Impact

In The Community

Mexican male workers in the Bracero Program undergoing a routine sanitization process, depicted with chemical dosing. In the foreground, an illustration portrays Carmelita Torres
Leonard Nadel, 1956, National Museum of American History.

[Illustrated portion of design imagined with AI by Luz Media editorial staff]

The United States is a country built on immigration, and for generations, people from all over the world have come to its shores in search of a better life. However, the journey was riddled with danger and humiliation for Mexicans entering the U.S. in the early 20th century to work under federal work programs.

One demeaning and dangerous process required by the U.S. health authorities used highly flammable and toxic chemicals including kerosene to "delouse" Mexican workers entering the United States, subjecting them to degrading strip searches and dangerous procedures on a daily basis.

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a woman stands at a chalkboard pointing to a drawing of a vagina during a sex ed presentation as young girls sit in classroom chairs

This reporting was produced with the support of the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) as part of its Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice in the Americas Initiative.

I had never been to the Dominican Republic before, but as an ardent long-time advocate for abortion rights, I was well-versed with U.S. and global examples of the travesties women and families endure under severe reproductive rights restrictions and total abortion bans. Despite this, after a week of meeting with advocates, educators, and activists, I found I wasn’t prepared to witness the real-life devastation of a total abortion ban.

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Compelling graphic design depicting a Latin mother and daughter with a backdrop of disparaging self-image phrases

Self-Image is a highly complex concept. From a very young age children are taught about things that are and aren't deemed “acceptable” in our society. This isn't inherently wrong of course.

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