“Social Determinants, Health Equity, and Tobacco Use” webinar on June 24th!

Please join us on June 24th for our next exciting webinar entitled, Social Determinants, Health Equity, and Tobacco Use featuring Phil Gardiner, Kimberly Bankston-Lee, and Jahmal Miller. Registration link is under our Upcoming Events section.

About the Speakers

jmJahmal Miller is the Deputy Director of the Office of Health Equity within the California Department of Public Health. Governor Jerry Brown appointed Jahmal as the first to lead the newly created office. On July 2, 2014, the California State Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously to confirm him, and the decision was upheld and ratified by a unanimous senate floor vote. Prior to his appointment, Jahmal spent more than fifteen years in private-sector health-leadership positions with Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health, respectively. Jahmal received a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He also received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Columbia University in New York. Jahmal is a native of Sacramento, where he graduated from Hiram Johnson West Campus High School. He is married to Kimberly Graham-Miller, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist in track and field, currently serving as assistant track and field coach at Sacramento State University. The Millers are proud parents of two beautiful daughters, Skye and Leah ages 7 and 6.

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Focus on Women & Girls

MotheCampaign for TFreer’s Day was this past weekend, and we hope every woman who is a mother or a mother figure was celebrated. We want to share a message from theCampaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:
Now is the time to make plans to raise awareness about the impact of tobacco use on women and families in your community, as well as spark interest in and support for your tobacco control activities. There are a number of activities that you can do to celebrate moms and raise awareness about this important issue. Consider identifying a woman in your community who can talk about how she successfully quit with the help of your state’s tobacco control program, or even a woman who is willing to share her ongoing struggle with tobacco addiction. You can partner her message with facts about tobacco use among females in your community and quit-smoking resources.

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“The daring, flamboyant aspect of [young adult] black smokers’ personalities are evident in the many trends they start. And the fact that these trends often spread to the general population speaks to the unrecognized power and influence this subgroup yields on society.”
(RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company document source below)

Howling Into the Wind

Our hearts are heavy, our spirits are weary, and our eyes are filled to the brim with overflowing tears, tears that can no longer be held back. Another Black man, another Brown man, another Black boy, dead or abused. The videos keep coming, confronting our consciousness, confirming what many have always known, confirming what many would simply never believe. Perhaps we are in the midst of our “urban spring,” and it hurts. The anger, the rage – they are deep and profound; at times, it seems as if the world is coming undone.

For those of us who do tobacco control in the vulnerable communities that are most affected, our work has become a lot harder. At best our tobacco control issues are put on hold; at worst they take giant strides backwards. Pushed back and relegated once again to that back burner of non-pressing issues. The tobacco industry loves times such as these because they know we are howling into the wind, howling into the winds of racism, injustice, and indifference. And the tobacco industry knows that the wind usually wins.

Because at times like these, how do we continue to beat the drum for tobacco control? How do we tell our vulnerable communities that even as they continue to step over the dead, they must keep their eyes fixed on their true enemy and number one killer of their people? We honor meeting communities where they are by listening to their acute concerns, in order to understand how best to work with them to address chronic tobacco control issues. It is not easy, but equity, social justice, inclusion, capacity building, and advocacy must be kept at the forefront, and that is what we embody here at The LOOP.

Take care of yourselves. But seek justice; seek peace.

Let’s continue to work together for justice in all communities!