After 246 days of separation, this woman and her daughter are finally reunited.

Vilma and Yeisvi Carrillo's story captured the hearts of Americans who yearn for a more compassionate immigration system.

Vilma Carrillo came to the Mexico-United States border seeking asylum in the spring of 2018. Carrillo is an indigenous Guatemalan woman whose daughter Yeisvi is an American citizen. A victim of extreme domestic violence in a country that provided no legal protections for women like her, Carrillo felt that her best chance for safety for herself and Yeisvi was to return to the United States, where Carrillo lived and worked the year Yeisvi, now 12, was born.

However, the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy resulted in mother and daughter being forcibly separated when they reached the border and claimed asylum. Carrillo was detained by ICE, while Yeisvi was placed into the care of the state of Arizona. Carrillo's case has been dragging on for 8 months, with Carrillo holed up in a detention facility in Georgia and Yeisvi living with a foster family in Arizona.


Carrillo is one of many asylum seekers who have been unjustly affected by Trump administration policies.

In previous administrations, most asylum seekers with credible claims were temporarily released in the U.S. while they awaited their hearings, as long as the government determined they were not a flight risk. The Trump administration policy has been to release as few asylum seekers as possible, and it has recently enacted a policy to make asylum seekers remain in Mexico rather than stay with friends or family in the U.S. Carrillo and Yeisvi also arrived just as the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy of separating parents from children was being enacted in full force.

Carrillo's case is complicated by the fact that her daughter is an American citizen. As a citizen, Yeisvi could not legally be detained and was not subject to a judicial ruling that detained parents and children had to be reunited by July 26, 2018. As a result, the mother and daughter did not see one another for 8 months.

Upworthy shared Carrillo's story last month, as the family's future hung in the balance. Legal advocates from Tahirih Justice Center shared a petition requesting ICE to release Carrillo while her case was pending, which was signed by more than 14,000 people.

Actor Penn Badgley (from CW's "Gossip Girl" and Neflix's "You") became Tahirih Justice Center's partner in advocating for Carrillo, and even visited her in the detention facility with Carrillo's lawyer, Shana Tabak. Badgley used his social media outlets to raise awareness of Carrillo's story, and detailed his experiences in an article he wrote for Teen Vogue. "Her treatment reflects the explicit use of fear as a tactic in certain U.S. policies," he wrote. "Vilma was being made into an example."

After 246 days of separation, Carrillo has been released and finally reunited with her daughter.

The mother and daughter were forcibly separated on May 10, 2018, and they weren't even able to talk on the phone until late June. After that, they spoke twice a week, but didn't see one another until ICE released Carrillo on January 11, 2019.

Imagine having your child taken from you, not fully understanding why or where your child is being taken, and then having no contact for almost two months and not being able to see them or hug them for eight months—all because you were going through the legal process of seeking safety after suffering severe trauma already.  

Carrillo's lawyer, Shana Tabak, told Upworthy that while Carrillo still has a long road ahead with her pending asylum appeal, she is just overjoyed to be with her daughter again. "Every time I see her, she's holding her hand or hugging her," Tabak says. "They're both just so thrilled to be back together."

However, their separation has taken its toll on both of them. "I did hear from Vilma that Yeisvi continues to get anxious anytime that her mom's not in eyesight," Tabak says. "She needs to be with her day and night now. She doesn't even want to go into the next room."

Asylum seekers have a temporary legal status in the U.S., pending the resolution of their case. Carrillo will apply for a work permit in Georgia, which asylum seekers are allowed to do 150 days after applying for asylum. Tabak says that Carrillo may go back to work in the onion fields in Vidalia, where she worked previously, and that "she is eager to work again and eager to have the opportunity to contribute to society in that way."  

Regarding her asylum claim and what the future holds, Tabak says Carrillo relies on her deep and abiding faith. "May God's hands touch the immigration judge's heart," Carrillo says. "I'm praying for the best. Everything is in God's hands."

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture