Read on to see what events you should be up-to-date on. News that’s free of commercials or pesky weather updates!

IN HARRISONBURG: Refusal of COVID-19 Vaccine for Harrisonburg Minister

Image of hospital front desk

In early February, Christina Rivera, a Latina senior lead at the Church of the Larger Fellowship was denied a vaccination for Covid-19 by Sentara Hospital after receiving a confirmation of her appointment. She told The Citizen that being a part of a marginalized racial group and aware of its implications for people of color in healthcare, she had plans for filming her vaccination and posting it on Facebook to demonstrate a positive experience. However, she was escorted out by security without a vaccine, though she was not a threat. Her email confirmation was not looked at, nor was she given any help for rescheduling or figuring out why this had happened. It took 3,500 views on Christina’s Facebook for Sentara to even respond to the situation. After this, Sentara reached out to Christina to reschedule her appointment. They stated this as a learning lesson for their diversity team to ensure it does not happen again. 

Sentara calling security on black and brown women shows a lack of cultural competency for its patients, and is one of the many reasons why people of color have a fear of the healthcare system.

IN THE NATION: Trans film gets attention at Sundance Film Festival

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sundance Institute

On January 31st, the trans film We’re All Going to the World’s Fair premiered at Sundance Film Festival. The film’s main plot features a video game where the cast is watched by other players who have to “perform.” The film brings attention to the struggles that the trans community faces with gender dysphoria on a daily basis. The movie is recognized for its divergence from the typical script of a trans film. It has opened up conversation for what it means to create a trans piece of work, and how characters should be portrayed as fluid rather than set in gender identity. The filmmaker came out as trans after the release and reclaimed their title to empower themselves and highlight trans representation in film. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair shows the importance that gender representation has in media, along with highlighting the voices and work of diverse creators in entertainment. 

IN THE WORLD: Olympian Sofia Bekatorou Starts the #metoo Movement in Greece

Image of Bekatorou biting Olympic gold medal
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Earlier this year, Greece’s Sofia Bekatorou, an Olympic sailing champion, courageously spoke out about her sexual assault from a Hellenic sailing official in 1998. Greece has been behind in efforts for gender equity compared to the rest of EU, as they were ranked last on the Gender Equality Index in 2020. The prevalence of men in high-ranking positions in the workforce with the hierarchy of the Greek Orthodox church throughout the country has silenced women from speaking out about assaults. However, Bekatorou forged the path for other women this year to end silence about sexual assault. Bekatorou’s story inspired many women to post on social media about their experiences, and the #metoo trend began to uproar in February as women banded together against their assaulters. Not only did Bekatorou help foster a community for healing and justice, but this movement began the conversation about gender discrimination in Greece.

IN THE WORLD PT II: Netherlands Card Player Creates the World’s First Gender-Neutral Deck

Indy Mellink holding new deck of cards
Photo Credit:

Indy Mellink, a young cards-player from the Netherlands, has created the world’s first gender-neutral deck of cards. She calls them GSB, or gold, silver, bronze.

As Mellink was playing cards with her family, she noticed the “subconscious inequalities” of gender threaded in every game played with a traditional deck. This unconsciously infiltrates our view of gender from the young age that one starts to play cards. She was inspired to make her own deck, where gold, silver, and bronze cards replace the original King, Queen, and Jack. She has already sold many decks all over the world, and you can buy some here too. Anyone up for a game of BS?

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