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America Ferrera's speech at the Women's March sends a powerful message against hate.

The 'Superstore' actress takes a stand for our country's core beliefs.

America Ferrera's speech at the Women's March sends a powerful message against hate.

"We are America," actor America Ferrera told a crowd of thousands at Washington, D.C.'s Women's March.

The message, a rebuke of the idea that any one politician can truly represent the great diversity that makes the U.S. the country it is today, came just one day after President Donald Trump was sworn into office.

"It’s been a heart-wrenching time to be a woman and an immigrant in this country ― a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday," Ferrera told the marchers. "But the president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America."


Other speakers include Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Janet Mock, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, Melissa Harris-Perry, and many more.

The daughter of Honduran immigrants, Ferrera holds an acute awareness of what some of Trump's policies would mean for people like her parents.

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Some more recent than others, but for the overwhelming majority of our population, that is our history. Trump's victory and the brand of nationalism that he's bringing along with it represents a challenge to our core identity as a nation of immigrants. Ferrera wasn't having it.

"We march today for the moral core of this nation against which our new president is waging a war," she said. "He would like us to forget the words 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' and instead take up a credo of hate, fear, and suspicion of one another. But we are gathered here and across the country and around the world today to say, Mr. Trump, we refuse."

Protesters gather during the Women's March on Washington. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.

Trump may be our president, but that does not mean he gets to dictate our country's values.

Ferrera spoke out against forms of division — some of which existed long before Trump's political rise — and urged the country to stand in solidarity with people of different races, ages, genders, sexualities, and countries of origin.

Human rights should not be a matter of debate, and we should not allow ourselves to lose those rights just because a politician says so. We cannot and should not go down without a fight. Ferrera's speech sends that message loud and clear.

It's on all of us to stand up for what we believe in. It's on all of us to model the positive change we want to see in the world.

To be sure, elections have consequences. The question remains, though, to what end? We must fight to affect the policy decisions our politicians — including Trump — make. We must push back on injustice. We must never forget who we are.

Watch a clip of Ferrera's speech below:

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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