By the second episode of Netflix's new series, "The Chair," Tia Noelle Pratt says she was "triggered."
Pratt, an assistant professor of sociology at Villanova University, says that the show will feel almost viscerally familiar for many academics of color.
The series stars Sandra Oh as Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, an English professor at the fictional Pembroke University, an elite New England institution, beginning her first day as the chair of the department — the first woman and, presumably, person of color to hold the position.
Pratt writes that the characters reminded her vividly of people she knew as a graduate student. "Throughout the six episodes, I often found myself reliving traumatic microaggressions from well over 10 years ago, remembering many of these instances almost word for word," she says.
There is a burgeoning conversation about racism happening at the highest levels of academia, particularly in divinity schools, theology departments and religious studies programs.
Hot and humid is the norm for a Houston summer, and air conditioning and staying inside during peak heat are necessities. But many Houstonians can't take refuge from the heat and are prone to severe heat-related illnesses.
Sr. Ricca Dimalibot, a physician and member of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, attends to patients suffering from effects of extreme heat. Dimalibot is medical director of the CHRISTUS Point of Light Clinic, which provides health care to the uninsured and underserved in the Greater Houston area.
Her patients include workers with outdoor jobs, elderly people and families that live in large family units. Patients often come into her office with flushed faces because they don't have air conditioning in their cars.
"Many of our patients are the ones who are doing yard work, construction or working in the kitchen, which is also very hot," Dimalibot said. "We've had so many suffer from heat strokes. The effects of the heat encompass all the organs of the body, and we've had patients who were really in total system breakdown. Most of them are those who had been working outside in the heat."
This summer's extreme heat is especially felt in cities, where asphalt and concrete combine to create an "urban heat island" effect that also exposes a key environmental justice question as cities try to replace blacktops with green space.
Read the latest Horizons column at Global Sisters Report. Jennifer Wilson, a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, writes about taking a break to shake off burnout from being in the classroom during COVID-19 by watching salmon swim upriver in Alaska.
ICYMI: Pope Francis has named Salesian Sr. Alessandra Smerilli as interim secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The 46-year-old Italian is an economist and professor of economic policy, an adviser to the governing office of Vatican City State, and a consultant to the Synod of Bishops.
Read an appreciation of Sinsinawa Dominican Sr. Donna Quinn, longtime feminist social justice advocate, who died July 30, 2021, at the age of 84.