6 spot-on things Jane Goodall said about inequality and saving the planet.
True
Discovery - Racing Extinction

You wouldn't expect Jane Goodall, who is basically the human form of Mother Earth, to talk about Mars.

But she makes a good point.

"The photographs obtained by that little robot that's crawling around the surface of Mars makes it very clear that the planet is not a hospitable environment for human colonization," the eco-octogenarian said during a recent speech at U.S. Department of State.


"We have to make do with planet Earth, and planet Earth has finite natural resources."


The red planet was just one of many unexpected topics Goodall talked about that didn't involve chimpanzees (except they all totally kind of do, in a way).

Here are six telling quotes from her speech that put a ton of big thoughts into perspective.

1. First and foremost, Goodall laid out how absurd it is that humans are even capable of ruining the planet.

Because when you think about it, it's the epitome of self-destruction.

Photo via Erik (HASH) Hersman/Flickr.

“How is it possible that the most intellectual creature to ever walk planet Earth is destroying its only home?"

As we mentioned, she brought up the fact our ventures to Mars have confirmed the red planet is not, in fact, a hospitable one for human life. And that means "we have to make do with planet Earth."

2. She told white folks that they gotta slow their roll when they want to help other places.

Throughout her speech, Goodall frequently discussed the success of her institute's TACARE program that, since its inception, has focused on listening to local communities first and then working with them to make better food, education, and health initiatives.

Photo by Nick Step/Flickr.

Unfortunately, that's not the same approach other aid groups have taken.

TACARE "began not in the way that so much well-intentioned but unfortunate aid has been delivered," she said. "It wasn't a bunch of white people arrogantly going out to these villages and telling them what we were going to do to make their lives better."

3. Goodall explained how her institute connected the dots between fighting poverty and fighting for the environment.

Because, in many respects, they're actually the same fight.

Photo via Festival della Scienza/Flickr.

Goodall explained to NPR how the correlation between financial desperation and environmental recklessness became increasingly clear in Tanzania, as there was "no way we can even attempt to save these precious Gombe chimpanzees" unless the needs of the people were met first.

As those people in Gombe were too poor to buy food, they were forced to cut down trees for money; their families needed to survive. This, in turn, destroyed the same forests chimpanzees depend on.

“Poverty is a huge force in the destruction of the environment, because when you're very poor, you're going to cut down the last trees in order to grow food to feed your family."

4. But poverty wasn't the only factor affecting Tanzania's forests. Gender equality, believe it or not, played a role too.

The correlation between empowering women and saving the environment may not be the most obvious. But Goodall detailed how her institute's work helping women in Gombe ended up saving trees (and her chimps' home).

Photo via Franz Johann Morgenbesser/Flickr.

After gaining the communities' trust, TACARE began prioritizing women's reproductive health and family planning services — a move that was "well-received by the villagers" because they, too, realized a growing population was leading to damaged farmland and unsustainable growth.

Family sizes needed to decrease. It was vital.

"The reason all the trees had gone, the reason the land was overused, was the sheer numbers of people."

The Jane Goodall Institute began helping girls and women access education through scholarships. As Goodall referenced in her speech, providing girls and women with access to an education has been a proven method in shrinking family sizes across the globe.

5. If you believe every person truly matters, the world can change. Just ask young people.

“Everywhere I go, there are young people with shining eyes, wanting to tell Dr. Jane what they've been doing to make the world a better place," she explained at the Department of State. That, she said, keeps her optimistic.

Goodall's Roots & Shoots program, aimed at getting youth involved in the protection of the Earth and its people, has expanded greatly since launching in 1991. Beginning with just 12 students in Tanzania, the program now works in 140 countries around the world.

Its fundamental message? “Every single individual matters," Goodall said during her speech. "Every single individual makes a difference, every day."



6. Because of both the human and environmental progress she's witnessed through her own institute, Goodall has high hopes for the future.

And it really all comes down to people.


Photo via Kafka4prez/Flickr.

“That indomitable human spirit — that's in every single one of us."

She's got a point. We humans really are one-of-a-kind.

As Goodall expressed so well, each one of us has the power to produce change.

And it can start with just one click. You can learn more about and support the Jane Goodall Institute by visiting the organization's website.

Watch Goodall's speech in front of the Department of State below:

Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
True

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

Keep Reading Show less

Part of the reason why the O.J. Simpson trial still captures our attention 25 years later is because it's filled with complexities - and complexities on top of complexities at that. Kim Kardashian West finally opened up about her experience during the O.J. Simpson trial on the third season of David Letterman's Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, adding another layer to the situation.

Kardashian, who was 14 at the time, said she was close to Simpson before the trial, calling him "Uncle O.J." The whole Kardashian-Jenner brood even went on a family vacation in Mexico with the Simpsons just weeks before Nicole's murder.


Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Jody Danielle Fisher / Facebook

Breast milk is an incredibly magical food. The wonderful thing is that it's produced by a collaboration between mother and baby.

British mother Jody Danielle Fisher shared the miracle of this collaboration on Facebook recently after having her 13-month-old child vaccinated.

In the post, she compared the color of her breast milk before and after the vaccination, to show how a baby's reaction to the vaccine has a direct effect on her mother's milk production.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

We've heard that character is on the ballot this election—but also that policy matters more than personality. We've heard that integrity and honesty matter—but also that we're electing the leader of a nation, not the leader of a Boy Scout troop.

How much a candidate's character matters has been a matter of debate for decades. But one of the odd juxtapositions of the Trump era is that arguably the most historically immoral, character-deficient candidate has been embraced by the evangelical Christian right, who tout morality more than most. Trump won the right's "moral majority" vote by pushing conservative policies, and there is a not-so-small percentage of "one issue" voters—the issue being abortion—who are willing to overlook any and all manner of sin for someone who says they want to "protect the unborn."

So when a prominent, staunchly pro-life, conservative Christian pastor comes out with a biblical argument that basically says "Yeah, no, the benefit doesn't outweigh the cost," it makes people sit up and listen.


Keep Reading Show less