Hope and Heal Blog

  • March 20, 2024|

    The First National Latino Leadership Convening on Gun Violence

    Discover the transformative power of unity at the National Latino Leadership Convening on Gun Violence, where 100 leaders ignited toward sustainable, community-driven solutions for preventing firearm injuries, deaths, and trauma. We’re thrilled to announce the groundbreaking National Latino Leadership Convening on Gun Violence, hosted by the Hope and Heal Fund, which took place in Los Angeles on February 27-28! This historic event brought together 100 visionary Latino leaders from across the country to further efforts to address firearm deaths, injuries, and trauma in the Latino community. This convening was a vibrant celebration of unity, offering participants an opportunity to spark meaningful conversations, forge new partnerships, and drive culturally relevant resources. We’re just getting started on this path of impactful dialogue and action within Latino communities nationwide! Riding the wave of enthusiasm and collaborative spirit from the convening, it’s crucial to address why this convening was not only timely but necessary. Since we know Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, the need for this convening was urgent. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control highlights the severity of this crisis nationally, revealing nearly 24,000 Latino lives were lost to firearm suicide and an additional 47,000 to firearm homicides from 2001 to 2021. The impact of firearm injuries, deaths, and trauma on the Latino population in this country is disproportionate, and we need equitable solutions to solve this problem. The conference created a safe space for leaders to share their stories and be their authentic selves. Attendees from... Countinue Reading>>
  • October 31, 2022|

    Creating Sustainable Educational Outreach Campaigns

    Sustainable progress is the pursuit of social, environmental, and economic prosperity for our current generation and the rising generation. As I have been conducting research on Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda, I have uncovered the key to creating sustainable, culturally responsive, and equitable strategies that work on adopting the local language, respecting cultures, and cherishing the customs of communities. For instance, while coordinating and conducting stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and surveys, I noticed the participants frowning, fidgeting with their fingers, and desperately looking for an exit. It almost seemed like my questions were causing feelings of discomfort rather than consensus and a collaborative spirit. So I began to work with my team to answer the following questions:  How does our research project tap into people’s experiences and expertise? How do we adjust the language of the interview according to the respondents? After a few trials and tribulations, we began integrating culturally relevant phrases which are employed in local conversations. In turn, we began receiving stories and detailed encounters from the villagers as they were able to understand and answer our questions. Here are a few adjustments we made to our questionnaires:  Western Phrases (Culturally Disconnected Phrases) Local Terms (Culturally Relevant Phrases) Tuition School Fees Middle School or High School  Primary or Secondary School Studying Class Materials Revising Subjects At-home chores Grazing, Gardening, Collecting Water, and/or Molding Bricks COVID-19 Pandemic or Corona  The practice of eliciting detailed answers from respondents and securing their trust starts with adjusting the project’s language according to the... Countinue Reading>>
  • July 17, 2022|

    A Perspective from Abroad

    “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it,” ~ Albert Einstein. The team at the Hope and Heal Fund recognizes the need to ascend into a new frame of thinking to solve gun violence. We have identified successful gun violence prevention and treatment strategies that focus on the power of conveying and building community-based capacity. To go above and beyond traditional prevention mechanisms, we are exploring cross-cultural conversations abroad. I am currently based in Lake Bunyonyi, located in southwestern Uganda, as a racial equity and education researcher for the Global Livingston Institute (GLI). GLI is a community-based research institute that develops strategic partnerships with a focus on education and social impact. In partnership with the Hope and Heal Fund, I will be collecting and conducting a series of interviews with parents, teachers, and community leaders to construct community development approaches with an eye on equity.  The “Do Something” Mentality When we witness a crisis situation or learn about a global dilemma, we are quick to react with a “do something” mentality. This notion creates an illusion that these thinkers have the ultimate answers, they know what is best for victims and survivors, and they eagerly insert their values and take charge of the situation. As a result, wounds seem to further deepen as the voices of residents, communities, and generations are overlooked as outsiders compromise local collaboration over self-driven reasons. This frame of thinking reacts to the situation. On the contrary, taking a step... Countinue Reading>>
  • August 10, 2021|

    The Means to Combat Gun Violence Are Within Our Grasp

    I am Diana Guardado, the Summer 2021 social media intern for the Hope and Heal Fund. Before I reflect on my new relationship with the gun violence movement, I would like to share a snapshot of my upbringing and activism work. Countinue Reading>>