All posts by Rose Joneson

Rose Joneson is a freelance writer focusing on health, business, and sustainability topics. Her goal is to make more people aware of these significant and ever-evolving matters that will improve their health, boost their careers, and help them make better environmental decisions.

New Trends in Social Awareness: Audiobooks – by Rose Joneson

Listening Impact: How Audiobooks Drive Social Awareness 

Technology has become an integral part of society, driving innovation and empowerment in many ways, including social awareness. Information and resources on social issues from various perspectives and cultures are now easily accessible to many, and one way such knowledge is spreading is through audiobooks. Audiobooks, once perceived as mere entertainment, are increasingly recognized for their unique potential to cultivate social awareness. This medium has great potential, as audiobooks have been increasing in popularity; Statista reports that audiobook publishing and consumption have increased tenfold in recent years, meaning more people are willing to listen and learn something new through these books. This immersive format offers distinct advantages in fostering empathy, understanding, and engagement with diverse perspectives and challenging issues. Here’s how audiobooks can drive social awareness:

Empathy and emotional connection

Audiobooks excel at conveying the emotional depth and complexity of characters and situations. The narrator’s voice can breathe life into diverse characters, allowing listeners to step into their shoes and experience the world through their eyes. This fosters empathy and understanding towards marginalized groups or individuals facing different challenges. For example, listening to a first-hand account of racial discrimination through an audiobook narrated by the author can be far more impactful than reading the same account on paper.

A writer’s account of listening to Michelle Zauner’s Crying In H Mart allowed her to more deeply appreciate the retelling of the author’s experiences with culture, identity, and relationship with her immigrant mother by listening to the sadness, humor, and longing in her voice. This prompted her to share the audiobook with her immigrant mother, fostering a deeper connection and awareness of each other’s social realities. Audiobooks allow for a more immersive listening experience and a greater emotional connection, making social awareness feel like a more real and tangible concept and practice rather than mere theory.

Diverse topics and perspectives

Audiobooks offer a platform for amplifying marginalized voices and perspectives that might otherwise be unheard. Listening to diverse authors narrate their own stories or experienced narrators portraying characters from different backgrounds can challenge listeners’ biases and expose them to new viewpoints.

Digital libraries also allow easy access to these diverse topics and perspectives, with millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more available on one platform. The audiobook selection on Everand showcases a vast array of social awareness resources for various contexts, such as Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown’s Beyond Diversity: 12 Non-Obvious Ways To Build A More Inclusive World or the platform-original Writing into the Wound: Understanding trauma, truth, and language by Roxanne Gay. This exposure can be instrumental in breaking down stereotypes and fostering a more inclusive and understanding society.

Accessibility and convenience

Other than conveying messages and topics on social awareness, audiobooks play an essential role in making literacy more equitable and accessible. Audiobooks break down barriers to knowledge and understanding. Unlike traditional reading, they can be easily enjoyed during commutes, chores, or even exercise.

feature on audiobooks on NBC News notes that this convenience makes books more accessible to those with visual impairments, people with processing issues or learning disabilities, or readers who are on a busy schedule. Audiobooks can overcome challenges to literacy and make learning about social awareness less daunting or challenging, encouraging more curiosity and connection. This broader reach allows social awareness messages to reach a wider audience, potentially sparking conversations and action beyond the pages of a book.

Audiobooks are a prime example of how tech is instrumental in innovation and empowerment. By making topics on diversity, inclusion, culture, and more widely accessible and immersive, audiobooks prompt the growth of social awareness and how it can be set into motion in reality. The “Embracing Diversity in The Workplace” post highlights how diversity is crucial for innovation in the modern world, bringing together many experiences, thoughts, and ideas that can offer more solutions and approaches to problems. In turn, innovations from this diversity can create more avenues to accessibility and social awareness, such as audiobooks.

Body Diversity and DEI Approach to Weight Loss – by Rose Joneson

There has been significant progress in diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) goals within the US. Data from the Pew Research Center showed that 61% of workers have experienced company policies that ensure fairness in hiring, pay, or promotions. This is important given that DEI helps empower individuals and promotes the reduction of harmful bias against race, gender, sexuality, and religion.

However, one aspect of DEI that gets left behind is concerned with weight. Reports showed that inclusivity initiatives fail to consider plus-size workers, who are often stereotyped as lazy and less competent. Additionally, many workplaces are still not accommodating to plus-size individuals, who have stricter dress codes and limited healthcare benefits.

Continue reading Body Diversity and DEI Approach to Weight Loss – by Rose Joneson

Diversity of Film and TV Staff Still Lagging – by Rose Joneson

Behind the Scenes

In the film and TV industries, the lack of diversity is a crisis that stretches back decades and remains largely unresolved despite increasing demands for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). It is a multilayered issue that occurs both in front of the camera and behind it. Be that as it may, discussions on the two are disproportionate, with diversity in casting a more prevalent and publicized matter than the latter. Public awareness and criticism spell the difference, as they often spark movements like #OscarsSoWhite that push the industry to take visible strides.

The same cannot be said for diversity in production crews, where gender and racial gaps continue to persist. UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report reveals that women and people of color (POC) remain vastly underrepresented behind the scenes, taking up less than a third of key roles. While this is already an improvement from a few years ago, much can still be done to improve diversity among crew members.

The state of diversity

It’s no secret that whoever holds the power to greenlight projects also determines whether DEI goals are met and set. More than sociocultural norms, this is the crux of the problem, as key decision-makers and regulatory bodies are predominantly white, male, or both. Additionally, the trickle-up effect is common across production companies, where DEI policies only apply to entry-level positions. This is an ineffective measure where diversity is concerned, as these roles are often inconsequential when it comes to decision-making and relevant representation.

Today, only 22% of directors are female and 30% POC, with the number of film writers 33% and 32% respectively. To make matters worse, where diversity is present in key roles, the budget lags far behind that where white men are at the helm. While this unequal balance of power cripples the democracy inherent in a diverse crew today, it isn’t something new.

Working towards diversity in the industry has long begged the question of sustainability. A Michigan State University article indicates DEI measures have a short lifespan and often hinge on emotionally-charged events that draw public outcry. As the aforementioned #OscarsSoWhite incident received widespread coverage with the help of social media, the awarding body committed to renewed efforts toward diversity. For a while, it worked; but as public attention and awareness shifted elsewhere, so did the commitment wane.

The way forward

All things considered, how can the industry do better moving forward? To start, it can increase diversity behind the scenes.

Start at the top

As waymakers in their teams, leaders are instrumental in promoting diversity from the top down. Take the pivotal role of the creative director, who is responsible for overseeing a project’s marketing, communications, and creative operations. Given the scope of their work, they directly report to CMOs and directors on production; yet more than that, they play the role of mentor and critic to a host of team members. As such, they are uniquely positioned to cultivate and encourage diversity in how content and materials are constructed, executed, and presented to the public. In doing so, they create opportunities for women and other minorities within their teams to share not just their craft but their narratives as well.

Cast a wider net

In order to boost diversity among crew members, companies must recruit the diversity they seek. While it’s easy to simply onboard as many diverse talents as possible and call it a day, the human resource director would know that a lot more intention must go into the recruitment process–especially if the goal is to keep and promote diversity within ranks. As such, companies must cast a wider net in terms of their policies and culture. More than just a footnote on job postings or an empty promise, concrete and actionable DEI measures that embrace, value, and facilitate the growth of diversity–both in staff and productions themselves–are key. In this way, women and other minorities are encouraged to join the team, as well as to stay on.

Diversity in the film and TV industries has been slow to progress over the past few years. While it has a long way to go, effective leadership, intentional recruitment, and a more empathetic workplace can hasten progress.

Discrimination in America’s Healthcare Systems – by Rose Joneson

Where Can Change Start?

A considerable number of patients experience discrimination in the country’s healthcare system. Over 21% of adults report being discriminated against, and 72% of this group say they’ve experienced discrimination more than once. Racial and ethnic discrimination are the most commonly experienced by Americans seeking medical attention. These events affect the kind of care patients receive, putting their well-being at risk. For instance, a doctor’s refusal to treat a person of color (POC) in an emergency highly endangers the patient’s health.

On that note, let’s dive deeper into discrimination in America’s healthcare systems—and what’s being done to address it.

Stories of discrimination in healthcare

Gender discrimination

The LGBTQ community is receiving the brunt of gender discrimination. Take the story of Jacob Gammon, a Black gay man in his early twenties. Clinic staff kept refusing him when he went for a checkup, persuading him to seek care in other places after learning of his sexual orientation. This experience discouraged him from seeking and taking care of his health needs, as he only started looking for another care provider a further 6 months after the incident. In more urgent situations, such a delay would have more seriously worsened Gammon’s health condition.

Racial discrimination

Racial discrimination is prevalent despite efforts like the Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate movements. Tomeka Isaac is a Black woman with an undiagnosed condition that affected her pregnancy. As it turns out, her OB did not perform standard procedures like urine testing that would have detected her HELPP syndrome. This resulted in a horrible birth experience that traumatized Isaac and her husband. Moreover, she shared that doctors often assumed Black women’s pain tolerance to be higher. Her experience and these baseless assumptions continue to endanger Black women’s health.

Where can change start?

Improving healthcare management education

With the above stories proving the dire need for more equal treatment in healthcare, changes to improve diversity must start with healthcare leaders. This way, they can set the tone for these changes and encourage other medical professionals—doctors, nurses, and other health staff—to follow suit. Healthcare leaders at universities are leading the charge by upgrading their healthcare management degrees to help prepare healthcare leaders. This education more effectively trains them to identify modern healthcare challenges in their respective institutions and present practical solutions. For instance, they can propose organizational policies that promote anti-discrimination in their healthcare facility.

Hiring more diverse healthcare professionals

Aside from patients, healthcare workers experience discrimination in the healthcare system. POCs and LGBTQ medical professionals have a more challenging time getting hired. For example, overseas nurses are discriminated against for their supposed inferior and foreign nursing education. Despite being qualified nurses, they’re stripped of the chance to provide care due to race. These can potentially cause problems for America’s healthcare system amid nurse shortages. A less diverse system also endangers patients. Previously mentioned was a Black woman’s traumatic birthing experience because doctors had assumptions about her pain tolerance. With a more inclusive and diverse medical staff, patients like her will be treated without prejudice. Lastly, a diverse team can educate fellow professionals on any false assumptions they may have.

Better anti-discrimination education for the healthcare industry

The Office for Civil Rights has enforced several anti-discrimination regulations regarding healthcare. One includes Section 1908 of the Public Health Service Act, which prohibits discrimination based on age, color, race, and disability. While this is a great initiative, it will improve with better anti-discrimination education for health professionals. This should include a better understanding of such policies, suitable actions when witnessing discriminatory acts in medical facilities, and the dangers of discrimination in the industry. A deeper understanding of these issues can prevent discrimination within the healthcare system more effectively.

While discrimination still exists in America’s healthcare system, there are several ways to change it. Improved healthcare management education, a more diverse healthcare staff, and better anti-discrimination education can help address the issue.


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