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Protesting: Another way

There are a lot of ways we can protest the injustices that are going on. We can take to the streets and be on the frontline, we can donate to organizations working hard to create change, or donate to those who need their bail paid. We can also boycott companies/organizations that are working against our cause or doing little for progress and we can call, write or show up to our reps. We can vote or better yet we can run. There are so many forms of protest that we can take up or participate in.

Ever since the protests began, I haven't stopped trying to think of ways to use my skills and resources to contribute. I've taken some of the avenues mentioned above, but I still felt like there was something in my own world that I could dive into and change or contribute from.

I began thinking about things I've learned in school and something came back to mind that I had remembered learning and finding upsetting. It was the death rates that POC disproportionally have due to preventable diseases. I remember wondering why and how could we fix it. I thought about all the beautiful stories and things that got lost when family members of mine who were very talented or experienced in uncommon or very unique things got cut short and died with them because of disease too young.

I have been training a wide range of people for a wide range of goals and one of my favorite parts and one of the most beautiful things I get to witness is someone finding their own strength. It is so empowering for me to watch and even more so to see them feel the power that comes with finding and nurturing their health and strength. It awakens something in them, it breathes a whole new life into their lungs, it's power and self realization of their capabilities and skills and it is beautiful.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. with 635,260 deaths per year.

States with the highest amount of heart disease are Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, and Louisiana.

In 2017, heart disease was the #1 cause of death for black Americans.

While cancer was first for hispanics in the U.S. with heart disease coming in second only .6% apart.

In 2018, black Americans had the highest obesity rates in the U.S. followed by Native Americans and hispanics with a 2% difference.

A research article done by Laura Van Drie in the ELON JOURNAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN COMMUNICATIONS found that,

"Food advertisements in mainstream magazines frequently emphasized that nutritious, delicious food could be part of a busy lifestyle, whereas ads in Latina magazines associated food with family, and advertisements in African-American magazines contained mostly taste-related claims."

They also found that while ads targeted towards white folks had a tone of health consciousness this was not the same for latinx directed ads and while ads discontinued targeting white women for unhealthy food and habits it continued to target latina women.

So, the question is can we use our health as form of protest. The answer is yes, I could go on with stats all day long but it's clear that our health in our communities of color have a problem.

We are targeted and marketed with more unhealthy food options, directed at with more unhealthy undertones and are dying at higher rates of preventable diseases more than our fellow white humans.

Our bodies are sacred, they are beautiful creations. We have power in these bodies, because our bodies are powerful, our stories and life experiences are powerful and meant to be shared. Our bodies are our vehicle to change, they are our vehicles to love and justice and our stories are like a river of power that flows from and through everyone who drink from it.

"Three things in life – your health, your mission, and the people you love. That’s it." Naval Ravikant

The fitter, stronger and healthier we are the more life, love and strength we are able to give. The harder a fight we are able to put up. The less dependent we are on a sick care system that fails POC, specifically black women more than any other group of people (the "healthcare" system is a whole other issue for another time).

POC's lives have been stolen and cut short for too long. We have been targeted for hate, discrimination and educated, led, and fed by a system that does not have our best interests in mind but their own. A system that is systemically racist and sexist. A system that has produced numerous ways to weaken the people i.e. drugs, war on drugs, ghettos/segregation, racist and sexist laws, underfunded education, underfunded programming, lack of resources, over funded policing, a jacked up healthcare system. We should never overlook just how all that systemic racism has set POC up with a massive disadvantage in so many ways. If we are what we eat, then what our parents and grandparents and our great-grandparents all ate impacted our genetics and what diseases we are predisposed to. Add on top of that, the incredible amounts of stress from all the things listed above and how that impacted genetics and disease. Then the current that POC are battling is that much stronger and that much more important to change.

There is so much we are working against and working toward but taking our health back, building our bodies and minds up are some of our greatest tools and weapons and one of the places we shouldn't forget or overlook. It is the foundation and starting point for everything we do.

"He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything." Arabian proverb

Image is not a factor here, size is not the focus here, health is the focus. Your size does not determine your overall health. I can repeat that for those that didn't hear it clear enough, YOUR SIZE DOES NOT DETERMINE YOUR OVERALL HEALTH.

So, let's improve our health, let's feed our bodies and minds things that will build us up and better us for it flows right into everything we do in life. So, all that all that we have to share and contribute to this world and our communities isn't weakened and cut short.

Let's not allow our health to be driven and directed by greedy, unhealthy advertising and ignorance. Our bodies and minds are our greatest weapons and we cannot let those be controlled and influenced by those not interested in our well being or longevity.

Take back control and protest a system the seeks to keep us sick and unhealthy by getting stronger and healthier. This is not the only way we should protest but more so a way to supplement and strengthen our other forms of protest. Our bodies are ours, and they are one of our most powerful tools.

Strong hearts, strong minds and strong bodies.

If you ever need guidance, advice or coaching always feel free to contact me.

With love as always,

Dani

Sources:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/207436/overweight-and-obesity-rates-for-adults-by-ethnicity/

http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/1037/representations-of-american-culture-in-food-advertisements-in-mainstream-latina-and-african-american-magazines

https://www.statista.com/statistics/233367/distribution-of-the-10-leading-causes-of-death-among-among-the-hispanic-community/

https://diversityjournal.com/9724-hispanic-or-latino-which-is-correct/

https://timeline.com/redlining-federal-housing-racist-14d7f48267e8

https://utswmed.org/medblog/african-americans-heart-disease/

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