See what happened in a country that didn’t put extreme anti-choice lawmakers in check. It’s scary.

When extreme belief systems are allowed to dictate our laws, it’s not difficult to end up in this kind of situation.

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<span class=”redactor-invisible-space”></span>

This is Donna in the Philippines.

Without affordable birth control and without options for abortion care, she must live with the looming threat of what another pregnancy could do to her family or, physically, to her.

And this is Cristina in El Salvador.

She suffered a horrific miscarriage only to be accused of aborting her baby and then arrested and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Stories like this often break our hearts, but they seem so far away and like they don’t apply to us, right? But that’s not true. Check out the video above to see where in America we’re starting to see scary parallels and where abortion access is being restricted by chipping away at laws and loopholes just a little at a time.

The first step in drawing the line is for American men and women to realize that those horror stories CAN happen here to people they love and even to themselves.

Please consider sharing this if you’re ready to draw the line, too.

From the Center for Reproductive Rights. Follow them on Facebook to stay looped in!

See what happened in a country that didn’t put extreme anti-choice lawmakers in check. It’s scary.

When extreme belief systems are allowed to dictate our laws, it’s not difficult to end up in this kind of situation.

<span class=”redactor-invisible-space”></span>
<span class=”redactor-invisible-space”></span>

This is Donna in the Philippines.

Without affordable birth control and without options for abortion care, she must live with the looming threat of what another pregnancy could do to her family or, physically, to her.

And this is Cristina in El Salvador.

She suffered a horrific miscarriage only to be accused of aborting her baby and then arrested and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Stories like this often break our hearts, but they seem so far away and like they don’t apply to us, right? But that’s not true. Check out the video above to see where in America we’re starting to see scary parallels and where abortion access is being restricted by chipping away at laws and loopholes just a little at a time.

The first step in drawing the line is for American men and women to realize that those horror stories CAN happen here to people they love and even to themselves.

Please consider sharing this if you’re ready to draw the line, too.

From the Center for Reproductive Rights. Follow them on Facebook to stay looped in!

If we treated any other professionals the way we do teachers, they’d riot in the streets.

It seems like the less experience a person has in the classroom, the more ideas they have on how to improve teaching. Teachers are increasingly controlled in how they spend their classroom time. Paperwork piles up.

Here’s a new idea: Let them be brilliant.

The education industry is constantly trying to sell ways to improve education. Self-directed learning apps! Standardized tests! Smartboards! State-of-the-art school buildings!

Enthusiasm for this kind of flashy fix often just makes things worse.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the smell of a freshly painted hallway as much as the next person. But these salespeople are missing one major, MAJOR thing.

The single most-important determiner of educational quality is the quality of the
teacher in the classroom.

Children who spend all day with the best teachers learn at twice the rate of the average. The difference between an OK teacher and an amazing teacher is huge, and the impact is long-lasting.

Teacher burnout is super high. In the U.S.,
40-50% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years.

The obvious question is where do we find the best teachers? How do we make the teachers we have better?

It’s time to treat them the way we treat other college-educated professionals. Pay them well. Trust them to do their jobs well. Offer them opportunities for collaboration. Reward their creativity instead of punishing it. Give them the chance to design their own solutions to their students’ stumbling blocks.

I’d rather my kids were in a classroom with a happy, inspired, and empowered leader than a grouchy, burned-out one. Wouldn’t you?

Video from the RSA. Thumbnail image from Thinkstock, used with permission.

If we treated any other professionals the way we do teachers, they’d riot in the streets.

It seems like the less experience a person has in the classroom, the more ideas they have on how to improve teaching. Teachers are increasingly controlled in how they spend their classroom time. Paperwork piles up.

Here’s a new idea: Let them be brilliant.

The education industry is constantly trying to sell ways to improve education. Self-directed learning apps! Standardized tests! Smartboards! State-of-the-art school buildings!

Enthusiasm for this kind of flashy fix often just makes things worse.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the smell of a freshly painted hallway as much as the next person. But these salespeople are missing one major, MAJOR thing.

The single most-important determiner of educational quality is the quality of the
teacher in the classroom.

Children who spend all day with the best teachers learn at twice the rate of the average. The difference between an OK teacher and an amazing teacher is huge, and the impact is long-lasting.

Teacher burnout is super high. In the U.S.,
40-50% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years.

The obvious question is where do we find the best teachers? How do we make the teachers we have better?

It’s time to treat them the way we treat other college-educated professionals. Pay them well. Trust them to do their jobs well. Offer them opportunities for collaboration. Reward their creativity instead of punishing it. Give them the chance to design their own solutions to their students’ stumbling blocks.

I’d rather my kids were in a classroom with a happy, inspired, and empowered leader than a grouchy, burned-out one. Wouldn’t you?

Video from the RSA. Thumbnail image from Thinkstock, used with permission.

Tired of hearing how humans have destroyed the planet? You’re in for a surprise with this clip.

Feeling down from crappy news? Here’s a quick pick-me-up.

“You’re destroying the planet!”

“Humanity has ruined the Earth.”

Sooner or later, we’ve all probably heard about what *we* have been doing wrong for the environment.

While there *are* many things we need to fix about the environment, mentally flogging ourselves isn’t helpful either. And, sometimes, we need to acknowledge the good so that we can have the drive to keep making things better.

“But wait,” you might be asking. “What HAVE we even done better?”

Here’s what we did in 2014:

1. Put pressure on Lego to end its partnership with Shell

Shell was drilling a lot in the Arctic and hurting it, and Lego was helping to promote Shell. Now they are not, and everything is awesome again.

2. Got many big companies, like Colgate and Nestle, to promise to buy ethical palm oil

Many companies acquire palm oil that literally displaces people from their homes. Companies agreeing to get palm oil that won’t screw up people’s lives is wonderful news.

3. Convinced Oriental & Pacific to stop its harmful tuna-catching practices

This means fewer sharks, turtles, and other marine animals being strangled by nets.

4. Showed up for polar bears (and the Arctic)

Polar bears need Arctic ice to survive. Drilling in the Arctic messes with their livelihood. If they have no ice, they have nowhere to sleep or rest, among other things! Fortunately, 6 million people have signed up to put a stop to this.

And so, so, so much more. Watch this video to find out what.

Note: While I understand it’s important to not simply pat ourselves on the back and leave it at that, I value the importance to realizing how far we’ve come and how easily we can become the solution instead of the damage.

If you believe in the power of humanity to be harnessed for good, share this post.

Video via Greenpeace UK.

Tired of hearing how humans have destroyed the planet? You’re in for a surprise with this clip.

Feeling down from crappy news? Here’s a quick pick-me-up.

“You’re destroying the planet!”

“Humanity has ruined the Earth.”

Sooner or later, we’ve all probably heard about what *we* have been doing wrong for the environment.

While there *are* many things we need to fix about the environment, mentally flogging ourselves isn’t helpful either. And, sometimes, we need to acknowledge the good so that we can have the drive to keep making things better.

“But wait,” you might be asking. “What HAVE we even done better?”

Here’s what we did in 2014:

1. Put pressure on Lego to end its partnership with Shell

Shell was drilling a lot in the Arctic and hurting it, and Lego was helping to promote Shell. Now they are not, and everything is awesome again.

2. Got many big companies, like Colgate and Nestle, to promise to buy ethical palm oil

Many companies acquire palm oil that literally displaces people from their homes. Companies agreeing to get palm oil that won’t screw up people’s lives is wonderful news.

3. Convinced Oriental & Pacific to stop its harmful tuna-catching practices

This means fewer sharks, turtles, and other marine animals being strangled by nets.

4. Showed up for polar bears (and the Arctic)

Polar bears need Arctic ice to survive. Drilling in the Arctic messes with their livelihood. If they have no ice, they have nowhere to sleep or rest, among other things! Fortunately, 6 million people have signed up to put a stop to this.

And so, so, so much more. Watch this video to find out what.

Note: While I understand it’s important to not simply pat ourselves on the back and leave it at that, I value the importance to realizing how far we’ve come and how easily we can become the solution instead of the damage.

If you believe in the power of humanity to be harnessed for good, share this post.

Video via Greenpeace UK.

When Obama asks him about his dad, you can just tell that he knows exactly how he feels.

It’s not obvious at first, but they have so much in common.

One day, Noah McQueen decided to do something really, truly difficult.

He decided to turn his life around.

Even though he was only 18, Noah had been arrested on more than a few occasions. He’d even been in juvenile detention.

As part of his mission of self-improvement, Noah got involved with My Brother’s Keeper, a program dedicated to addressing “persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color.”

One day not too long ago, Noah recorded an interview for StoryCorps, a program where regular Americans from all different backgrounds interview each other about their lives.

Usually people are interviewed by their friends, their siblings, or their parents. Sometimes they’re interviewed by their husband or wife.

But Noah’s StoryCorps interviewer?

THIS GUY!

And even though they don’t know each other that well, it turns out they have more than a few things in common.

The most fascinating part is how deeply they connect.

Incredible.

On the obstacles Noah faces everyday, just because of what he looks like:

Noah: “I feel like, as a black man, just me coming on the train over here, I know how we’re perceived. I know how people look at us. Every time we step into the room, we have to be on top of your game.”

On the burden of being “a success story”:

Noah: “People want to say, ‘You are the success story.’ And it’s hard to always make the right decision, and It’s hard to always want to be the leader.”

On his plans for the future:

Noah: “I want to do education because I do want to work with kids — you know — to see the beginnings and to see where I was and to see the exact same kid doing the exact same thing. And it’s like, we owe it to everyone and ourselves to come back and change that. That’s our civic duty, I believe.”

And here’s what President Obama had to say in return:

Obama: “At the age of 18, I didn’t know what I was going to be doing with my life. And you shouldn’t feel like you can’t make mistakes at this point. You’re 18 years old; I promise you, you’re going to make some more as you go along. But one of the things you’ve discovered is you’ve got this strength inside yourself, and if you stay true to that voice that clearly knows what’s right and what’s wrong, sometimes you’re gonna mess up, but you can steer back and keep going.”


Not everyone can do what Noah did. But everyone deserves the compassion and empathy Obama showed here in listening to Noah’s story without judgment.

That’s a story worth hearing and a story worth sharing.

Original by StoryCorps. They’ve posted a ton of terrific stuff to YouTube, and you can keep up to date with them on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on My Brother’s Keeper, you can read about the project here. Images used with permission.

When Obama asks him about his dad, you can just tell that he knows exactly how he feels.

It’s not obvious at first, but they have so much in common.

One day, Noah McQueen decided to do something really, truly difficult.

He decided to turn his life around.

Even though he was only 18, Noah had been arrested on more than a few occasions. He’d even been in juvenile detention.

As part of his mission of self-improvement, Noah got involved with My Brother’s Keeper, a program dedicated to addressing “persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color.”

One day not too long ago, Noah recorded an interview for StoryCorps, a program where regular Americans from all different backgrounds interview each other about their lives.

Usually people are interviewed by their friends, their siblings, or their parents. Sometimes they’re interviewed by their husband or wife.

But Noah’s StoryCorps interviewer?

THIS GUY!

And even though they don’t know each other that well, it turns out they have more than a few things in common.

The most fascinating part is how deeply they connect.

Incredible.

On the obstacles Noah faces everyday, just because of what he looks like:

Noah: “I feel like, as a black man, just me coming on the train over here, I know how we’re perceived. I know how people look at us. Every time we step into the room, we have to be on top of your game.”

On the burden of being “a success story”:

Noah: “People want to say, ‘You are the success story.’ And it’s hard to always make the right decision, and It’s hard to always want to be the leader.”

On his plans for the future:

Noah: “I want to do education because I do want to work with kids — you know — to see the beginnings and to see where I was and to see the exact same kid doing the exact same thing. And it’s like, we owe it to everyone and ourselves to come back and change that. That’s our civic duty, I believe.”

And here’s what President Obama had to say in return:

Obama: “At the age of 18, I didn’t know what I was going to be doing with my life. And you shouldn’t feel like you can’t make mistakes at this point. You’re 18 years old; I promise you, you’re going to make some more as you go along. But one of the things you’ve discovered is you’ve got this strength inside yourself, and if you stay true to that voice that clearly knows what’s right and what’s wrong, sometimes you’re gonna mess up, but you can steer back and keep going.”


Not everyone can do what Noah did. But everyone deserves the compassion and empathy Obama showed here in listening to Noah’s story without judgment.

That’s a story worth hearing and a story worth sharing.

Original by StoryCorps. They’ve posted a ton of terrific stuff to YouTube, and you can keep up to date with them on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on My Brother’s Keeper, you can read about the project here. Images used with permission.

When you walk the floor at night thinking about how women are treated, these people are, too.

A wonderful project presents stories of women you’ll never want to forget. And that’s just the beginning.

It’s the answer to the central moral challenge of our time.

The oppression of women is finally starting to end.

It takes a thousand different forms in a thousand different places, creating an interwoven mesh of cruelty. It encompasses physical abuse, sex-trafficking and prostitution, restricted access to education and opportunity, and more.

What’s changed is that women are confronting the abuse head-on.

They’re doing it all over the world, empowered by the knowledge of each other’s presence and struggle.

Two journalists wrote a best seller about it.

In 2009, journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn released “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” It became a phenomenon.

“Women hold up half the sky.” — Mao Zedong

They wanted to let people know and take heart from the exciting changes they were starting to see.

Half the Sky is now a movement.

Inspired by the book, the women and men of Half the Sky are committed to raising awareness of the problems women face and providing real solutions. Supporters have donated over $5 million to organizations supporting women and girls.

There was the movie.

The movement’s first major video production is the “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” film that ran in four parts on PBS. It’s now available on DVD.

This is the trailer.

The show visited 10 countries around the world.

Kristof was accompanied by A-listers like America Ferrera, Eva Mendes, and Gabrielle Union. They met with women and girls struggling to overcome terrible obstacles and recorded their heartache and triumph.

These are intimate and powerful stories you won’t want to forget.

Half the Sky also has a Facebook game that’s a lot more than fun.

The game raises awareness about real issues, but here’s the best part: Players unlock real-world donations from Half the Sky partners during gameplay.

There are also mobile games for developing communities.

Of the 3.5 billion cellphones in the world, over 65% of them are in developing countries, and Half the Sky is helping to produce and distribute games for these phones that teach about important local topics.

There are three mobile game apps so far.

In January 2015, PBS debuted another Half the Sky program.

This one is called “A Path Appears.”

Wanna join the movement?

You can keep up with Half the Sky Movement on their website, through PBS or via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Google+. And please share this with your friends who’ll want to know about all the excitement.

This is a trailer for “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” a documentary that originally aired on PBS in the United States that’s now available on DVD.

The Half the Sky Movement is a fantastic organization that works to help make the world a better, fairer place for women and girls through an ingenious series of programs. You can Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

When you walk the floor at night thinking about how women are treated, these people are, too.

A wonderful project presents stories of women you’ll never want to forget. And that’s just the beginning.

It’s the answer to the central moral challenge of our time.

The oppression of women is finally starting to end.

It takes a thousand different forms in a thousand different places, creating an interwoven mesh of cruelty. It encompasses physical abuse, sex-trafficking and prostitution, restricted access to education and opportunity, and more.

What’s changed is that women are confronting the abuse head-on.

They’re doing it all over the world, empowered by the knowledge of each other’s presence and struggle.

Two journalists wrote a best seller about it.

In 2009, journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn released “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” It became a phenomenon.

“Women hold up half the sky.” — Mao Zedong

They wanted to let people know and take heart from the exciting changes they were starting to see.

Half the Sky is now a movement.

Inspired by the book, the women and men of Half the Sky are committed to raising awareness of the problems women face and providing real solutions. Supporters have donated over $5 million to organizations supporting women and girls.

There was the movie.

The movement’s first major video production is the “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” film that ran in four parts on PBS. It’s now available on DVD.

This is the trailer.

The show visited 10 countries around the world.

Kristof was accompanied by A-listers like America Ferrera, Eva Mendes, and Gabrielle Union. They met with women and girls struggling to overcome terrible obstacles and recorded their heartache and triumph.

These are intimate and powerful stories you won’t want to forget.

Half the Sky also has a Facebook game that’s a lot more than fun.

The game raises awareness about real issues, but here’s the best part: Players unlock real-world donations from Half the Sky partners during gameplay.

There are also mobile games for developing communities.

Of the 3.5 billion cellphones in the world, over 65% of them are in developing countries, and Half the Sky is helping to produce and distribute games for these phones that teach about important local topics.

There are three mobile game apps so far.

In January 2015, PBS debuted another Half the Sky program.

This one is called “A Path Appears.”

Wanna join the movement?

You can keep up with Half the Sky Movement on their website, through PBS or via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Google+. And please share this with your friends who’ll want to know about all the excitement.

This is a trailer for “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” a documentary that originally aired on PBS in the United States that’s now available on DVD.

The Half the Sky Movement is a fantastic organization that works to help make the world a better, fairer place for women and girls through an ingenious series of programs. You can Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.