Hope and Celebration: Top Six MCN Blogs of 2021
The end of the year presents opportunities for growth and reflection around future goals and visions. Here at Migrant Clinicians Network, we gather (this year, virtually) during the first few weeks of January to determine an internal set of guidelines to drive our efforts for the next calendar year. Last year, amidst the challenges of 2020, our staff felt strongly about the need to usher in a brighter future by honoring the work we do and the people it helps. From this, we crafted a simple guideline: celebrate. In the spirit of this celebration, we want to look back on the impact we have created this year by examining our top six blog posts of 2021.
Without question, there are a lot of issues in the world in need of solving, but it has become increasingly obvious that the old instruction to put on one’s oxygen mask before helping someone else with theirs has a practical application beyond air travel. Originally published Oct. 20, this expanded listicle offers clear guidance on maintaining resilience and practicing self-care while striving to change the world for the better. Following Dr. Weingarten’s advice can help increase or maintain the bandwidth of those working to advance the agenda for justice.
While discussions of mental health have become somewhat normalized in the last few decades, one area remains mired in taboo and stigma: deaths by suicide. This topic became even more charged in the push to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic by social distancing. The toll taken on children has been especially concerning, with the increasing number of attempted and completed suicides. Dr. Weingarten published this primer on adult engagement on the topic in September, around the time many children were returning to in-person instruction after a year of distance learning. Bottom line: listen to the children.
More than 300 trans people were murdered in 2020, making it the deadliest year on record for this marginalized community. Papon, MCN's Project Coordinator in Outreach and Development, shines a critical spotlight on this growing threat at the intersection of gender identity and migrant justice, especially among those imprisoned in detention facilities. Papon’s lens also imparts a crucial vulnerability: the disclosure that her own sibling is both Latinx, and trans, and she urges readers to likewise understand that the personal is political.
3. Eyes Wide Open, and Hopeful: On Receiving the Second COVID-19 Vaccine Injection, from a Hospitalist on the Frontlines, by Laszlo Madaras, M.D.
In January, Dr. Madaras, MCN’s Chief Medical Officer, used his experiences as a hospitalist in the midst of a pandemic to author a personal plea against the growing misinformation concerning the COVID-19 vaccines, delivering a message of trust in the power of medicine. Dr. Madaras’ characteristic cheerfulness shines throughout his carefully constructed arguments. One year, and millions of circumvented COVID-19 deaths later, it is clear that his optimism was not misplaced.
2. Migrant Clinicians Network Stands in Solidarity with AAPI Communities, Sex Workers, and Victims in Atlanta, by MCN Admin
At the heart of MCN’s work is the fundamental belief in the value of human beings. We crafted this position statement just days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of eight people in the Atlanta area last March. The victims, most of whom were immigrants belonging to the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, were quickly objectified with salacious accounts about their connections to professional massage parlors. MCN’s position statement hit back at the rising tide of anti-Asian sentiment and violence targeting sex workers to challenge the larger health community to stand in solidarity with both communities.
MCN has diligently advocated for the health of historically marginalized populations who are hit hardest by the climate crisis. This includes the growing population of migrants and refugees, fleeing from the devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Honduras, and from wildfires in California or moving to the disaster recovery regions in search of temporary demolition work. Last week, just days after tornadoes ripped through three states, including Kentucky, MCN published this position statement to emphasize the need for disaster preparedness to include low-wage and historically marginalized populations who often are already struggling with health injustices related to race and ethnicity.
Though the last year has presented significant difficulties, each of these selected pieces reflects MCN’s pervasive belief in hope. We work with the hope that our efforts result in the recognition of the people we serve as individuals rather than as data points. We work in the hope to push forward a capacity for change across health systems. As we transition into 2022, we will continue to work to secure equity and health justice for all migrant, immigrant, and asylum-seeking populations, with renewed hope.
It's the final days of our end-of-year campaign! Migrant Clinicians Network has such a short way to go to reach our $40,000 goal. Your donation will support our flagship efforts like Health Network and Witness to Witness – programs that are needed now, more than ever, and need the funding to expand. Please visit www.migrantclinician.org/donate and make your donation today!
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