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27 progressive Twitter users worth following for a deeper look at a few familiar topics.

Looking for a more 'social' social network? Give these recommendations a try.

27 progressive Twitter users worth following for a deeper look at a few familiar topics.

Twitter can be a huge waste of time — unless you're following the right people.

To mix things up, I try to follow new people at every available chance. Finding new voices and views to follow, however, can be challenging. After all, Twitter's "Who to Follow" section can feel a little stale at times. So if, like me, you're on the lookout for some fresh perspectives, here's a short list of some of the people who make my own Twitter feed fun and informative.

1. Sara Benincasa — @SaraJBenincasa

Author and comedian Sara Benincasa is your go-to Twitter account for lighthearted takes on current events, measured opinions on serious matters, and more than a few laughs. Her latest book, "DC Trip," came out late last year, and her next, "Real Artists Have Day Jobs," is due this April.


2. Jane Doe, MD — @DrJaneChi

Jane is a physician (who happens to also provide abortions), an intersectional feminist, and lover of small, furry animals. There's almost certainly something important happening in the world you don't know about that Jane is tweeting about right now.

3. Robin — @caulkthewagon

Robin is a Bostonian who spent much of last year organizing around the #NoBoston2024 cause, fighting the city's bid to host the 2024 Olympics. She tweets about labor, organizing, and a variety of progressive causes.

4. Melissa Gira Grant — @melissagira

Journalist Melissa Gira Grant is the author of "Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work." She writes on sexual politics, technology, and workers' rights.


5. Imani Gandy — @AngryBlackLady

Imani is the senior legal analyst over at RH Reality Check. Her tweets on race, gender, and pop culture are supplemented by some really great, insightful articles.

6. Andrea Grimes — @andreagrimes

Andrea is a digital editor at the Texas Observer. She's passionate about reproductive health, and she's absolutely hilarious on Twitter. In response to the "ice bucket challenge," Andrea launched the "taco or beer challenge," in which you eat a taco and/or drink a beer, and donate to help fund abortion. Because hey, why not, right?


7. Michelle Kinsey Bruns — @ClinicEscort

As her handle indicates, she's an escort for patients in and out of abortion clinics, helping to shield them from anti-choice protesters. Michelle's series of tweets about clinic violence using the #is100enough hashtag went viral late last year after the shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.


8. Katie Klabusich — @katie_speak

Katie is a writer and host of "The Katie Speak Show" on Netroots Radio. She's a fierce advocate for abortion rights and bodily autonomy and is just an all-around solid choice to follow on Twitter. Last year, she was featured in an Upworthy story about abortion stigma.

9. Chris Mosier — @TheChrisMosier

Chris is an athlete and the first transgender member of Team USA. He's the executive director of GO! Athletes, a nonprofit for current and former LGBTQ high school and college athletes.

10. Molly Knefel — @mollyknefel

Molly is a journalist, writer, and co-host of the "Radio Dispatch" podcast. She's also an after-school teacher for grades K-8. She's a great follow for anyone interested in hearing a fresh take on current events.

11. Jessica Luther — @scATX

Jessica is an Austin, Texas-based independent journalist and sportswriter. She's done some truly impressive work on the topic of sexual assault within college athletic programs.


12. Carlos Maza — @gaywonk

Carlos is a research fellow at Media Matters for America. Until recently, his work focused primarily on LGBT rights, but it has since expanded to include a wide range of progressive causes.


13. Jamie Kilstein — @jamiekilstein

Jamie is a musician and comedian. He's the co-author of "#Newsfail" and co-host of the "Citizen Radio" podcast. Last year, Jamie was featured in an Upworthy article about catcalls not being compliments.

14. Ijeoma Oluo — @IjeomaOluo

Ijeoma is a Seattle-based writer and editor-at-large at The Establishment, a multimedia company founded, funded, and run by women. She's a great follow for smart takes on the intersection of feminism, race, pop culture, and parenting.


15. Pasta — @pastachips

Pasta is an Edinburgh, Scotland-based sex worker who writes and blogs about politics, labor, police violence, stigma, and other issues.


16. Monica Roberts — @TransGriot

Monica is a Houston-based blogger and civil rights activist. She's won multiple awards for her blog TransGriot, and in 2013, she was named to the inaugural Trans 100 list.

17. Chris Geidner — @chrisgeidner

Chris is the legal editor over at BuzzFeed News. In the past, he's done some truly phenomenal writing on LGBTQ issues, but lately he's been churning out some truly informative posts about the death penalty and the Supreme Court's role in its future.

18. Cameron Russell — @CameronCRussell

Cameron is a model, writer, editor, and climate activist. In 2012, she gave a TED Talk about appearance and the privilege that comes along with winning a genetic lottery. In 2013, she founded Space Made, an artist collective based in Brooklyn. Her tweets tackle issues of gender, race, and climate.


19. Linda Sarsour — @lsarsour

Linda is a racial justice and civil rights activist and media commentator. She's a Palestinian-American and Muslim. Her informative tweets give a fresh look at what sadly remains a very relevant issue: Islamophobia around the world.

20. Zoé S. — @ztsamudzi

If you're interested in issues surrounding race and gender, then Zoé is a must-follow. She's blunt, unapologetic, and so frequently just spot-on in her observations.


21. Chase Strangio — @chasestrangio

Chase is a staff attorney at the ACLU, working with its LGBT & AIDS Project. He's a great follow for anyone interested in learning a bit about some of the struggles facing trans and gender-nonconforming people when it comes to the police.


22. Cyd Zeigler — @CydZeigler

Cyd is the co-founder of Outsports.com, a website dedicated to covering LGBT athletes. With some of the first athletes in major sports coming out as LGBT in recent years, Cyd's work has been essential reading as we watch these early pioneers make history.

23. Leah Torres, MD — @LeahNTorres

Leah is an OB-GYN who, yes, provides abortions. She's an advocate for her patients and is a proponent of comprehensive sex education.

24. Tina Vasquez — @TheTinaVasquez

Tina is an immigration reporting fellow at RH Reality Check. On Twitter, she shares her eye-opening opinions on race and gender and is most certainly worth a follow.

25. Ian Thompson — @IantDC

Ian is a legislative representative at the ACLU. He works on issues ranging from LGBT rights to sex education. Prior to working at the ACLU, he was an intern in Rep. Dennis Kucinich's D.C. office.

26. Dave Zirin — @EdgeofSports

Dave is the sports editor at The Nation. He hosts the "Edge of Sports Radio" podcast, and his work rides the line between sports and politics, giving him a unique perspective. He's the author of eight books.

27. Upworthy — @Upworthy

OK, OK, I work for Upworthy, so of course I'm going to recommend you follow us. But have you seen our live-tweets of award shows and debates? Or how about one of our UpChats? They're super fun and informative. And as a bonus, you get all our fun articles delivered right to your Twitter feed.

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 Wikimedia Commons and Goalsetter

America's ethnic wealth gap is a multi-faceted problem that would take dramatic action, on multiple fronts, to overcome. One of the ways to help communities improve their economic well-being is through financial literacy.

Investopedia says there are five primary sources of financial education—families, high school, college, employers, and the military — and that education and household income are two of the biggest factors in predicting whether someone has a high level of financial literacy.

New Orleans Saints safety, two-time Super Bowl Champion, and social justice activist Malcolm Jenkins and The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation hope to help bridge the wealth gap by teaching students about investing at a young age.

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True

2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.