Juneteenth a Celebration of Freedom

 

More than two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed 3 million enslaved people in the U.S, an estimated 250,000 people were still being forced into slavery in Texas. That changed soon after General Granger arrived in the state with his troops.

On June 19, 1865, General Granger delivered General Order Number 3, which read:

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer."

According to Juneteenth.com, “The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation.” June 19th became a yearly celebration of freedom for black Americans and was dubbed Juneteenth. It is also known as Emancipation Day. Two days short of its 156 years birthday, President Joe Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Juneteenth

 In celebration of the emancipation of the more than 3 million enslaved people in the United States, Environmental Health Coalition observes Juneteenth. We also take this moment to remember that it was only 156 years ago that black people were enslaved in our country. While celebrating freedom and all the contributions black Americans have made to the U.S. and the world, we must acknowledge that as a society we have fallen short of equity and equality and reaffirm our commitment to fighting for racial justice.

To learn more about Juneteenth, please visit juneteenth.com. To learn how you can celebrate with your family and friends, or join a celebration, check out the links below.

Happy Juneteenth!

  

How to celebrate Juneteenth:

9 Way to Celebrate Juneteenth in 2021

This Is How We Juneteenth

 

Local Celebrations:

'Say It Loud' Celebrates Juneteenth With Local Black Talent

Oceanside tea shop owner plans Juneteenth celebration Saturday

Cooper Family Freedom Festival - NAACP San Diego Branch

Local Events to Celebrate Juneteenth in San Diego County

nhhm2021 728x110

 

Did you know that June is Healthy Homes Month? 

During this pandemic year, we should be calling it Healthy Homes & Healthy Office Month. For many of us, chances are that your home is also your office. While we have been cleaning and disinfecting to keep COVID-19 away, a healthy home is much more than that.  A healthy home is well-ventilated, dry, clean, safe, pest-free, contaminant-free, well maintained, and thermally controlled.  For most parents, I know it’s been challenging to keep our homes and offices healthy, especially during this pandemic year.

I invite you (and myself 😊) to take this Healthy Homes Month to integrate some simple steps to help our homes and office spaces be and feel healthy.

Check out the flyers to learn how to make your home healthy! 

5 Minutes to a Healthier Home Protect Kids From Lead Poisoning CARBON MONOXIDE

Bathroom Safety Slips and Falls  Your Fire Safety Checklist

 

This year’s Healthy Homes theme is The Power of Partnerships. At EHC, we are grateful to all of our partners that we have worked alongside during our 40 years of fighting for Environmental Justice. Thank you partners for your dedication, support, and leadership in keeping our homes safe, healthy, and affordable. Thank you to:

HUD Lead & Healthy Homes Office, San Diego Housing Commission, City of San Diego Environmental Services Department, San Diego City Attorney’s Office, City of National City Housing Authority, City of National City Community Development, MAAC Project Weatherization Program, Campesinos Unidos, Rebuilding Together, Energy Team, La Maestra Community Health Centers, San Ysidro Health Center

We look forward to getting back to our healthy homes visits. They are an opportunity to visit families and share information about healthy homes, conduct a healthy homes assessment, and provide a free kit with resources and tools that families can put to use right away.  As part of our visit, we provide a customized healthy homes plan and may refer families to lead hazard control programs, weatherization services, code enforcement, and/or to our local clinics to support asthma, respiratory illnesses, lead poisoning. It does take a village!  Again, thank you, partners! 

 

What’s your favorite Healthy Homes Tip?

 

1356


This year's theme, "Healthy Housing for All", highlights the importance of safe and healthy living in your home; no matter where you live. Through emphasizing the importance of home maintenance, this month, HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes seeks to highlight the connection between your internal environment and your health.

This year's National Healthy Homes Month focuses on:

  • Raising awareness of the importance of Home Maintenance and the impact on health.
  • Educating the public about free local resources available.
  • Encouraging implementation of online activities and events in targeted communities.

 

The Eight Principles of a Healthy Home

8 Principles Healthy Home

(Images courtesy of: HUD/NHHM)

Rosa Vaquera lives in Barrio Logan and is a single mother of four children. According to CalEnviroScreen, Rosa’s community ranks in the top 25 percent of census tracts for pollution impact, including a high risk for asthma. Rosa and her daughter Ximena both suffer from asthma. Ximena's is an extreme type of asthma that prevents her from playing outdoors as frequently as other children her age. At the same time, Rosa and Ximena's asthma was also being aggravated indoors.

Maria and Ximena

[Learn how to create a healthy home for your family]


Healthy Homes Assessment

In 2018, Rosa attended a community-based EHC workshop on the air quality and monitoring at Perkins Elementary School. After the workshop, she filled out an intake form expressing interest in a Healthy Homes Assessment, and a possible indoor air filter for her home. An assessment of Rosa's home revealed that she did not open her windows for most of the day. This was mainly because of bad odors and loud noises common in her neighborhood.

The practice of keeping windows shut in her area is more accurately a result of air pollution and living in a neighborhood with an outdated community plan. The 1978 Barrio Logan community plan permits mixed land use zoning, allowing polluting industries and businesses to operate in residential areas, often much too close to homes and schools. Rosa and Ximena live next door to such industries.

During the Healthy Homes Assessment, EHC learned that Ximena would have asthma attacks on a monthly basis, often at night. In an attempt to improve air circulation, Rosa would open windows, but only in the kitchen and not in the living room or children's bedrooms. This created poor air circulation, especially in Ximena’s small, shared room where the window always remained closed. Rosa also regularly hired friends to clean her house when her family was not home due to their extreme sensitivity to toxic cleaning supplies.

Living in a Healthier Home

Rosa has implemented many of the recommendations given to her after EHC's Healthy Homes Assessment. These include having most of the windows open to improve air circulation, use of non-toxic cleaning solutions, and turning on her stove fan while cooking. EHC determined that Rosa's home qualified to receive indoor and outdoor air monitors and a Home IQ Air Filter. Both Rosa and Ximena are breathing much better because of living in a healthier home.

EHC is committed to improving the quality of life in our communities by fighting conditions that expose low-income communities of color to environmental hazards. We want Ximena to grow up healthy with clean air, regardless of where she lives.

June is National Healthy Homes Month (NHHM). This year's theme is Growing Up Healthy: 5 Minutes to a Healthier Home, and it focuses on the opportunity to protect current and future generations of children from the exposures to lead from contaminated paint, dust and soil; through the importance of home assessments and the impact it has on your health.

At EHC, we believe that a home should be a safe and nurturing environment, especially for children. Everyone deserves a healthy home, yet this is not the lived reality for many residents in low-income communities of color. Many homes in San Diego's environmental justice (EJ) communities were built before 1979 and may have lead-based paint hazards in and around the buildings, which can cause permanent brain damage and other serious health problems in children.

Read Rosa and Ximena's story

 

CHECK OUT THESE INFOGRAPHICS FROM NHHM:

NHHM Lead Poisoning      NHHM Pet Friendly


More Infographics

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Here are eight principles of keeping a home healthy (from HUD):

  1. Keep it Dry
    Prevent water from entering your home through leaks in roofing systems, rainwater from entering the home due to poor drainage, and check your interior plumbing for any leaking.

  2. Keep it Clean
    Control the source of dust and contaminants, creating smooth and cleanable surfaces, reducing clutter, and using effective wet-cleaning methods.

  3. Keep it Safe
    Store poisons out of the reach of children and properly label. Secure loose rugs and keep children's play areas free from hard or sharp surfaces. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and keep fire extinguishers on hand.

  4. Keep it Well-Ventilated
    Ventilate bathrooms and kitchens and use whole house ventilation for supplying fresh air to reduce the concentration of contaminants in the home.

  5. Keep it Pest-free
    All pests look for food, water, and shelter. Seal cracks and openings throughout the home; store food in pest-resistant containers. If needed, use sticky-traps and baits in closed containers, along with least toxic pesticides such as boric acid powder.

  6. Keep it Contaminant-free
    Reduce lead-related hazards in pre-1978 homes by fixing deteriorated paint, and keeping floors and window areas clean using a wet-cleaning approach. Test your home for radon, a naturally occurring dangerous gas that enters homes through soil, crawlspaces, and foundation crack. Install a radon removal system if levels above the EPA action-level are detected.

  7. Keep your home Maintained
    Inspect, clean and repair your home routinely. Take care of minor repairs and problems before they become large repairs and problems.

  8. Thermally Controlled
    Houses that do not maintain adequate temperatures may place the safety of residents at increased risk from exposure to extreme cold or heat.


MORE RESOURCES

How to Keep a Healthy Home

Healthy Homes Youth App