. Their sponsor is also the media club sponsor who has spearheaded and/or assisted the school with grant writing efforts (and included students in the grant writing and implementation process). Allowing students to proactively research grants applicable to their projects and in turn not only apply but to build social capital. They plan on incorporating the topics that students are already learning about with the curriculum for Conexiones.

LULAC WOMEN'S COUNCIL OF FLORIDA #7269 - Bartow, FL

LULAC Women's Council of Florida #7269 caters to the needs of women within their community. Their purpose is to help advance in women’s issues and see their progress. Their vision for this initiative is based solely on the needs lacking within the Polk County Schools and community for young aspiring Latinas. The Conexiones Program will not only open minds, but doors to numerous avenues for these young boys and girls allowing them the opportunity to grow and foster their future careers both academically and professionally. Their vision for this program is not only educational but inspirational. A key ingredient in their council’s mission.

LULAC Council #23101-New York, New York

LULAC Council #23101 in New York will provide each student participating in the Conexiones program with guidance, knowledge, and confidence to work in the STEM/STEAM fields. With staff, resources and connections, the council will offer lessons on all 8 pillars of internet safety and digital literacy.

LNESC El Paso - El Paso, TX

The mission of LNESC El Paso serves low income families within their community and has had 10 years of experience with Technology Educational Programs. Their mission is to create lifelong learners and leaders within the Hispanic community. LNESC strives to provide the highest quality educational opportunities possible and seeks to develop America’s future workforce by effectively preparing young people for the jobs of the new economy. This will be their second year participating in the Conexiones program as they were one of the two sites in our 2020 pilot cycle.

Learn more about the Conexiones program at LULAC.org/Conexiones.

Curbing the Obesity Epidemic in the Latino Community

Posted on 06/29/2021 @ 02:15 PM

Tags: Health

By Dr. Jose Aleman Diaz
NYU Lagone Health, VA New York Harbor Healthcare System

My family, originally from Puerto Rico, has been fortunate that none of us have developed serious complications from our weight. Still, overweight and obesity remain a concern for me when I think about my loved ones and the broader Latino community. When I came to the United States to attend Harvard Medical School, I studied metabolism, the way our body uses and redistributes energy, and endocrinology, the science of the body’s glandular systems. Both are integral to how we think about obesity as a disease.

Before we go further, I need to make the distinction between weight and obesity. A person’s weight is the number they see when they step on a scale. As individuals we naturally come in varying shapes and sizes but the moment excess weight begins to negatively impact your health – shortness of breath, elevated blood sugar levels indicating pre-diabetes, and more – we have to begin addressing the onset of the disease obesity. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Medical Association (AMA) define obesity as excess fat accumulation that leads to complications in a person’s health.

In the Latino community, rates of obesity are higher than in the general population, and they are increasing at alarming rates. In my research I focus on fat tissue and how it communicates with other cells in the body to produce inflammation which predisposes a person with obesity to other diseases like diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and more recently complications from COVID-19. Obesity is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness and leads to higher rates of hospitalization, ICU admission, and death.

Obesity is a multifactorial disease influenced by a person’s environment, lifestyle, access to health care, and more. Our tools for treating people with obesity include trained physicians, lifestyle interventions, new safe and effective medicines, and surgery. Most often a person with obesity may need a combination of those, in a continuum of care, to reach their health goals.

Do I Have Obesity?

How do you know if you have obesity? Doctors use a calculated formula of your weight and height to generate what’s known as your body mass index or BMI. A normal BMI is 18 - 25. Overweight BMI in class 1, is between BMI 25-29.9 and the BMIs for obesity increase from there. Class 1 overweight is 30-34.9, class 2 obesity is 35-39.9, class 3 obesity is BMI greater than 40. It’s important to note that the risk of developing health complications increases with each higher class of obesity you may have. However, more than simply looking at numbers, your doctor evaluates your body for where it stores fat. Specifically, when fat is stored in internal organs, like the liver, the complexities can ultimately lead to enlarged and diseased organs requiring a transplant or making bariatric surgery more complicated. Diabetes caused by obesity is the most common cause for kidney failure leading to renal disease, forcing patients into dialysis treatment.

Considering these classes, your physician can work with you to create a care plan that dictates the treatments you need to meet your BMI goals. Together, you’ll decide on a combination of diet and exercise, medicines, and possibly surgery to help you reach a healthier BMI for your body.

What Causes Obesity?

Researchers are investigating the causes this multifactorial disease. A person’s environment is one of the most important factors in the disease’s prevalence. Highly caloric diets lacking nutritional value can manifest in food deserts where Latinx communities don’t have access to healthy nutrient rich, lower calorie food. Social determinants of health such as lack of access to care, differences in care delivery, and health disparities are also contributors.

Lack of exercise and an active lifestyle is a secondary factor, but it’s a common misconception that exercise is highly important. Ask anyone who’s been trying to burn calories on a treadmill, and they’ll tell you the calories in one donut or soft drink would immediately put back the calories they burned during the workout. However, exercise is still important for maintaining weight loss.

Family history needs to be considered and rare genetic mutations occasionally cause obesity. Hormone treatments are available to treat those one in one-million cases.

Psychologically, food is comforting to many people so there’s also a mental health component to managing obesity. Comorbid mental health issues, like depression, can be significant factors in obesity’s grip on a person’s individual health progress. It’s important to consider addressing food dependence with mental health professionals.

Under diagnosis and Under Treatment of the Disease

Before obesity was recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association in 2013, medical school training didn’t have the language to educate doctors on obesity as a disease, there was no framework to treat people with obesity, and there have been no mechanisms for dedicated professionals to treat the disease. In the last decade recognizing and treating obesity has emerged as a priority and it’s becoming clear there is a shared responsibility among those of us in the medical profession, patients and families, policy makers and insurers to address obesity in a multidisciplinary way.

There are very significant efforts to educate my clinical colleagues through the Obesity Society or the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM). ABOM is growing very rapidly as we see physicians of diverse specialties learning and applying obesity medicine to their work. Still, discomfort with discussing obesity with patients and patient discomfort having the conversation with their physician are challenges to effective treatment. I often counsel my colleagues to ask permission to discuss obesity related issues with questions like, “Can we discuss how your weight might relate to your health?”

Another concerted effort from the Obesity Society, Obesity Care Advocacy Network (OCAN) and other professional societies is to increase access to anti-obesity medicines (AOMs) by supporting the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA). The legislation will increase access to obesity treatments and AOMs, addresses inequities in obesity care, and fights stigma and weight bias in the U.S.

Stigma and Weight Bias

People with obesity might not receive adequate health care, and they might be discriminated against in the places we live, work, and play. Disparities in access to health care, quality of service, and the burden of preventable chronic illnesses continue to be deeply impactful issues in Latino communities. Excluding and marginalizing people with obesity leads to inequities throughout the health care system. For instance, rates of bariatric surgery are extremely low, only 1% of eligible patients receive the surgery, in part because many of my colleagues don’t perceive obesity as a serious disease and therefore don’t refer their patients to specialty obesity care or surgery.

Obesity stigma occurs at many different levels, therefore acknowledging the existence of the disease, diagnosing it accurately, and offering appropriate obesity treatments along a continuum of care are important for a new mindset toward those who are struggling. It’s time to improve our actions and our language. Using person-centered language like, “persons with obesity” instead of “obese”, helps remove the negative connotation of the adjective. It seems subtle but adopting de-stigmatizing language goes a long way to help patients feel empowered.

The Cost of Obesity

The financial toll of obesity is commonly overlooked. Not only is the disease detrimental to your health, obesity is extremely costly. It’s the kind of medical problem that could threaten to bankrupt the U.S. healthcare system. The severity of the disease’s far reaching medical toll is estimated to put the financial burden at $480-500B. The individual financial toll of obesity is estimated to be $2500 annually per person with obesity. For example, reducing obesity lowers the risk for type 2 diabetes, and therefore eliminates the costs associated with diabetes-related health care visits, insulin prescriptions, diabetes-related comorbidities and more. Weight and maintaining a lower BMI can save your life and save the system money.

What You Can Do

Talk to your doctor – If you are concerned about your overweight or obesity negatively affecting your health, have an honest conversation with your doctor and ask about getting support. Request a referral to an obesity care physician to start a treatment program tailored to your goals and needs. Your program should include nutritional education, physical activity options, psychological support, prescribed anti-obesity medications (AOMs) as appropriate, and surgery when necessary. The right combination of these factors can help you reach and maintain your BMI goal.

Make Incremental Sustainable Changes – You should start by making small changes that you can manage and are sustainable for your lifestyle. You’re more likely to maintain smaller incremental dietary, and movement goals than you are to try to sustain drastic lifestyle changes. Managing obesity with your physician’s support is a marathon, not a sprint.

Keep Moving Forward – Focus on new personal health care regimens while breaking old habits, beliefs, and addictions. Consistently make weight management part of your daily routine while accepting that you might need help along the way. Treating any chronic disease, like obesity, requires dedication to meeting your health goals and an open mind to accept the support your body needs. You can do it. There are so many personal benefits to a healthier, more active, longer life when you’re committed to managing obesity. There’s no solution that’s right for every patient, and each person needs a support system to maintain progress. Obesity is at the center of so many health, economic, and mental health issues that we must get a handle on it individually, and as a community. We can get there if we manage obesity together.

Learn more about Dr. Jose Aleman’s work and research at www.ltor.org.

The Fight for Clean Air: The Latino Community at the Forefront

Posted on 06/16/2021 @ 10:35 AM

Tags: Environment, Civil Rights, Health

By Cintia Ortiz
LULAC Environmental Justice Fellow

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how damaging air pollution can be to Latinos’ health. Air pollution increases our susceptibility to getting the virus and complications due to our high exposure to pollution, underlying health conditions, and lack of access to adequate health care coverage. As of April 2021, Latinos are 2 times more likely to contract COVID-19, 3 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19, and 2.3 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than our non-Hispanic white counterparts. The pandemic has made it crystal clear that communities of color bear the burdens of the 21st century. Climate change exacerbated by air pollution is slowly killing our black and brown communities.

The Leading Air Pollutants and Effects

Air pollutants come in distinct shapes and sizes and harm human health and the environment in different ways. The major air pollutants of today are ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, toxic air pollutants, and greenhouse gases.

Ozone can be found in the upper atmosphere (stratosphere) where it functions as a protective layer against harmful ultraviolet rays. However, ozone at the ground level (troposphere) poses serious health problems such as pneumonia, asthma attacks, and decreased lung function. Latinos and children are more vulnerable to these risks. Ozone pollution is created when nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and sunlight mix. Nitrogen oxides are released with the burning of gasoline, coal, and other fossil fuels.

Particulate Matter pollution (PM) is made up of extremely small particles and liquid droplets including acids such as nitrates and sulfates, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. PM poses serious health threats to the heart and lungs as it can cause asthma attacks, respiratory problems, and even death.

Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide are released from the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon Monoxides are mostly released by vehicle engines burning fossil fuels. Exposure to this pollutant can cause dizziness, tiredness, and even death. High levels of exposure to nitrogen dioxide can increase an individual's receptiveness to respiratory infections, shortness of breath, and coughs.

Sulfur Dioxide comes from the burning of coal, oil power plants, and factories. This pollutant can complicate breathing for individuals with asthma, irritate the human body such as the nose, eyes, and throat.

Toxic Air Pollutants such as arsenic, asbestos, and benzene come from different sources but can be linked to causing cancer, birth defects, and breathing complications. Many of the toxic air pollutants come from fossil fuels and chemical plants or building materials.

Greenhouse Gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide trap heat in the atmosphere causing the planet to get warmer. Climate change will increasingly cause severe weather, extreme heat, air pollution, water pollution, environmental degradation, and forced migration. This will increase heat-related illnesses, asthma, malnutrition, fatalities, and mental health impacts.

Geography of Latinos and Pollution

Latinos are more vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution given the geographical risk of where they live, work, go to school, and play. Communities living near oil and gas facilities are experiencing disproportionate health effects due to lack of clean air, as well as, additional health risks from toxins in the air. Latino communities are more likely to bear the burden of serious health risks caused by air pollution from coal plants or oil and gas facilities. More than 1.78 million Latinos, live in areas where toxic air pollution from oil and gas facilities is so high that the cancer risk due to this industry alone exceeds EPA’s level of concern. Additionally, 1.81 million Latino individuals live within a half-mile of an oil or gas facility, with increased exposure to pollutants at a cost to their health from oil and gas air pollution. These factors contribute to Latinos’ relatively high asthma rates. For example, over 3.6 million Latinos in the U.S. suffer from asthma, Latinos are also twice as likely to visit an emergency room for asthma, and Latino children are twice as likely to die from asthma compared to their white counterparts.

  • Occupations such as agriculture, construction, and landscaping, where Latinos are overrepresented, are vulnerable to increased risk of exposure to contaminated air and increasing temperatures associated with uncontrolled carbon pollution.
  • Latinos have higher rates of commuting in high-density areas, living near energy plants, and working with hazardous chemicals all of which raise an individual’s susceptibility to air pollution and COVID-19.
  • Latinos are 165% more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of particulate matter pollution
  • 48% of Latinos in the US live in counties that frequently violate ground-level ozone standards

Health Care

Latino populations in the U.S lack equal access to health resources and care. Greater risk of exposure to pollutants and lack of equal access compounds the burden on historically underserved Latino communities. This health disparity, a difference in health that is closely linked with social or economic disadvantages impacts the overall health and quality of life for Latino families. Economic disparities translate into older or outdated housing while also disproportionately placing Latinos in vulnerable areas compounding health disparities. Economic disparities combined with lower access to health care coverage poses a challenge to the survival and resilience of these communities by increasing these health threats from air pollution into an increased health burden on Latino communities.

  • Latinos are less likely to receive proper asthma medication, have access to an asthma specialist, and far less likely to receive follow-up care after an asthma emergency.
  • More than 40% of Americans, over 135 million people are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particulate pollution.
  • People of color are over three times more likely to be breathing the most polluted air than white people.
  • Hispanics have the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group. In 2019, 50.1 % of Hispanics had private insurance coverage compared to 74.7% non-Hispanic whites.

Latinos Care

Given the impacts, it is no wonder that Latinos support immediate action on climate and air pollution. Young people in particular are committed and energized to ensure elected officials address the climate crisis, create a racially just economy, and build a clean energy future.

  • A March 2020 poll found that 78% of Latino voters expressed that they have personally experienced the impacts of climate change.
  • Additionally, 86% of respondents said they are more likely to support a candidate who invests in clean energy than a candidate who wants to expand oil drilling.
  • In a 2015 poll, 59% of Latinos believed that the U.S would improve economic growth and create new jobs if stronger environmental laws were enacted.
  • 85% of Latinos also believed it was extremely important or very important to reduce smog and air pollution.

The Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act is a fundamental federal law protecting those who live in the U.S. from interstate and intrastate air pollution. This legislation has led to environmental and public health benefits across the U.S. Since 1990, there has been approximately a 50% decline in emissions of key air pollutants, translating to a reduction in air pollution and preventing hundreds of thousands of cases of serious health effects each year. Given the attacks of the previous administration on the Clean Air Act, it is important to continue to protect the Clean Air Act in order to reduce emissions that are harmful to Latinos of all ages and opposes any effort to loosen its regulations placed on coal, oil, or gas facilities in the United States.

What Can be Done

  • Find and contact your elected officials and urge them to protect the Clean Air Act to reduce emissions that are harmful to Latinos of all ages and oppose any effort to loosen regulations placed on coal, oil, or gas facilities in the United States
  • Demand the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reinforce and enhance the Clean Air Act’s regulations, efforts, and programs.
  • Engage in state and local efforts that aim to reduce air pollution and or push back on any efforts that attack the health and longevity of your community.

Additional Resources

Check if your city is among the Most Polluted Cities by Ozone and Short Term or Annual Particle Pollution in the U.S. - Click Here
Find out if your school or home is in the oil & gas threat radius: Click Here
State of the Air 2021- Click Here
Oil & Gas Methane: Mapping the Path to a 65% Reduction: Click Here
Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act: Click Here
Visit LULAC’s & EDF’s Vivendo Verde Website: Click Here
Moms Clean Air Force: Click Here
Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative Toolkit: Click Here

Cintia Ortiz is an Environmental Justice Fellow for the LULAC National Office in Washington, D.C. Cintia assists with the management of LULAC's environmental justice portfolio, including mobilizing the Latino community to enforce and drive protections for clean air, water, health, and climate. Her previous experience includes working with policy, environmental justice, and disaster relief in Texas and Washington D.C. Cintia holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geography, a minor in Data Analytics, and a GIS Certificate from the University of North Texas.

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