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empowered women, tory burch, upworthy
Courtesy of Alice Saisha and Farwisa Farhan

Tory Burch and Upworthy have partnered to honor incredible women making an impact this year.

True

"There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.” — Malala Yousafzai

When women are encouraged to nurture their gifts and empowered to embrace their ambitions, they can truly change the world for the better. Upworthy and Tory Burch partnered this year to help women do just that by honoring amazing women for their contributions and giving them $5,000 on behalf of the Tory Burch Foundation to donate to a non-profit of their choice.

Meet the 14 women who have been honored in 2021 for their diverse commitments to making the world a more hopeful, healthy, and just place.

Simone Gordon: Providing Direct Assistance to Families

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After she was helped by a handful of women when she needed it most, Simone Gordon created The Black Fairy Godmother, a non-profit with 12 volunteers who connect people in need with givers who provide direct assistance. “I want people to understand how direct giving can make a major impact,” she says. “We can change lives and save lives by donating and providing resources.”

Gordon’s $5,000 donation will go to five single moms who are enrolling in college or trade school programs to better their future through the BFG Scholarship Program.

Though 2021 has been a tough year for many, these impressive women and their organizations are giving back to their community in incredible ways. Empowered women inspire others, and if we want to see greater progress in our world, we need to empower more women.

Thankfully, that’s something we can all help with. Tory Burch and Upworthy are looking for more extraordinary women to honor, so if you know an empowered woman, nominate her here. Learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program here.

Let’s all celebrate the amazing women in our lives and give them the gift of recognition they deserve.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

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For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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