5 years ago, an angry man with a gun killed her son. Here's her message to the NRA.

I asked Lucy McBath to tell me about her son, Jordan Davis. She welcomed the opportunity.

"Thank you for asking," she says. "Some people say 'Oh, I'm afraid to ask,' I'm like 'No, ask me about him.' It helps keep him alive for me."

Jordan was a really, good kid — thoughtful and kind. Raised mostly by McBath in Atlanta, he made friends easily, and invited them over to his house for home-cooked meals and sleepovers.

"He was the kind of kid that would bring people together. He was really, really good at that," she says. "He was really good at being the center of attention, like the light."

Jordan was curious and inquisitive. He enjoyed learning about history, social sciences, and other cultures. As a child, he once spent a year pretending he could speak Japanese.

That's the son McBath remembers.

"He had all kinds of friends. I was very proud of that, that he had that kind of ability to love people. Simply love people for who they were."






Photo via Lucy McBath, used with permission.

Jordan Davis was shot and killed on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, in Jacksonville, Florida.

It was the day after Thanksgiving. Jordan, 17, was in an SUV with three friends, picking up snacks and cigarettes from a gas station convenience store. Michael David Dunn and his girlfriend were in town for a wedding and pulled into the next parking space. Dunn told the boys to turn down their music. After a shouting match with Jordan, Dunn alleged that Jordan opened the door of the SUV and pointed a shotgun in his direction. Dunn took a handgun out of his glove box and started shooting into the SUV.

Tommie, the driver and Jordan's friend, floored the SUV backward, fleeing the gunfire. Dunn opened his door one more time to get a few more shots off. He later told police he feared for his life, though police never found a shotgun in or around the SUV, and witnesses never saw one.

In the aftermath, Dunn sped away to his hotel. The boys pulled into a nearby shopping center to assess the damage. Three of them were physically unscathed but covered in blood. Jordan was hit three times. He gasped for air and died shortly after. Dunn and his girlfriend didn't call the police. In fact, they made drinks and ordered a pizza.

McBath was in Chicago with her family for Thanksgiving while Jordan had stayed with his father in Jacksonville. The night of the shooting, McBath felt compelled to slip away from the table and go to the bedroom.

"I had no reason to go to the bedroom," she says. "When I got up there, I saw Jordan's father's face on the phone as the phone was lighting up, and that was the first phone call that I got."

At that moment, a cruel, indelible line etched itself on her life — before Jordan's death and after.

‌Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, cries during a Hillary Clinton for South Carolina Breaking Down Barriers forum. Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images. ‌

During his trial, Dunn cited the language of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.

Florida and 23 other states allow individuals to use deadly force to defend or protect themselves against real or perceived threats. Stand Your Ground laws made the headlines in 2012 when another Florida man, George Zimmerman, "stood his ground" against Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old kid holding an iced tea and Skittles. Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon and, after a well-publicized trial, walked away a free man.

George Zimmerman leaves the courtroom a free man after being found not guilty. Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images. ‌

Dunn, however, was convicted of attempted murder for shooting at the other boys in the car. After a mistrial and retrial, nearly two years after the shooting, Dunn was convicted of the murder of Jordan Davis. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

"We are very grateful that justice has been served, justice not only for Jordan, but justice for Trayvon (Martin) and justice for all the nameless, faceless children and people that will never have a voice," McBath told the press after Dunn's retrial.

Since Jordan's murder, McBath has worked tirelessly for gun violence prevention.

Just months after the shooting, McBath was asked to speak about "Stand Your Ground" legislation in Georgia. One opportunity led to another, and before long, she was approached by the gun violence prevention advocacy group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to become their volunteer national spokesperson.

‌Lucy McBath testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Stand Your Ground" laws in Washington, D.C. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images. ‌

Moms Demand Action was formed by a stay-at-home mom one day after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The group now has more than 60,000 volunteers in all 50 states and 4 million supporters working to  advance real policy changes at the municipal, state, and national levels.

"We are the largest nonpartisan gun violence prevention organization in the country," McBath says. "We have helped pass background checks on all gun sales in seven states. We have passed laws in 24 states to prevent domestic abusers from getting guns."

McBath is now on staff for Moms Demand Action, working to engage people of color, faith communities, and other traditionally underrepresented groups in the gun violence prevention conversation. The fight is hard, but each victory feels good and keeps her close to her son.



But as many victories McBath has had as a gun violence prevention advocate, there's still one outstanding: speaking directly to NRA leadership.

While the opportunity to speak with the lobby's executives hasn't presented itself, McBath knows just what she'll say. It's clearly written on her heart and pours out of her effortlessly, filled with fire and vigor.  (Emphasis added.)

"I would say to them, they have placed profit over public safety. That they have had their hands in the back pockets of our legislators, and that we are no longer going to allow them to do that. ... We understand what they're doing and we will continue to fight them tooth and nail. They might be a Goliath, but we are the David and we will continue to challenge them every moment we get. ... We will empower citizens as to the truth of what they're doing. And we will continue to protect our families and our communities against their extremist agenda of guns everywhere, every place, no questions asked. We are not afraid of them. And we will continue to build our army in opposition to their extremist agenda. And they can count on that."

Her words ring out like a rallying cry. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, gun violence is infecting our communities. And it must stop.

Lucy McBath (right) delivers remarks as Geneva Reed-Veal (center), mother of Sandra Bland; Gwen Carr (second from left), mother of Eric Garner; and Annette Nance-Holt (left), mother of Blair Holt look on during the second day of the Democratic National Convention. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.‌

Lucy McBath can't bring her son back. But sharing his story and fighting for common sense reforms could save someone else's.

And through her advocacy work, Jordan's legacy lives on in safer schools, communities, and public spaces. His is a light that will never go out.

‌Photo via Lucy McBath, used with permission.

"He was a really good, kid."

Pexels
True
Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

Keep Reading Show less
True

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.