26 Mar 5 Friyays – March 26
Hey all! It’s Dr. Erin here with my 5 Friyays for the final Friday in March. It’s been a hard month here in the US – with the anniversary of the pandemic and the return to the ‘normal’ of mass shootings. But we’ve also seen some hope of progress. Progress towards justice, progress toward inclusivity, and progress toward equity. So let’s celebrate those wins, with a few fun news notes thrown in!
The Long Arc of Justice
News broke this week that Evanston, Illinois will become the 1st city in the United States to offer reparations to members of their Black community. Using money from legal marijuana sales, the government will make money available for citizens to repair the damage done from slavery and continued discrimination. Reparations has long been a controversial topic in this country, but I was very happy to see this small move toward writing one of the fundamental sins of our nation.
The Necessity of Compassion
New Zealand continues to lead the world in progressive legislation. This week they announced that they will give paid family leave to women who miscarry (and their partners). Globally there is a huge stigma and silencing around miscarriages, even though they are statistically very common. Normalizing compassionate leave for folks who suffer the trauma of a lost pregnancy is a great step toward addressing that stigma and providing women (and their partners) space to talk and grieve however they need.
Episode 4,256 of Why Representation Matters
This week the Biden administration made history by securing the confirmation of Dr. Rachel Levine as Assistant Secretary of Health in HHS. Dr. Levine becomes the first trans woman ever appointed to a Cabinet-level position and the highest ranking openly trans person in US government history. Dr. Levine has faced constant discrimination in her public work and during her confirmation period, but her appointment marks an important step toward greater representation for trans folks in all walks of life.
Making the Most of Zoom Church
One of my happier moments this week came from reading the story of Dr. Laverne Wimberly of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dr. Wimberly hasn’t missed a church service at Metropolitan Baptist Church since the pandemic started, but she decided from the start to continue to dress in her church-going attire. We’ve all had to find things that bring us joy, keep us positive, and give us something to look forward to during this traumatic year. Dr. Wimberly found a way to do this all while looking FABULOUS!
The Nerdy Intersection of Language and Place Names
I’ve long been interested in place names, many of which in the US we took from Native and Indigenous groups – along with their land. After St. Patrick’s Day this year, a friend shared this article about Irish place names and how many of them relate to the physical geography of the island from the Ice Age. It’s worth asking why we name places the way we do, and I love this exploration of the landscape and the language that reflects it.
That’s a wrap on my rather haphazard, but diverse, collection of yays for this Friday! Wear a mask, wash your hands, and have a good weekend!