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Two recent studies about subconscious bias really tried to steal my joy this week.

Disturbed Beyonce via "X Factor."


The first study, published in Law and Human Behavior, looked at gender bias and emotion.

The study set up a mock trial with undergraduate students where secretly scripted holdout jurors would have to explain their thinking to the participant, a fellow juror, who had already come to a different decision.

The study found that if a male holdout juror expressed anger, the participant's confidence in their own opinion dropped. But the opposite was true when a female holdout juror expressed the same opinion with anger.

Even though both the male and female holdout juror expressed the same opinion, expressing that opinion with anger undermined the woman's authority while bolstering the man's.

Angry Beyonce via "Why Don't You Love Me."

The other study, conducted by UCLA researchers and published in the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, looked at racial bias around names.

The experiments used 1,500 mostly white participants and read different scenarios involving characters with names like Jamal or Darnell (aka black-sounding names) and Connor or Wyatt (white-sounding names).

Participants in the study overwhelmingly imagined the characters with black-sounding names as large, dangerous, and violent. Additionally, the larger in size they imagined the black-sounding character to be, the lower they imagined his financial success and social status. The results were similar when Latino-sounding names were used.

But when those same scenarios used white-sounding names, the perception was flipped; the larger a character was perceived to be, the higher their social and economic status was perceived to be.

And get this: The participants in the study were generally "left-leaning" politically. In other words, negative stereotypes of black and brown men begins at the mere mention of a name — even for my fellow liberals.

Emotional Beyonce via "Listen."

While the results of both studies were discouraging, they were also, unfortunately, not surprising. And that's pretty upsetting.

With the steady stream of news confirming what many of us already know to be true from a lifetime of anecdotal evidence (that bias is real), I'm constantly looking for things to smile about.

So here are three things that remind us that everything will be OK:

1. The demographics are shifting.

We've all heard the news that the country is slowly but surely transforming demographically. More people of color and more women in positions of leadership and power are two of the expected outcomes.

While increased numbers don't automatically mean equality, they do mean there will be a larger body of people to initiate, demand, and participate in change in all elements of society — from government to business to the home.

If I were a bettin' gal, I'd say that most of those people won't have a high tolerance for discrimination. And that's a good thing.

Running the world Beyonce via "Girls"

2. There are amazing organizations working to end implicit bias. And they have solutions.

Most people read studies like the two I mentioned above, get frustrated by them, and go on about their days. So it's heartening to know that there are people who are dedicating their lives to exposing and attacking implicit bias. They lobby, create content, and give the rest of us practical ways to help advance equality and root out prejudice in our daily lives.

One of my faves is Perception Institute. They use the latest brain research and creative media to help well-meaning people understand implicit bias around racial identity and live their values.

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media also does phenomenal work in the entertainment industry to end bias and stereotypes around women in the media.

I sleep better knowing that they are on the case.

Grateful Beyonce via "The Mrs. Carter Show."

3. Despite the harsh reality of implicit bias, it is possible for women and people of color to thrive.

Nooooo, this does not mean that because Martha Stewart and Barack Obama and Oprah "made it," bias doesn't exist. Not only does it exist, the longer it continues, the longer we are all losing out because of it — not just women and people of color, but the entire country, too.

But, as a woman of color, the only way that I can feel powerful enough to go out into the world and chase my dreams in the meantime, while we're working hard to level the playing field, is to get all existential and tell myself that despite all the subconscious biases that might be working against me every single day, I won't allow them to crush my ambition and drive.

Thanks to those who have come before us, we ladies and people have color have plenty examples of what it looks like to face the challenges of bias head on, win (while giving those who discriminated against us a hearty middle finger), and try to make things easier for those coming up next.

Confident Beyonce via "Check Up on It."

In other words, we got this.

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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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Education

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."

Lee Allen

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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