Last day of school :(

Today was presentation day! We had the morning free to practice and prepare, and soon enough it was time to present.

Beckie, Audrey, Quincy, and Lindsey focused their presentation on how immigrants are represented and treated within the eduction and healthcare systems. They explained how maternal mortality disparities are a big problem in both the US and the UK. In the UK, black women are 4 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. In the US, black women are 3 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. They explained how this is due to a lack of language support, cultural insensitivity, and discrimination. They also drew attention to the idea that race is talked about a lot less in the UK. I really liked how they structured their presentation by posing a question after each speaker. Furthermore, I found the section about language very interesting. They explained how the UK does not accommodate standardized testing for students who do not speak English as their first language. This is a huge problem because how are these children supposed to perform well if they cannot understand the language being used on the test? I also found it alarming that only certain states in the US accommodate for other languages in standardized tests. I also think it is really important to talk about the story of the child who spoke English as an additional language and was falsely diagnosed with a learning disability because he did not understand the language. As we discussed in the learning disability lectures, this is dangerous because once someone is diagnosed with a learning disability, it is common that educators will set low expectations for them throughout their entire education, and they will never be pushed to high levels.

Next, Desire, Lauren, Asyah, and Reagan focused on the racial disparities that exist in the healthcare and education systems. I learned that the leading cause to the racial disparities in healthcare is the distrust between families and their education and healthcare professionals. This distrust exists because of past legacies of mistreatment and current issues of discrimination. I learned that black women were sterilized at a rate 3x that of white women and 12x that of white men. I also learned that 2/3 black women believe that the NHS cares for white people more than minorities, which was a powerful statistic. Furthermore, I learned about the discrimination within the education systems. The presenters talked about the school to prison pipeline in the US, where black youth are funneled from public schools into criminal systems. Also, it was not surprising to hear that only 5% of chief nurses in the UK are BME, showing the gap in opportunity for career progression for BME individuals. They also explained that 83% of early education instructors in the UK are white women. This is a huge problem because BME children need teachers that look like them in order to feel represented within their education systems.

Alec and Connor talked about the impact of sexism in nursing and education. It was interesting to hear the statistics that there is a 1:5 ratio for male to female faculty in the NHS. However, despite women making up the majority of the work force, they are being paid less. They explained how the average pay for a female social worker in the US is $50,000, but the average pay for a male social worker is $54,000, despite women making up the majority of this profession. On top of this, men are more highly represented in high level administrative nursing and education jobs due to systemic sexism and the idea that men should hold the power. 85% of superintendents in the US are male and 82% of NHS trustee members are male. Also, 66% of hospital CEOs are coming in with no hospital experience. This makes no sense. It would be much more logical to higher a woman who is a nurse or has experience in healthcare, rather than a man with a business background. It was also interesting to hear that the subject of history is male dominated in education. I wonder why this is and how this came to be. Furthermore, I learned that there is a 2:3 ratio of male to female students at Birmingham City University. Likewise, 60% of college students in the US are female. This is surprising because it used to be the other way around.

My group’s presentation was about the mental health services available in the UK and US. By doing this presentation, I learned a lot about accessing mental health services in both the US and the UK. I also learned about the disparities in accessing mental health services. In this presentation, I mainly talked about gender disparities, but in my final paper I want to look into race and socioeconomic status more deeply. Furthermore, I learned how dramatic the need for mental health services is. There is an increasing demand for mental health services, but there are a lack of providers, leaving many people without treatment. This is a huge problem that both the UK and the US need to continue to address.

Overall, I think all the groups did a great job today, and I’m so proud of all of us:) Can’t wait to celebrate in Oxford tomorrow and London on Thursday!

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