+

It's been just over a week since the horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, but survivors have already been busy pushing for gun reform.

Within a day of the shooting, Douglas students became cable news fixtures, many calling on Congress to restrict access to semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 used to kill 17 of their teachers and classmates.

On Feb. 17, students gathered outside the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Cameron Kasky, Delaney Tarr, and Emma Gonzalez, among others, led the crowd in calls to reject the pro-gun narratives of groups like the NRA.


"The people in the government who were voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and ... call BS," Gonzalez roared into the microphone in an instantly iconic speech. "Companies [try] to make caricatures of the teenagers these days, saying that all we are self-involved and trend-obsessed and they hush us into submission when our message doesn't reach the ears of the nation. We are prepared to call BS."

Cameron Kasky speaks at the Feb. 17 rally. Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

Delaney Tarr. Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

Emma Gonzalez. Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

On Feb. 20 and 21, students from nearby districts staged walkouts and marched down to Douglas High School for a vigil.

Many of the students came from West Boca High School, and traveled the 10 miles to Douglas High School on foot.

West Boca students Jakob Desouza and Ruth Williams hug as they gathered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 20. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

More West Boca students arrive at Douglas. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Students from Coral Glades High School, less than five miles from Douglas, staged a walk out of their own on Feb. 21.

Coral Glades students march. Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

[rebelmouse-image 19531402 dam="1" original_size="750x511" caption=""Stop protecting guns, start protecting kids." Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images." expand=1]"Stop protecting guns, start protecting kids." Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

On Feb. 21, to mark a week since the shooting, students in  the Washington, D.C., area marched to Capitol Hill for demonstrations.

Students from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, took part in the action.

Students from Montgomery Blair High School. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

[rebelmouse-image 19531404 dam="1" original_size="750x519" caption=""Your child is next." Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images." expand=1]"Your child is next." Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Hundreds of protesters, many of them students, carried signs and spoke out about gun violence outside the White House.

Signs with slogans like "We will not be next," "NRA, stop killing our kids," "Make America Safe Again," and "You can silence guns but not us" were raised in public protest of the pro-gun lobby.

Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images.

Protestors march to the White House. Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images.

[rebelmouse-image 19531408 dam="1" original_size="750x500" caption=""Protect our lives, not your guns." Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images." expand=1]"Protect our lives, not your guns." Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.

[rebelmouse-image 19531410 dam="1" original_size="750x500" caption=""Why are kinder eggs banned but not assault rifles?" Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images." expand=1]"Why are kinder eggs banned but not assault rifles?" Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

[rebelmouse-image 19531413 dam="1" original_size="750x500" caption=""We don't have to live like this, we don't have to die like this." Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images." expand=1]"We don't have to live like this, we don't have to die like this." Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

[rebelmouse-image 19531414 dam="1" original_size="750x500" caption=""Enough is enough." Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images." expand=1]"Enough is enough." Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

That afternoon, President Trump met with a number of families affected by the shooting in a televised event, highlighted by an emotional question from Douglas senior Samuel Zeif.

Zeif was one of few people at the event to actually raise questions about inaction on gun control, asking, "How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? How did we not stop this after Columbine? After Sandy Hook?"

Samuel Zeif wipes his eyes after asking his questions. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Trump deflected calls for gun control, instead suggesting that we arm teachers.

[rebelmouse-image 19531417 dam="1" original_size="750x464" caption="Trump's notes for the event, which included a reminder to say "I hear you," were roundly mocked on social media afterwards. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images." expand=1]Trump's notes for the event, which included a reminder to say "I hear you," were roundly mocked on social media afterwards. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Also on Feb. 21st, students, activists, and supporters gathered at the Florida State Capitol building to demand action.

Earlier in the week, the state's House of Representatives voted against opening debate on new gun measures.

Douglas students, parents, and gun safety advocates march on Tallahassee. Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images.

The rally at the Florida State Capitol building. Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images.

Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images.

Students rally outside the Florida State Capitol building. Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images.

Douglas student Alfonso Calderon speaks at the Florida State Capitol building. Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images.

Meanwhile, students from across Broward county again gathered at Douglas High School for their largest rally yet.

Kasky addressed the crowd from atop a car, yelling into a megaphone. Later that night, he would confront Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) at a CNN town hall.

Cameron Kasky addresses area students at Douglas High School. Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

It's easy to be cynical, to again say that nothing will change — but maybe this time is different? Only time will tell.

Let's hope so.

Correction 3/8/2018: A photo caption previously misidentified Alfonso Calderon.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

True

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.

Keep ReadingShow less
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:

Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

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.

Keep ReadingShow less
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.

Keep ReadingShow less