Friday, September 26, 2014

LAGS and Cultural Night

This month's first LAGS lecture was presented by some Roosevelt High School students.  These students have been learning how to use GIS to map social inequalities, such as obesity, community gardens, PTSD and alcoholism in their local community, which is mostly minority and low income.

The first group showed maps concerning the obesity epidemic found in Boyle Heights.  The question the students asked was whether one’s economic status affected their likelihood of developing obesity.  They compared Boyle Heights with Pacific Palisades, a higher income neighborhood.

Obesity/Income Map for Boyle Heights. Image from Boyle Heights Beat (online).
The next group focused on community gardens.  They explored community gardens in their local area ad found quite a few, but they were usually small and rarely open.  The students commented on the abundance of vacant lots, which they suggested could be used for community gardens.

The third group examined PTSD in young adolescents.  They said a lot of young people suffer from PTSD in low income communities where gang violence and shootings occur daily.  The students presenting this topic said they experience such events in their own lives.

The last group addressed the issue of alcoholism among both adults and young people.  These students walked around Boyle Heights, taking note of every alcohol advertisement and liquor store they found.

For more information on this topic visit Boyle Heights Beat and GeoMaster.  Next month's LAGS lecture is titled "Bahrain - Between Two Seas" by Dr. Zia Salim, Assistant Professor of Geography, CSU Fullerton.  It will begin at 8pm on October 3rd.  Visit the LAGS page for more info.  Email us at csulbgsa@gmail for carpool info.

The first cultural night was a huge success!  We had so many people show up that we couldn't fit them all at one table!  We ate at Magic Lamp, a Lebanese Mediterranean grill restaurant on East Second Street in Long Beach and it was delicious.  There was not only good food but live music and good service.

Afterward we got dessert at Sweet Jill's Bakery across the street from Magic Lamp.  All the cakes there looked amazing and the ones our group tried tasted amazing too.  If you missed this past cultural night, don't worry.  We're having another one in October, place and day TBA.  Here are some photos from this month's cultural night.   

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