A white woman called the cops on a black family BBQ, so this group threw a bigger one.

When an Oakland community was hit with a low blow, they turned the music right on up.

Just two weeks after a white woman called the cops on a black family attempting to have a barbecue on April 29, 2018, at Lake Merritt Park in Oakland, California, local residents responded by throwing an enormous cookout at the site, complete with music, food, dancing, and pure, unadulterated black joy.

This how we feel about mad ass Oakland gentrifiers


Posted by Michael Swanson Jr. on Thursday, May 10, 2018

Social media users captured the beautiful display of unity with parkgoers smiling, dancing, laughing, and "Electric Slide"-ing their way straight past the shackles of pervasive American racism.

The jubilant event came on the heels of a much less joyful event in the local park. Two weeks earlier, a white woman had gotten uncomfortable with a black family grilling along the waterfront. When the family refused to follow her orders to leave, the woman called the police and even accused one of the women at the park of harassing her. Oakland city council member Lynette Gibson McElhaney was one of the many local leaders who called the incident what it was: blatant racism.

"Police are not private security for any white person that's offended by the presence of black folks in our public spaces," McElhaney told HuffPost.

This incident is just one of the many recent events where black people have been harassed for — well — being black.

Earlier in May, someone called the police on a black Yale University student who was napping in her dorm's common area. In April, two black men were arrested during a business meeting at Starbucks for "trespassing." Bob Marley's granddaughter Donisha Prendergast was recently harassed by police while she was leaving her Airbnb. And these are just the documented events.

Bottom line: Leave black people alone, please and thanks.

While black Americans' ability to go high when others go low is pretty much unmatched, it's not an ability black Americans should have to use. By and large, all of the individuals who were harassed above were trying to live their everyday lives like everyone else. Our nation must stop viewing people that look different as "other," and it must stop criminalizing blackness.

When black Americans are constantly harassed, abused, and bothered simply by being black in their jobs, schools, and neighborhoods, we foster a society that is unsafe and unwelcoming, further creating a nation divided and a culture of divisiveness. This country deserves better, and black people deserve better, too.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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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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Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

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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.