Womxn Making History • Never-ending Progress • Important PSAs
Womxn Making History
Women’s History Month. March 1 marks the beginning of National Women’s History month, a time when our nation celebrates the vital role of womxn in shaping American society. This includes courageous historical icons such as Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman, who refused to accept the unjust circumstances that were forced upon Black Americans and inspired others to do the same. Their bravery paved the path for Black womxn such as Roz Brewer, who became the first Black female CEO to ever lead a Fortune 500 company.
Breaking barriers. Ms. Brewer isn’t the only woman who is making inroads into previously uncharted territory.
- 29-year old Hayley Arceneaux will become the youngest person to ever travel into space. Hayley is a cancer survivor and also has a prosthetic leg, which makes her the first person with a prosthetic limb to ever be launched into orbit.
- Linda Thomas-Greenfield is the second Black woman to ever receive approval to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
- Palmela A. Smith became the first Black woman to lead the 230-year-old U.S. Park Police.
- Chloé Zhao is the first Asian woman to win Best Director at the Golden Globes ceremony for her film Nomadland. She is the second woman to ever win the award. Barbra Streisand was the first woman to ever receive the award for her film ¨Yentl¨ in 1984. Check out the complete list of 2021 Golden Globe winners.
Progress is never-ending
While womxn and minorities are undeniably making significant progress, there are still many issues that make our Team scratch our heads and ask “why is this still a thing?!” such as:
- Penalizing Black hair. Black students are 4x more likely to be disciplined for discretionary reasons such as violating the dress code or for their hairstyle than students in any other racial or ethnic group. This practice of punishment extends beyond K-12. A study by Dove and the Crown Coalition found that Black womxn are also 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair.
- Formaldehyde in hair smoothing products. Companies continue to manufacture hair straightening products or smoothing solutions that contain formaldehyde. Not only is this dangerous for the people who are the recipients of these products, it’s also hazardous for the stylists.
- Defining a hate crime. Two weeks ago, we shared emerging news about the rising violence against Asian Americans. One of these incidents involved 91-year-old Vichar Ratanapakdee, who recently passed away after a deadly and nonsensical assault. His death and these rising incidents of assault have reignited a national discussion about which incidents are recorded as hate crimes. This has fueled a movement to pass the NO HATE Act which would incentivize federal and local law enforcement agencies to dedicate more resources toward documenting and prosecuting these disturbing events.
- #TimesUp. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which hosts the annual Golden Globe Awards, is drawing criticism since the LA Times reported that there wasn’t a single Black journalist on their 87-member list this year. Variety reported that there hasn’t been a Black member on the list since 2002.
Listeria contamination alert. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recalled several cheeses manufactured by El Abuelito Cheese, Inc. due to listeria contamination. Listeria is a foodborne illness that is especially dangerous for people who are pregnant, over the age of 65, or have a weakened immune system. Retailers that carry the cheeses are largely concentrated in the Northeast. View the full list of recalled products on the FDA’s website.
New coronavirus variants. In addition to the listeria outbreak, the Northeast is facing another public health issue: a new coronavirus variant called B.1.526. Health officials have documented 735 cases in New York City, with 585 cases identified within the past two weeks. The variant has been identified in 14 other states and is one of five new variants that are drawing concern. The strain was initially discovered in the U.K. and will likely takeover as the dominant variant by the end of this month. While experts are confident that the vaccines are protective against this mutation, there is still a chance that people who are vaccinated can still become mildly sick when exposed.
What’s even more worrisome is the P.1 variant emerging out of Brazil. Researchers have found that the P.1 variant is 1.4 to 2.2 times more transmissible than other known coronavirus strains. Studies also suggest that this variant carries a high chance of reinfection.
Protecting the vulnerable. Even if previous infection by the coronavirus or the vaccines conferred 100% protection from reinfection, public health experts advise that we continue to wear masks and practice distancing measures while in public spaces to protect those who are vulnerable to severe disease. If you’re an audiophile or podcastphile, check out the latest episode of Life Kit to learn more about what you should and shouldn’t do after receiving the vaccine.
Controlling what we can. While there’s lingering uncertainty around the coronavirus, there are still surefire ways to improve our health and well-being such as dynamic stretching before exercise and eating balanced meals. Eating balanced meals doesn’t mean you can’t have snacks. In fact, some snacks like these 5 recipes can boost your energy and nutritional intake.