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5 ways the Golden Globes nailed it big with its nominees this year.

Here are five reasons to watch the Golden Globes 2016.

5 ways the Golden Globes nailed it big with its nominees this year.

The Golden Globes are Jan. 10, 2016. Get excited!

Why? Well, first of all, that means award show season is officially upon us. Secondly, alcoholic beverages are served during the ceremony (a rarity for televised award shows), which guarantees no shortage of interesting watercooler conversations the following day.

And thirdly, just look at this year's nominees! You'll see the Golden Globes really has its pulse on today's issues more than ever before, as reflected by who's getting recognized for what (although based on who wins, I may have to eat my words here). Here are five ways that's evident this year.


1. People of color are actually well-represented in TV categories.

Thanks to series like "Empire," "How to Get Away With Murder," and "Orange Is the New Black," performances by people of color are getting noticed — something that's not always (read: almost never) been the case. Actors Aziz Ansari, Taraji P. Henson, Gina Rodriguez, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, and Uzo Aduba are among the many people of color being honored for their praise-worthy performances in 2015.

Gina Rodriguez is nominated for her role in "Jane the Virgin." Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Nominees in the film categories, however, paint a slightly different (monochromatic) picture — one that, in many ways, mirrors the overwhelmingly white Oscar nods of 2015. And there's certainly a need for improvement when it comes to diversity among this year's presenters as well.

2. Thanks in part to "Concussion," chatter around football's traumatic brain injury problem is going mainstream.

"Concussion," starring Will Smith (who is up for best actor in a drama for the role), tells the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist whose research suggested a link in brain injuries to playing football. His efforts to shed light on the issue were ... let's just say ... not welcomed by the NFL.

Will Smith is nominated for his role in "Concussion." Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.

The film, released on Christmas, got some important facts wrong about the real story (and then possibly took it easy on the NFL out of fear of ruffling feathers), so it faced its fair share of criticism. But it came on the heels of more recent research from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University that found a whopping 87 out of 91 deceased former NFL players examined by analysts tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease of the brain, The Atlantic reported. So it seems like Omalu was onto something important (and I'm glad Will Smith is helping move the discussion forward).

3. Feminist storylines are dominating this year's categories.

Feminism: Yes, it may have been one the clickiest, trendiest buzzwords of 2015, but that doesn't mean it didn't push gender equality forward offline as well.

Melissa McCarthy is nominated for her role in "Spy." Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

There are plenty of nominees to choose from in both TV and film categories that feature feminist characters and themes. "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Inside Out," "Spy," "Trainwreck," "Orange Is the New Black," "Transparent," and so many others — all empowering, thought-provoking, complex, depictions of women that, in ways both big and small, throw outdated gender norms out the window.

Also, can we take a moment and appreciate the amount of feminism squeezed into the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy category this year? Lily Tomlin? Amy Schumer? Jennifer Lawrence? Yes, please.

4. And speaking of women killin' it, take a look at the nods for best film.

One quick scan over the Golden Globes' top film nods proves 2015 was a stellar year for leading ladies and the films they starred in.

Jennifer Lawrence is nominated for her role in "Joy." Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.

Three of the five films up for Best Comedy or Musical feature women in lead roles (shout out to "Joy," "Spy," and "Trainwreck") — an impressive feat considering that — yes, even in 2016 — we're still arguing whether woman are as funny as men. And films featuring female leads aren't just snagging nominations, by the way — they're cleaning up at the box office, too.

What's more, in the Best Drama category, female-led "Carol" and "Room" are nominated, along with "Mad Max: Fury Road," which featured a helluva badass (and feminist) performance from Charlize Theron.

5. For the second year in a row, LGBTQ characters and their stories are sharing the spotlight in powerful ways.

This year's awards will continue 2015's groundbreaking year of content giving a voice to LGBTQ characters and their stories.

Jeffrey Tambor is nominated for his role in "Transparent." Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Movies like "Carol" (which tells the story of a lesbian love affair) and "The Danish Girl" (a biopic about Lili Elbe, one of the first-known recipients of gender confirmation surgery) are up for big nods. And in the TV realm, trailblazing series like "Transparent" and "Orange Is the New Black" continue being recognized for their thoughtful, eye-opening storytelling and characters.

Although some have criticized "Transparent" and "The Danish Girl" for casting cisgender actors in roles that should be reserved for trans folks (who face enough casting discrimination as is), it's difficult to argue projects like these haven't expanded visibility and promoted inclusion in big ways.

So there you go. If you didn't have a reason to watch the Golden Globes 2016, now you have five.

From opening doors for marginalized communities to shining a light on public health concerns, the Golden Globes are proving themselves relevant in 2016. Bravo! (And, if for no other reason, you can always tune in to see if anyone goes overboard at the open bar.)

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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.