Monday, November 16, 2015

The lack of opportunities can adversely affect every sector of our society

There is more and more data to show how poverty affects where we live, how much education we receive, the quality of our education, the type of jobs we get and how long we will live. The presentation that Edith Cabuslay presented to the Palo Alto Rotary Club this past Monday, November 2nd was a powerful description of what are called the social determinants of health. As the program services manager for the San Mateo County Health System’s Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Unit, Cabuslay has compiled a lot of data to show just how much income and educational disparities have a ripple effect throughout society. You can see by clicking here some of what Cabuslay says about these social determinants on an edition of the Talking with Henrietta show.

Not only does the lack of education and opportunities affect African Americans, Native Americans and Latinos the most in the United States, but articles are now being written on how the lack of educational opportunities is a major factor in the increasing suicide rates among middle-class white Americans. You can read one of these articles here.

It's becoming more and more obvious that all sectors of our society are connected to and affected by what happens to other sectors in our society.  New research shows that there are stresses and strains on every group in one way or the other. We will know that America has turned the corner in offering equal access to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" to everyone in our society, regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc. when it gets better at offering equal access to educational opportunities to all of its residents. Cabuslay thinks this video shows where we must put our attention as a society to improve the quality of life for everyone. See if you agree with her.

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