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After a teen is fatally shot, an NBA star steps in to help a grieving family.

NBA All-Star DeMarcus Cousins' commitment to the Sacramento community can give us hope.

After a teen is fatally shot, an NBA star steps in to help a grieving family.

When Jaulon Clavo died last week, NBA All-Star DeMarcus Cousins offered to pay the teen's funeral expenses.

The Grant High School senior was off campus getting food with four of his teammates before Friday night's scheduled first-round playoff game against rival Beyer High School. As the Sacramento student-athletes made their way back to the school, an unknown shooter or shooters opened fire on the car, fatally injuring Clavo and hitting teammate Malik Johnson in the arm.

As Clavo's family grieved, they got some support from an unexpected place: a professional athlete.



Cousins, the starting center for the Sacramento Kings, offered to pay funeral costs, hoping to remain anonymous.

But word got out when City Council member Rick Jennings let word slip during Saturday's candlelight vigil.

Why did Cousins cover the cost? "I'm just playing my part," Cousins tells the Sacramento Bee. "It's my responsibility as a child of God [to help this family]."

According to the local ABC affiliate, Cousins has been known to stop by Grant High School football games on occasion and is heavily involved with local schools.

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

Earlier this year, Cousins donated nearly $28,000 to another local high school to buy new scoreboards.

"It was me just connecting with the area," he told the Sacramento Bee. "I came from a similar area, so I know how it is to come up this type of way. Just giving these kids an opportunity and help broaden their horizons."

That school, Sacramento High, plays host to the annual DeMarcus Cousins Elite Skills Basketball Camp, a free camp for underprivileged youth between the ages of 7 and 16 in the Sacramento area.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

When reading about the off-the-court actions of athletes, we're often reminded of the bad, and not the good.

In a world where it seems we're always hearing about a new case of domestic abuse being committed by a player in the NBA, NFL, or other leagues, it's refreshing to hear stories about players like Cousins who seem to genuinely care about the local community.

And he's not alone! For example, fellow NBA star LeBron James announced earlier this year he'll be spending more than $41 million to send 1,000 students from his hometown of Akron, Ohio, to college.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

Sadly, though, in the case of Jaulon Clavo, no amount of giving back to the community will actually bring him back.

And maybe that's why it's so important that we remember the good in the world and not just the bad. It's in remembering this that we can find the strength to regroup and push to make the world a more loving, caring, and accepting place free from the violence that took this young man's life.

Thank you for that reminder, DeMarcus Cousins. In times of darkness, it's exactly what humanity needs.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

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$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


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In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

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How we talk about Black Lives Matter protests across America is often a reflection of how we personally feel about the fight for racial equality itself. We're all biased toward our own preferences and a fractured news media hasn't helped things by skewing facts, emphasizing preferred narratives and neglecting important stories, oftentimes out of fear that they might alienate their increasingly partisan and entrenched audiences.

This has been painfully clear in how we report on and talk about the protests themselves. Are they organized by Antifa and angry mobs of BLM renegades hell bent on the destruction of everything wholesome about America? Or, are they entirely peaceful demonstrations in which only the law enforcement officers are the bad actors? The uncomfortable truth is that both extreme narratives ignore key facts. The overwhelming majority of protests have been peaceful.protests have been peaceful. The facts there are clear. And the police have also provoked acts of aggression against peaceful demonstrators, leading to injuries and unnecessary arrests. Yet, there have been glaring exceptions of vandalism, intimidation and violence in cities like Portland, Seattle, and most recently, Louisville. And while some go so far as to quite literally defend looting, that's a view far outside the mainstream of nearly all Americans across various age, racial and cultural demographics.

But what if we step away from the larger philosophical debate and narrow things down to one very important fact: the vast majority of those stirring division at protests are white.

And if you don't believe me, just listen to Durham, North Carolina's mayor and what he had to say about how white people are "hijacking" Breonna Taylor's legacy and transforming a movement that has suddenly split Americans after having near unanimous support just a few months ago.


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