19 big and small ways to show you're all in for Zero Discrimination Day.
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ABC's When We Rise

March 1 is Zero Discrimination Day, a worldwide event to celebrate humanity and appreciate all the things that make us different.

The United States is in a pivotal moment in history — one that will be analyzed for generations to come. It will define how this society is remembered and what it stood for. And, frankly, right now is the perfect time to actually show what it is the majority of the country stands for: love and acceptance.

Here's a good place to start.


March 1 is a day to unite around everyone’s right to live a life of dignity. No matter a person's gender, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic orientation — you name it — everyone should be accepted for who they are.

There are a million ways to contribute to a world without discrimination. Here are 19 ideas to get you going:

1. Print out this sign and put it in your window or buy one to add some welcoming flair to your front yard!

These signs were first created and posted by the Immanuel Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia. They were such a hit that they've been spreading all across the internet and the country. Let's keep it up!

Image via Immanuel Mennonite Church.

2. Go to a Human Library and check out people instead of books!

At a Human Library, people volunteer to become "books" and make their experiences open and available, usually on issues that people tend to struggle discussing. "Readers" are encouraged to ask questions freely, and they'll get honest answers in return. Find out if there are any in your area — or how to start one of your own!

Image via the Human Library Organization, used with permission.

3. Pledge to volunteer for a cause you care about in your community — even if it's just one hour a month.

Volunteer Match makes it fast and easy.

4. Brighten up your social media accounts with this Zero Discrimination Day graphic from the YWCA.

Image via YWCA.

5. Sign up for the American Neighbors Pen Pal Project!

This pen pal program is bridging the rural-urban divide one letter at a time. The initiative brings together school-age kids and pairs them with a different culture in a different part of the country. Great for classrooms, but anyone can join!

6. Maybe decorate your neighborhood with welcoming signs like this one?

Image via Morgan Shoaff/Upworthy.

7. Check out one of these 20 children's books that are amazing at celebrating diversity and social justice.

Image via Michael Calcagno/Upworthy.

8. Follow the #365DaysWithDisability photo project.

The Instagram-based project is just one part of the Disability Visibility Project's work in building an online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability stories and culture.

9. Language matters. Some words are up to no good, even if they may seem harmless.  

"You Don't Say" is a campaign at Duke University to encourage people to think before they speak. It's something we could all benefit from.

Image via You Don't Say Duke.

Image via You Don't Say Duke.

10. We can help break the stigma on certain issues if we know how to properly talk about them. Take HIV and AIDS, for example:

Image via The Stigma Project.

11. Paint for a more inclusive world!

A fresh coat of paint can make a big statement.

Image via Bethany Johnson/Facebook.

12. Brush up on your history with the new miniseries "When We Rise."

Go back in time to see the struggles, setbacks, and triumphs of LGBT men and women, who helped to pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. civil rights movement. We wouldn't be where we are today without them.

13. Use this how-to guide to help people who are being bullied by people with anti-Muslim sentiments.

Image via Maeril/Tumblr, used with permission.

14. Know what's happening in Congress and easily call on your elected officials to do what's right with the simple the click of a button.

Thanks, Countable.us!

15. Declare your support for gender equality. Say it loud, post it proud.

Image via The Girl Effect.

16. Are you white and unsure what your role is in fighting for racial justice?

This simple guide is so helpful.

17.  Gender can be confusing to talk about. Here are some great tips for how to talk about it with kids.

Image via iStock.

18. Take time to really hear the songs you can't stop bopping your head to. What are they saying?

Something to think about. h/t Girls' Globe

Posted by Morgan Shoaff on Thursday, February 13, 2014

19. REGISTER TO VOTE! It takes literally two minutes.

You can help direct the future you want. Make sure your representatives represent YOU.

Zero Discrimination Day might only be one day on the calendar. But let's be real: It should really be every day.

Right now, only 4 in 10 countries have equal numbers of boys and girls going to secondary school, according to the World Health Organization.  It also reports that 75 countries still have laws that criminalize same-sex relations. And this year alone, 15 million girls will have married before turning 18. None of that moves our world forward — it only holds it back.

Whether it's at home, in school, at work, in the doctor's office, or in any public space, we all play a part in showing that this country and world are for everyone. It's time to speak up.

Watch the full trailer for ABC's "When We Rise," which begins Feb. 27 at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Texas State Senate and The ACLU

There has been a tidal wave of anti-trans legislation proposed over the past few months in the U.S. At least 17 states are now considering restricting anyone under the age of 18 from transition-related care.

Texas is currently debating two anti-trans bills. Once would criminalize parents for allowing their children to receive gender-affirming treatments. Another would criminalize healthcare professionals who administer them.

For a state that prides itself on promoting personal freedom, these bills go out of their way to punish medical professionals and parents for making deeply personal choices. Shouldn't doctors and parents have the right to make medical decisions for children without the state's involvement?

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less