SALUD Media Maker Edy Dominguez
Since Edy Dominguez began participating at Radio Arte, he has graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a major in Communication, Media, and Theater with a minor in Media. He has also completed the Radio Arte Journalism and Digital Media Training program, and is a producer and host of Radio Arte's flagship Spanish-language news program, Primera Voz. He teaches music at Holy Cross Parish and directs a band Quinto Imperio integrated by his family and friends from Back of the Yards Neighborhood. He enjoys helping the community in youth programs because he understands the importance of encouraging the youth in order to maintain them motivated and focused on a good path. He dedicates all and each one of his accomplishments to his family for the support, example, and values received from them.
Edy reviews his past participation in SALUD: Healing Through the Arts and looks forward to the 2010 project year.
When carrying out a great and important project such as SALUD, there are two main things that we cannot miss; leadership and teamwork. When I first started as an intern it was a little complicated to see myself as part of the project since I was a little bit of an outsider, but I learned that to join the team a person must have initiative. This works not only to bring ideas to the table, but also to show one's interest and motivation about the project. Working in SALUD is not an easy task since all members differ greatly in our perceptions of health, community, social ideas, and the way we think is best to interact with the community; but focusing on the objective as a team has always helped us get results.
SALUD 2009 was a great opportunity for me to take a step further and help steer
the development of our project with new and old members looking at it from a
broader point of view. The hardest thing to understand and accept when leading
is that all of us are different and might want to take the course of our boat
in different directions, but as the coordinator I had to stay focused (not an
easy thing to do) and try to the best of our ability to mix in all points of
view and desires of the team. Leadership skills are very important to have and
SALUD has allowed me to develop a great part of them in a more serious project.
I am very conscious of what health is now. Since the first year of SALUD I have thought more about how I take care of myself and people around me. I understand that what happens to one side of my body affects the whole being; that is something people don't often pay attention to. We tend to think that when our head hurts it is only our head, but that headache might be a signal from another part of our bodies. Understanding this has helped me to be more careful about what my body feels. Beyond the way I take care of myself I can now advise friends, family members, and sometimes other people about why it is so important to pay attention to how we feel and the importance of regular check-ups to prevent or discover diseases.
To be able to say accurately how the community in general has being affected by the program SALUD, first we would need to know what areas or communities were reached. That is somewhat out of our hands if we think about who listened to the radio-novelas. However, the workshops caused great reactions on the participants. We actually taught adults and teens about things people don't usually talk about. They asked questions and opened up for discussions that helped understand each other's points of view and sometimes even agree. I'm sure people talk to others about our work and what they learned; parents have a better idea how to approach their children with sensitive subjects such as sex, and the youth that we have worked with have a better critical thinking about themselves and their well being. It is not that they spoke to us about unspeakable subjects, but the fact that SALUD breaks walls that don't allow people to communicate well.
Read more about Edy Dominguez:
you are an immigrant, tell us what it means to be an immigrant in
America . If you are not an immigrant, tell us how the immigrant issue
touches you on personal level.
There are many factors to take into account when thinking about immigrants. In any country people who are not native to the land always struggle to survive because of culture shock, language, racism, lack of resources, health, education, etc. Immigrants not only move from one nation to another, we follow dreams for which we have to work harder than others in every way ever since we stepped out of our land in search of opportunities.
For better or for worse how can or how do media (TV, movies, radio, news stories) make a difference in immigrants’ lives?
There are both good and bad media outlets regarding immigrants, but in most cases media affect immigrants negatively. For many people the word “immigrants” does not refer to the wide variety of immigrants from different countries and cultures that inhabit this nation, but it refers only an exclusively to Hispanic/Latin immigrants. It doesn’t stop there because many times when listening to that word the first thing that most likely comes up to our head is “Mexicans”. The negative stereotyping and portrayals of immigrants ends in the loss of support towards the cause. The number one thing right now is the association of immigration with terrorism that is constantly being put up there for everyone to see and hear, and I’m not only referring to the extremists’ activities, but to the induced fear of immigrants being criminals, bringing diseases, taking over others’ jobs, not paying taxes, etc.
Tell us about an interesting or wise practice from another culture that you wish Americans would adopt.
The United States is a low context nation in which individualism prevails. I think that this country would function better if we knew how to work in groups rather than individually; in a high context culture where collectivism is a big value, the interest of the group prevails over the interest of an individual, and family and friends relationships are tighter and less superficial.
How could immigrant health and well-being be improved in your city or in the United States ?
Our communities need to be better informed in order for people to go out to the doctor or to take better care of their health. Different options and issues like economic resources, health fairs, myths (about going to the doctor), etc. have to be addressed to the community for them to feel confident that there are options around to take care of their health, prevent and treat diseases.
Tell us something about your background that led you to become the person
you are today. What is your greatest motivation/motivator?
My family is my greatest motivation to keep up with my studies and with my dreams. My parents have worked to help their families since they were about 12 years old. My mother only got to 8th grade, and my dad has two bachelor degrees. Both of my parents are very hard working people, and they are the ones who keep on inspiring my brothers and me to continue walking even if the road seems too hard to walk on. I have to set an example for my younger brothers and I’m very sure that with an education anyone can become a better member of society, a role model for the next generations, and a help provider for our communities.
Watch and Listen
New Research & Recommendations
This report (PDF 3.8MB) offers guidance for community organizations and those who fund social change in how best to harness the power of local media-making for community health improvement. Spanish-language version is now available. Una versión en español de este informe esta en la web.