Missing Indigenous Women, Mandatory Reporters, Remembering Matthew Shepard
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One effect of racism is lowering expectations when it comes to the ingenuity and success of BIPOC communities, which in turn decreases the willingness of people to invest in those communities. So stories from history that undermine and reshape those expectations are important. One such story I recently heard for the first time is that of the Freedom House ambulance service in Pittsburgh. In an attempt to both boost employment and provide much-needed quality healthcare to a Black neighborhood in the city, a Black doctor and businessman got together to invent and fund the concept of what we now call a paramedic. They turned the old-fashioned, cop-driven ambulance van into the first of the professional, mobile emergency services vehicles that we know today. And all the first EMTs were young Black men. Read or listen to this NPR segment to learn about their incredible work, the racist backlash, and the eventual spread of Freedom House’s “emergency street medicine” across the world.
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