Revisiting the Limits of Democracy during COVID-19

Hey y’all, For the final project, I made a graphic to visualize my thoughts on how the inequalities reflected by and exacerbated by COVID-19 have only reinforced my belief in the limits of democracy and in the promises of collective liberation. Sources: The Marshall Project, A Staggering Toll: 30 Million Have Filed For Unemployment (NPR), New York’s Inequalities Are Fueling COVID-19 (FiveThirtyEight), They Can’t Afford to Quarantine. So They Brave

Read More

“Your One Wild and Precious Life”: My Professional Aspirations

  Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Excerpt from Mary Oliver’s “The Summer Day” It’s been over a year and a half since I wrote about stepping away from the comfort of a path carved out for me by others during my freshman year.

Read More

On Disability, Language and Meaning

  “Why is she in a wheelchair?” That day, we were discussing how high school students could visit a health center, and I had posed a question about what might hinder self-advocacy in these spaces. In the student’s hand, a slip of paper painted one of the scenarios to unpack: two girls in a relationship, both sexually active and seeking information  about what safe sex looked like at a health

Read More

“Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like”: Liberation and Democracy’s Limits

Asked to reflect on what I consider as a democracy, I was reminded of a call-and-response chant that rang through protests that I have attended in the past. First, a single voice amidst a sea of people and posters urges others to tell them what democracy looks like. Immediately after, the crowd calls in a chorus: “This is what democracy looks like!”. I was heartened to be surrounded by a collective

Read More

Women’s History Month: Gendered Expectations

  “She was healthy, tested intelligent, possessed strong arms and back, abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity. She went to and fro apologizing. Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs. She was advised to play coy, exhorted to come on hearty, exercise, diet, smile and wheedle. Her good nature wore out like a fan belt. So she cut off her nose and her legs and offered them up.” Excerpt

Read More

Elevator Pitch/Careers

  Elevator Pitch My name is Christina Valeros and I am a sophomore at Hunter College pursuing a major in Human Biology and a certificate in Public Policy. My coursework and experience as a health educator fueled my interest in the social inequities—such as unaffordable housing and food insecurity—that shape health outcomes. Following graduation, I am considering either a Masters in Public Health or a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Bioethics. I am

Read More

Health Equity in the Classroom

When one misstep can alter an entire life’s trajectory, equitable health education has never been more important to me. I remember vividly the tenuous foundation that my health knowledge was built on: graphic worst-case scenarios emphasizing abstinence over contraception; heteronormative expectations delegitimizing the diversity of sexual orientation; and a pervasive apathy toward mental illness that minimized its severity. For many reasons– among them culture, religion and family– I did not

Read More

Accepting Uncertainty

When I was a college freshman, I believed I had everything all figured out. Like many, I was decidedly pre-med – a sentiment reflected in my high school extracurriculars, my college supplements and my responses to the dreaded “What’s next for you?” posed by persistent relatives the summer before college. Back then, it was an easy question to answer. Confidently, I told them that I would double major in Neuroscience

Read More