Blog

Review: ‘Material Witness’ Explores Violence Against Indigenous Women [NYTimes.com]

A white-haired woman who says her knees hurt performs the first scene of “Material Witness” at La MaMa. Ominous music plays, followed by sounds of loud exhalation. Or is that the wind? The woman (Gloria Miguel) has just been talking about “each place I leave my voice in the air.” “Material Witness” — a Spiderwoman Theater, Aanmitaagzi and Loose Change production — can be poetic that way. At other times, it’s rowdy and playful, displaying an enormous sense of energy, strength and good will.

New York Aims To Become The Next State To Toss The Tampon Tax [NPR.org]

Feminine products are having a moment. With some calling for a red wave to take the taboo out of menstruation, politicians across the country are trying to make tampons and sanitary pads as affordable and accessible as possible. Five states have eliminated sales taxes on pads and tampons: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland and Minnesota. In New York, a bill awaits the governor's signature, and other efforts to improve access to sanitary products are underway. The bill would...

The Power Of Genes, And The Line Between Biology And Destiny [NPR.org]

As researchers work to understand the human genome, many questions remain, including, perhaps, the most fundamental: Just how much of the human experience is determined before we are already born, by our genes, and how much is dependent upon external environmental factors? Oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross the answer to that question is complicated. "Biology is not destiny," Mukherjee explains. "But some aspects of biology — and in fact some aspects of destiny —...

Human trafficking in the child welfare system: Federal funding opportunity

You can mobilize your ACES community to prevent and address the trauma experienced by trafficked children in the child welfare system. The Administration on Children, Youth and Families - Children's Bureau has posted a funding opportunity for states, counties, cities, school districts, Native American tribal governments and non-profits (and others) that requires collaboration and partnership among and across many sectors to address this complex issue. Only 8 awards are given - Make sure an...

In Modesto now: Community in Unity -- Building Resilience to Trauma

About 230 people fill this room, most from Stanislaus County. The screen has the title of the meeting. Carol Redding, a pioneer in communications about ACEs; Elaine Miller-Karas, executive director of the Trauma Resource Institute; and I will be doing presentations today. Angela Ponivas, bureau chief of the state Office of Child Abuse Prevention, says that she's working to educate people in her department about ACE science. She doesn't want California to get any more D- grades from Children...

QI in the Field: Helping Parents Promote their Babies’ Brain Development [IHI.org]

Judith Dixon is a nurse and health visitor for the National Health Service Tayside in Angus, Scotland. She and a team of nurses conducted a QI project through the IHI Open School Quality Improvement Practicum as part of the Early Years Collaborative, a partnership between IHI and NHS Scotland, to improve rates of play among parents and babies in their district. I asked her a few questions about what she learned. (Learn more about the Open School Practicum, which is now available to...

A New Wave of Deportations Shows Obama's Double-Talk on Immigration [CityLab.com]

The Obama administration is gearing up for a fresh wave of raids against Central American migrants in what’s likely “the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families,”Reuters reported Thursday : Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has now told field offices nationwide to launch a 30-day "surge" of arrests focused on mothers and children who have already been told to leave the United States, the document seen by Reuters said. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson...

The Tricky Pursuit of Diversity at the U.S. Air Force Academy [TheAtlantic.com]

Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson stood at the window of her office and surveyed one of the most orderly college campuses in America. Despite the mild spring weather, there were no students lounging on the grass or blasting music outside the dorms at the U.S. Air Force Academy just north of this mountain town. In fact, it was quiet, save for the low whir of tow planes pulling gliders across the blue April sky. “We’re like an aluminum fortress,” she said, gesturing toward the pointed spires...

Losing Identity During the Refugee Crisis [TheAtlantic.com]

Rachel McCormack arrived in Europe last November to research international schools catering to English-speaking students, but her plans were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the continent’s refugee crisis. Now, she’s spearheading a campaign to deliver Arabic-language books to refugee shelters in the Netherlands. McCormack, a professor of literacy education at Rhode Island’s Roger Williams University, says the crisis felt more real as she watched the European news. “All I was seeing were...

Moms’ Mental Health Matters [NICD.NIH.gov]

It's not just postpartum, and it's not just depression. Historically, much of the research on women's mental health related to pregnancy has been on depression that occurs after the birth of a baby. But, we know now—it's not just the postpartum period, and it's not just depression. Women experience depression and anxiety, as well as other mental health conditions, during pregnancy and after the baby is born. These conditions can have significant effects on the health of the mother and her...

The Four Keys to Well-Being [GreaterGood.Berkeley.edu]

This article is adapted from a talk by Richard Davidson, neuroscientist and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, at the Greater Good Science Center’s recent Mindfulness & Well-Being at Work conference. Well-being is a skill. All of the work that my colleagues and I have been doing leads inevitably to this central conclusion. Well-being is fundamentally no different than learning to play the cello. If one practices the skills of well-being, one...

Lessons from 100-lb weight loss: dignity, respect and love [USAToday.com]

I was yet to turn 40, and my body was already breaking down. It had been a few months since I hurt my back carrying groceries. The injury would not heal, hampered greatly because I weighed close to 600 pounds. I had ignored my morbid obesity for years — even after I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I shrugged and took pills, but still refused to change my diet or embrace exercise. That changed one day in February 2015, when I was reporting a column at Mercy Medical Center and had to stop...

Parenting with ACEs -- a new approach with a new group manager

Last October, I wrote the post “ Parenting with ACEs ” that described how, after reading a post by Christine Cissy White , a light bulb went on for me. As a result, we changed the ACEs in Parenting group name to Parenting with ACEs . We felt that was more on target with people’s experiences. I mean, who isn’t parenting with ACEs? (Well, a few very lucky people are, but not the majority….and we’re all on a mission to change that!) Since then, we’ve upgraded and reorganized the group. It’s...

Paying Attention as the Most Exhausting Part of Parenting with ACEs

I used to sneak away for a hot bath as often as possible when my daughter was in the need-me-every-minute years. I'd soak long past when the water went cold and I felt guilty at times but sometimes I needed to be alone. To read poetry. To have some physical space. To exhale. I didn't always know where or how to pamper or self-care myself. There were few adults I trusted. I believed in attachment-style parenting and wanted to be there all of the time. And that even made me feel guilty when I...

Oregon psychiatrist testifies before Senate Finance Committee on the impact of childhood adversity and toxic stress on adult health

Appearing before the powerful Senate Finance Committee in Washington, DC, recently, Dr. Maggie Bennington-Davis, psychiatrist and chief medical officer of Health Share Oregon, devoted a significant portion of her testimony to the role of adversity and toxic stress during childhood on adult health, both physical and emotional. She explained how Health Share Oregon—that state’s largest Medicaid coordinated care organization—examined the people with the costliest health bills and found them to...

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