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Savinna Mangalindan is a UNC Center for Health Equity Research Communications Assistant.

Why is health equity or health equity research important to you?

It has become very apparent to us the kinds of disparities that exist in healthcare which quite literally determines the lives of people. I believe that everyone, despite their demographic, how they identify, etc. should be able to get the healthcare they need when they need it, and community-engaged research is vital to discovering how we can more effectively address health disparities.

What path led you to pursue a career in health equity?

While I’m not pursuing a career in health equity, I have made a commitment to continue doing social impact work within and alongside my career in business. Having been born in the Philippines, where poverty and corruption are rampant, then moving to the United States where disparities exist in all social systems, it’s not strange to ask “what can I do?” especially when I have become fully aware of and have witnessed the struggles of others. This led me to pursue a minor in Social and Economic Justice which I hope to use to launch initiatives against disparities and advocate for the rights of others.

What project(s) are you working on within CHER (briefly in your own words)

I am not currently working on any research projects, but I have been handling various parts of CHER Communications including the newsletter, updating the website, and managing the center’s social media accounts. My favorite content to create is the infographics for some publications that CHER faculty and associates have published!

What do you like to do outside of CHER work?

Outside of work, I am most likely doing classwork! Outside of all that, I am typically cleaning, cooking, working out, or training and walking my bestest puppy, Yuna.

What book, podcast, reading, or other materials would you suggest for learning more about social and/or health inequities?

I highly recommend reading The Faces of Poverty in North Carolina by Gene Nichol, which highlights various disparities (education, health, etc.) among low-income communities in North Carolina. The book is particularly interesting to me as a non-North Carolina and non-US native because it tells us about stories and struggles that aren’t as “popular” and are sometimes silenced. As a non-native, I often only hear about the struggles of big cities like LA, Detroit, or Chicago, but never about the communities that are so close to me until I read this book. It’s disheartening to see what’s happening in our communities, but knowing about them is also motivating and encouraging to continue working towards positive social change.