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Back in July of 2016, Laurie Mitchell decided she wanted to witness history with her daughters, in person, on Jan. 20, 2017 — though there was no guarantee history would be made.

Mitchell, a Hillary Clinton supporter, wanted badly to be at the inauguration. At the time, there had been no conventions, no debates, and few polls. Nonetheless, she felt certain Clinton would be elected president come January. Besides, she felt it was her civic duty to witness a peaceful transfer of power at least once.

She decided to take a chance and book a trip to the inauguration — and bring along her two adult daughters.


"Someday they will look back on it and they will say, 'Gosh, we went with our mom to see the first woman president of the United States inaugurated,'" Mitchell said. "They may say that 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now when I’m long gone, and they’ll carry that forward."

Laurin (left), Laurie (center), and Tara Mitchell. Photo by Laurie Mitchell.

Some voters consider making plans to attend the inauguration before their candidate has won a jinx. A curse. Calling down the evil eye.

For others, the chance to see the inauguration of the first female president (before hotels booked up and plane tickets sold out) was too good to pass up — even if it meant rolling the dice.

Mitchell's daughter Tara, a high school college counselor in Massachusetts, saw this as a teaching opportunity for her students. Both women said that being part of this historic moment was enough motivation to get on a plane or a train.

"So many of [my students] are apathetic about voting or their role in the democratic process," Tara said. "'My vote doesn't count' is a constant refrain, and they just can't see how they're wrong." She hopes that by reaching out to her local representatives for tickets to the biggest political event of the year, she can model the importance of civic engagement.

"Someday they will look back on it, and they will say, 'Gosh, we went with our mom to see the first woman president of the United States inaugurated.'" — Laurie Mitchell

For Jess Weiner, the CEO of a consulting firm that helps businesses create positive messaging for women and girls, booking tickets to D.C. for her and her husband was a way of feeling a little less helpless in the face of a "crazy election." She finally committed to making reservations last night — which triggered wave of relief. "As soon as we booked the flight, we were both just dancing around the living room so excited," Weiner said.

Watching Hillary Clinton take the oath of office, she explained, would be cathartic for her husband Felipe Lopez, who is Mexican-American, after he experienced a racist incident in which a driver threw a keychain at his car while screaming racial epithets shortly after Trump's campaign began.

"I want to share with him the experience of watching our country change in real time," she said.

Felipe Lopez and Jess Weiner. Photo by Jess Weiner.

For now at least, Weiner isn't letting herself worry about jinxing it — or imagining the "alternate universe" in which Trump is up at that podium instead. But if the unimaginable happens?

"I will mark up that hotel room and sell it to a Trump supporter for a profit and go give it to another viable candidate for women in leadership," she said.

Tara Mitchell believes the symbolic power of watching the first female president begin her service could inspire young girls, though she has realistic expectations for what a Clinton presidency might hold.

"I know it won't be an immediate change, just as the election of the first African-American president didn't 'fix' racism," Tara said. "But it will go a long way in moving the conversation and viewpoints in a positive direction."

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

If Trump wins, Tara still plans make the trip to spend time with her sister — and experience the flip side of history.

"Being able to watch Trump give his inaugural address in real life is still something," she said, "Even if it does make my skin crawl to hear him speak."

Either way, it'll be something to talk about 50 years from now.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

People share experiences with intrusive thoughts.

When I was younger I used to think I was dying or that I would get kidnapped by a random stranger, but I kept it to myself because I thought something was wrong with me. I thought that telling people would confirm this fear, so I kept it inside my entire life until I was an adult and learned it was part of ADHD and other disorders, such as OCD and PTSD. But it doesn't have to be part of a disorder at all—a vast amount of people just have intrusive thoughts, and a Twitter user, Laura Gastón, is trying to normalize them for others.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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