Local Official and Organizations Partner to Encourage Minorities to Join the State’s Donor Registry

August 1 is the 15th Anniversary of National Minority Donor Awareness Day Minority populations in the United States, particularly African-Americans, are disproportionately affected by illnesses that can lead to the need for organ, tissue or eye transplants. In Illinois, nearly 5,000 people are on the organ transplant waiting list. 40 percent of these people are African-Americans, most of whom are waiting for a donor kidney. Many of the conditions leading to the need for a transplant, such as diabetes and hypertension, occur with greater frequency among minority populations. National Minority Donor Awareness Day, observed annually on August 1, seeks to raise awareness of the urgent need for donors and transplants within the multicultural community. A secondary goal is to educate the public about donation facts and how to register their decision to donate life. Together with Cook County Commissioner Robert B. Steele, representatives from Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network will host a press conference and donation drive on August 1 at Mount Sinai Hospital (Sinai Health System), which has a rich history of serving minority populations in Chicago. In November 2010, Commissioner Steele received a kidney from his sister after a 27-year battle with Type 2 Diabetes. The local observance of National Minority Donor Awareness Day will encourage people of all minority groups—African-Americans, Latinos and others—to join the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry and talk to their family members about their decision. According to data from Donate Life America, minorities make up many of the people who receive organs but very few of those who donate. In 2010, 5,963 African-Americans received organ transplants, but only 2,089 African-Americans were donors. In the same year, 3,795 Latinos received an organ transplant, but only 1,953 Latinos were donors. “Although ethnicity and race are not determining factor in donations, the success rates of transplants increase when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic and racial group,” said Jack Lynch, Director of Community Affairs for Gift of Hope. “Lower donation rates among minorities can result...

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The Road Less Traveled: The Power of Hispanics & Social Media

Close your eyes and imagine. Think of a United States where 1 out of 6 people are Hispanic. Imagine that Hispanics account for one quarter of all babies born, and 95% of the teen population growth through 2020 (3). Consider a place where the word “minority” no longer defines the Latino population. Now open your eyes and look around. This is not a fantasy, it is a reality. As Univision states in their promotional video, Hispanics are the “New American Reality”, they are young, bicultural and heavy users of technology. So doesn’t it make sense to start funneling advertising dollars towards social media? The obvious answer is YES! But that response has yet to reach through the ranks as only 22% of corporations that participated in the 2010 Hispanic Marketing Trends Survey initiated a social media campaign targeting Hispanics (4 p.9). As of now, there are currently over 13.5 million registered Hispanic users on Facebook. On MySpace, sometimes referred to as the “abandoned amusement park of the Internet,” over 20% of users are Hispanics, thanks to their revamped efforts to target Generation Y Latinos (1). Still not impressed? Here is another fact: Hispanics control 17% of the Twitter market (4 p.27). Basically, what all this means is that they are actively participating in social mediums and the numbers are only going to continue to grow. Hispanics are predicted to account for over 15% of the entire online population by 2014 (4 p.12). That is not far down the road and it is time for corporations to start thinking twice about actively pursuing this market; a market that has over $1 trillion in spending power. So why tap into social media to do the job? Hispanics love peer-to-peer communications and “are more likely to forward opinions and information about a brand compared to their Caucasian counterparts” (2). Most Hispanics will spend their times on blogs and social media sites sharing their opinions and communicating with friends and family. Since they are already there, why not...

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