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Justin Trudeau apologizes for wearing brownface in old yearbook photo, calls it racist

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Not for the first time this year, a politician has apologized for a racist photo discovered in an old yearbook.

This time it’s Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister who rose to social media fame due to his quirky sock choices, youth, and charm, but whose popularity has dimmed due to recent corruption charges and other past blunders coming to light. 

As first reported by Time, Trudeau darkened his face with makeup for an Aladdin costume he wore to an “Arabian Nights” party at a ritzy private school he taught at in 2001, when he was 29. 

A picture of his costume, which included a feathered turban and robe, is featured in the 2000-2001 yearbook of West Point Grey Academy.  Read more…

More about Justin Trudeau, Blackface, Brownface, Social Good, and Celebrities

Twitter drags CBS News for misleading headline, tweet about that viral Beto O’Rourke video

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If you bothered to log onto your Twitter account at least once this week, you almost definitely saw the viral video of Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke responding thoughtfully to a question about whether he finds it disrespectful when NFL players kneel during the national anthem. The clip drew wide praise, including from LeBron James, Ellen DeGeneres, and Janelle Monáe

But a CBS News story on the exchange created viral outrage by reducing the nuance and insight of O’Rourke’s response to a terribly misleading headline and tweet.   Read more…

More about Social Good, Ted Cruz, Beto O Rourke, National Anthem Protests, and Culture

Her tweet echoed Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but her story had a much different ending

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They both got kicked out of different Washington, D.C. area restaurants on Friday. But only one suffered unjust treatment.

While White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders used her government Twitter account on Saturday to criticize a private business that politely asked her to leave, Charlotte Clymer shared a story of her own. Both women were ejected from a restaurant on Friday, but the similarities end there.

“Last night, I was told by the manager of @CubaLibreDC that I couldn’t use the women’s restroom, and after challenging his discrimination with D.C. law and responding to his threat of calling the police w/ “please do so”, I was forcibly removed from the restaurant.”  Read more…

More about Twitter, Viral, Social Good, Activism, and Transgender Rights

New woman joins class-action rape lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein

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Justice continues to close in on Harvey Weinstein, ever since he surrendered himself to the New York police on May 25 (before being released on bail). Now, one more survivor accusing him of rape is adding her story to the legal battle.

CNN reports that Melissa Thompson joined the three other women who filed a class-action lawsuit against the infamous, disgraced Hollywood producer. Before the new charges, he already stood accused of first and third degree rape, as well as first degree criminal sexual act. 

Though Thompson’s story sounds very similar to the litany of other allegations brought to light by women over the past seven months, it adds a fresh layer of (alleged) insidiousness from Weinstein’s lawyer.  Read more…

More about Entertainment, Social Good, Harvey Weinstein, Metoo, and Entertainment

The ‘Arrested Development’ actors prove men in Hollywood learned nothing

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The family drama around the Arrested Development cast continues to unfold. And like kids caught in the crossfire of feuding parents, it hurts to watch. 

We’ve heard countless bad takes on #MeToo from Hollywood men. But this one feels personal. And it’s because it comes across as definitive proof that the house is still in burning, despite promising signs that things might be getting better.

To recap the situation at hand: It all started with a New York Times article that might as well be renamed “Well Actually: An Arrested Development Interview.” 

More about Entertainment, Social Good, Jeffrey Tambor, Arrested Development, and Metoo

Michelle Obama is tired of seeing men ‘fail up’

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When Michelle Obama walked onto the stage of Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium Saturday evening, the crowd let loose screams of joy usually reserved for rock stars. 

Audience members, who’d spent the day talking about gender equality as part of the United State of Women summit, listened raptly for 40 minutes as Obama, in conversation with Black-ish actress Tracee Ellis Ross, shared what amounted to life lessons you’d expect from one of the most beloved first ladies in recent history. And when the discussion turned political, Obama got very real. 

More about Women, Gender Equality, Michelle Obama, Social Good, and Politics

Trump’s Twitter ban on trans troops is official, but he can’t implement it yet. Here’s why.

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President Donald Trump’s tweets banning transgender people from serving in the military have become policy. It’s officially really official. Like for real this time.

But don’t expect the ban to take immediate effect. 

That’s right. It doesn’t matter if the ink’s dry and the policy’s been filed in the Federal Register. Four federal judges have already temporarily blocked the ban from taking effect. 

That’s because several organizations, including GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), sued the U.S. government after Trump tapped out three tweets in July that hurled us into this controversy, blindsiding top military officials and activists.  Read more…

More about Transgender, Trump, Transgender Military Ban, Social Good, and Politics

How a majority-Indigenous owned wine company is giving back

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While there are already a handful of wineries run by First Nations people in Canada, Gondwana Wines is hoping to do the same in Australia.

It’s a majority-Indigenous owned wine company and social enterprise founded by Worimi entrepreneur Alisi Tutuila, that aims to simultaneously make great wine, promote Indigenous Australian culture and give back to the community itself.

A multifaceted business, Gondwana Wines gives a portion of its proceeds to the “Leading The Way” program, which provides training and employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians. Read more…

More about Social Good, Wine, Indigenous, Indigenous Australians, and Wines

Selfie tourism is killing these incredibly cute creatures

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Warning: this article contains images of animal abuse which some may find distressing.

A small furry creature huddles close to a tree branch on the edge of the forest. Its large, globular eyes are shut (it’s daytime, and so now it sleeps); its strong hands and arms hold firm even as it slumbers.

In a deep sleep, the creature doesn’t hear the rustling of approaching predators. Before it knows what’s happening, it’s plucked from the tree and bundled into a bag. When it is finally taken out into the blinding light of day, metal pliers are forced into its mouth to clip its teeth. Then it is shoved into a wire cage, alone and in pain. Read more…

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Dogs rescued from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria are being adopted

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After surviving Puerto Rico’s deadly Hurricane Maria, a group of rescued dogs have arrived in U.S. cities, ready for adoption.

In one instance, reported by the New York Post, a total of 53 dogs were scooped up by animal rescue group The Sato Project — and 28 of these are up for adoption in New York City (the rest have been distributed to shelters around the U.S.). 

Lower East Side no-kill animal shelter Animal Haven is where you’ll find the NYC-based pooches, flown to the city via charter plane from Puerto Rico, funded by the John and Wendy Neu Foundation. Read more…

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'See' sounds around you with these eyeglasses for the hearing impaired

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For the hearing impaired, getting around without audio cues can be a challenge. Sudden noises can alert you to things happening in that direction, and allow you to react faster to them.

A new design idea translates these audio cues to visual ones, via a set of eyeglasses.

The Peri prototype, worn by one of the team members.

The Peri prototype, worn by one of the team members.

Image: peri/supplied

Inspired by shoot-em-up video games, which typically show a red glow in the direction from which an enemy is shooting at you, these glasses will light up at the edges when they detect sound in that direction. Read more…

More about Social Good, Singapore, Eyeglasses, Accessibility, and Glasses

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How a gang of celebrity moms is helping make sure families don't have to choose between diapers and food

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Earlier this month, Kerry Washington tweeted a video about dirty diapers to her 4.6 million followers. 

The minute-long clip featured the Scandal star and mom of two talking not about her infant son, but about the fact that too many parents can’t afford diapers and have to choose between them and other essentials like food and medicine. 

“It’s a crime that that would be true, that you would have to choose between feeding your kid or changing their diaper,” Washington says. 

I’m so proud to support @Baby2Baby | @attndotcom. No parent should have to choose between feeding their child or changing their diaperpic.twitter.com/NyZ2diNmdH

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) June 9, 2017 Read more…

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Couples are celebrating 50 years since interracial marriage was legalized with #LovingDay

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Couples and families are using the hashtag #LovingDay all over social media today to celebrate interracial relationships that would have been illegal in the U.S. before a landmark civil rights case 50 years ago.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia on June 12, 1967 that interracial couple Mildred Loving and Richard Loving’s marriage was not a crime. The decision went all the way to the Supreme Court, which found that the state of Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws violated the 14th amendment and were racist. Read more…

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Yelp will now show you which businesses have gender inclusive restrooms

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Yelp will soon be able to tell you about a new aspect of restaurants and businesses that is often overlooked: whether its restrooms are gender inclusive.

The company is rolling out a new feature that will identify businesses that have “gender-neutral restrooms,” similar to how it identifies establishments that are wheelchair accessible or accept credit cards. 

With the update, Yelp will officially add “gender-neutral restroom” to its list of business attributes, which appear on a business’ page, alongside their hours, reviews and other details. Yelp says it defines these restrooms as those that are “accessible to persons of any gender and are a locking, single-stall bathroom.” Read more…

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The biodegradable paper airplane that could revolutionize humanitarian aid

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Paper planes aren’t just for passing secret notes across the classroom anymore. Now, they can even save lives.

Otherlab, an engineering research and development lab based in San Francisco, has created the world’s most advanced industrial paper airplanes. The paper gliders look almost like stealth fighters, capable of carrying more than two pounds of supplies like blood and vaccines to those in need.

And they could totally transform humanitarian aid for people in remote regions.

The project is part of Otherlab’s Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions (APSARA) system, which uses computational design to create low-cost aerial supply vehicles. Read more…

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A new anti-smoking ad slams Big Tobacco for targeting black neighborhoods

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The tobacco industry knows all about diversity — and knows exactly how to exploit it. 

That’s the message of a new ad campaign from anti-smoking group Truth Initiative that highlights the ways in which cigarette marketers disproportionately target disadvantaged groups.

In the commercials, comedian and former MTV VJ Amanda Seales talks through some stark statistics about the abundance of tobacco ads in black neighborhoods, near low-income schools and other areas where they’re more likely to be seen by various underprivileged populations.  Read more…

More about Health, Tobacco, Business, Advertising, and Social Good

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A new anti-smoking ad slams Big Tobacco for targeting black neighborhoods

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The tobacco industry knows all about diversity — and knows exactly how to exploit it. 

That’s the message of a new ad campaign from anti-smoking group Truth Initiative that highlights the ways in which cigarette marketers disproportionately target disadvantaged groups.

In the commercials, comedian and former MTV VJ Amanda Seales talks through some stark statistics about the abundance of tobacco ads in black neighborhoods, near low-income schools and other areas where they’re more likely to be seen by various underprivileged populations.  Read more…

More about Health, Tobacco, Business, Advertising, and Social Good

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Porn site posts rape joke on Facebook, and people are enraged

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A Filipino porn site has left netizens enraged after it posted an offensive “joke” on Facebook saying “it wouldn’t be rape if you enjoy it.”

The site, RBreezy, posted the picture, which received over 1.4k likes, on its Facebook page on Saturday.

The photo caption says LOL

The photo caption says LOL

Image: End rape culture ph/facebook

It also said “LOL” in its photo caption and to “tag your rapist friends.”

Its Facebook page has since been suspended, but screenshots of its offensive post have been captured on various other pages.

“RBreezy, if this is meant to be a joke, it isn’t funny. Stop making rape trivial or funny,” said a post by Facebook group End Rape Culture PH, which has since been shared almost 5,000 times.  Read more…

More about Sexual Violence, Rape, Philippines, World, and Social Good

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7 meaningful ways to celebrate Black History Month

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While black excellence deserves to be celebrated every day, Black History Month offers a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the black community. 

February’s celebration is a reminder to seek out stories and histories that often go overlooked — but it also serves as a call to recognize the various black leaders in our own lives.

Even though it’s the shortest month of the year, there’s a lot you can do to show your appreciation for the community in just 28 days. Here are a few ways you can honor black lives and culture this Black History Month. Read more…

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These flyers perfectly shut down street harassment and unwanted catcalling

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While street harassment continues to be a problem for many women, one artist has released a set of posters aimed at shutting catcallers down.

Manila-based Jara Rogacion tweeted a set of downloadable flyers and calling cards for street harassers, which have quickly gone viral.

dahil ‘di ko na talaga makakaya ‘pag may nang-harass pa sa’min sa susunod, gumawa ako ng calling card, flyers, at sampal ng katotohananpic.twitter.com/1cutLAgWAf

— Jara (@j0ssiean) January 25, 2017

Rogacion is offering the flyers to fellow women who face harassment on the street, but don’t know how to deal with it. Read more…

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This racial justice map sheds light on an often overlooked part of U.S. history

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Dark parts of American history are often swept under the rug for being too shameful and painful. But engaging with that history is crucial to understand the present — and figure out how to move forward.

A new website, called Monroe Work Today, is bringing the harrowing history of lynching in the United States out of the shadows. Its detailed map and other resources document the names and experiences of nearly 5,000 people of color who were killed between 1835 and 1963. 

“History class taught you the tip of the iceberg,” the site reads. “Every citizen has a duty to know this story. This history belongs to everyone.” Read more…

More about Black History Month, Education, Social Good, History, and Racism

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7 strategies for raising confident girls in the Trump era

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For girls, women and their allies who believe in gender equality, the presidency of Donald J. Trump marks a terrifying moment in modern American history. 

With President Obama’s departure, the White House loses a man who wrote emphatically about being a feminist and focused on policies that provided equal opportunity to all girls and women. 

Trump, on the other hand, insists he respects and champions women, but has made a sport out of rating their physical appearance and was recorded making comments that indicate he’s sexually assaulted women. He also gleefully threatened to imprison Hillary Clinton, the first woman to run for president on behalf of a major political party. Read more…

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What a teen's recent livestreamed suicide reveals about mental health and social media

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On Dec. 30, Katelyn Nicole Davis turned on the livestreaming app Live.me at her home in Cedartown, Georgia, and broadcast her own suicide.

As that video spread across the internet and social media, it demonstrated how quickly technology can turn casual spectators into traumatized witnesses. The video also left those who encountered it online or through news reports wondering what would drive a young person — Davis was just 12 — to invite unsuspecting friends and strangers to watch a life vanish before their eyes. 

More about Social Media, Facebook Live, Social Good, Mental Health, and Conversations

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