Aly Raisman and 100 other women athletes took to the ESPYs stage for a powerful moment.

On July 18, the ESPYs presented the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to a group of incredible women.

The award is presented to those whose bravery in the face of adversity "transcends sports," and recipients include the likes of Caitlyn Jenner, Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, and Nelson Mandela.


This year, the award was presented to more than 100 athletes who were abused by former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar.

With Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, gymnast Sarah Klein, and softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez at the helm, the "sister survivors" took to the stage to accept the award, speak about the pain of not being heard, and make clear that the abuse they'd experienced can never happen again on any scale.

Photo via ESPN/YouTube.

"The ripple effect of our actions, or inactions, can be enormous, spanning generations," Raisman said in the speech. "Perhaps the greatest tragedy of this nightmare is that it could have been avoided."

"All we needed was one adult to have the integrity stand between us and Larry Nassar," Raisman added. "If just one adult had listened, believed and acted, the people standing before you on this stage would have never have met him.”

Klein declared that protecting children and people at risk must be the priority.

"We must start caring about children's safety more than we care about adults' reputations," she said. "If we can just give one person the courage to use their voice, this is worth it."

Lopez made it clear that it was an opportunity to understand that conversations about sexual abuse must not be something society tiptoes around, that victims come from every background. "Tonight, we stand here and it feels like we’re finally winning."

The award shows that this time of reckoning is here to stay and that the way we collectively handle and discuss about sexual assault must change.

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have been represented at the Golden Globes and The Oscars, sparking a well-spring of solidarity in the entertainment industry. The fact that it's moving outside the most mainstream awards shows is proof that the way our society — and its most visible industries — are treating sexual harassment and assault is changing for the better.

Though there's still so much work to be done, this ESPY award is a reminder that we're moving towards a future where abuse won't be tolerated. And that survivor's voices will be heard.

"We may suffer alone," Raisman said as the group of women on stage clasped hands, "but we survive together."

The speech was preceded by a powerful video that served as poignant evidence of the courage the athletes had to exhibit in order to have their voices heard and change the status quo. Watch it below:

True

$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


Working parents have always had the challenge of juggling career and kids. But during the pandemic, that juggling act feels like a full-on, three-ring circus performance, complete with clowns and rings of fire and flying elephants.

With millions of kids doing virtual learning, our routines and home lives have taken a dramatic shift. Some parents are trying to navigate working from home at the same time, some are trying to figure out who's going to watch over their kids while they work outside the home, and some are scrambling to find a new job because theirs got eliminated due to the pandemic. In addition to the logistical challenges, parents also have to deal with the emotional ups and downs of their kids, who are also dealing with an uncertain and altered reality, while also managing their own existential dread.

It's a whole freaking lot right now, honestly.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$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


via msleja / TikTok

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.

Keep Reading Show less
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