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Perfect Soldiers by Gabriel Cortez

Youth Speaks and UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations are leading a campaign against Type 2 Diabetes with their new project, The Bigger Picture. In this entry, Gabriel Cortez creates a historical bridge between Panama and growing up Panamanian-American, and the "arsenal of ways to self-destruct" that unite the intergenerational effects of Type 2 diabetes.

"But don't you know we are still at war with a country that wants us dead?
How us children of Panama and America learn early
to walk softly and carry a big stick
like Army assault rifle in one hand,
Coca-Cola bottle in the other.

Our country wasn't enough,
they are colonizing our bodies, our taste buds.
It isn't a coincidence that the military and beverage companies call us their target audience,
our black and brown bodies marching to the center of their crosshairs."

The Bigger Picture Project

The Bigger Picture Campaign is a collaboration between Youth Speaks inc, and The University of California, San Francisco’s Center for Vulnerable Populations designed to combat the rising epidemic of Type-2 Diabetes by empowering youth to change the conversation about the disease, and work to change the social and environmental factors that have led to its spread.

We aim to inspire young people to challenge and name the institutional, environmental and social causes of the spread of Type 2 Diabetes.  It is our hope that by raising their voice, taking action and joining the conversation they will inevitably alter the trajectory of the disease, and provide youth with a virtual platform, and real life performance opportunities for their stories to be heard.

As an added incentive they are offering $14K in educational scholarships to reward young people who make exceptional statements to persuade others to join the conversation, or who take direct action against this epidemic.

How You can Get Involved...

If you like what you see, and you want to help us right now, here is how you can help spread the word.

1. Like our page so we can spread the word to your friends

2. Share this page with your networks both via social marketing and through direct email

3. Highlight this video PSAs in your own local media both on and off line

4. Show the video in your classroom or community or send them to your friends, family and neighbors

5. Watch, “Like” and “Share” all of The Bigger Picture Videos on the YouTube channel.

The best way to spread the word is to learn more about Type 2 Diabetes and compel others to act with your own words and actions. Together we can change the conversation about Type 2 diabetes and reverse this health injustice.

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