An unjust arrest at Starbucks. A national conversation. Now? A cash reward of $1.

In April, two black men were arrested and led out of a Philadelphia Starbucks for absolutely no reason.  

On April 12, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson arrived at the coffee shop a few minutes before a business meeting. Nelson asked to use the bathroom but was denied because he hadn't bought anything. He returned to the table where he and Robinson were waiting for their associate. They were approached, The Washington Post reports, by the white manager only moments later. Her message: Buy something.

By now you probably know what happened next: Unsatisfied with whatever answer she was given, the manager called 911 and asked for help. Two men, she told the dispatcher, were refusing to buy something or leave. Nelson and Robinson were handcuffed and escorted out of the cafe by policemen. Then, they were taken to jail.  


A recording of the arrest instantly went viral, with the public responding in outrage to both the manager's actions (how many of us have sat in Starbucks for hours without ordering so much as a water?) and the police's response.    

The pair recollected the traumatic incident on ABC news:

Nelson and Robinson have now reached a settlement with the city. It's a study in healing, forgiveness, and inspiration.

Though the two men could have sued Philadelphia — especially after both the mayor and the police commissioner admitted that the situation hadn't been handled correctly — they agreed to a settlement no one expected. Each man accepted a symbolic $1 from the city. In addition, The Washington Post reports, they've asked Philadelphia to fund a $200,000 grant to support area high school students with entrepreneurial dreams. According to ABC News, the mens' arrest records will be expunged. Starbucks, for their part, will pay for Nelson and Robinson's college education as part of a mostly undisclosed financial settlement. The pair will meet with former Attorney General Eric Holder, who's assisting Starbucks in creating a training on racial bias.

The injustice was horrific. For many it brought two things into stark relief for the first time.

One: Racial bias and discrimination happen on a moment-to-moment basis in America.

While some still argue that Nelson and Robinson must have done something wrong in order to have been escorted out by police (just check the comments on any news story about their arrest), the reality is the only thing the two men were guilty of was being on the wrong end of someone's prejudice. And that kind of prejudice makes what happened to Nelson and Robinson an everyday occurrence.  

Shortly after the Nelson and Robinson's story blew up, a piece in The New York Times detailed the many incidents of racial bias that had occurred in the Rittenhouse Square area of Philadelphia — where the men had been arrested.

"Although black people account for just 3% of the residents in that police subdistrict, they made up two-thirds of the people stopped by the police in the first half of 2017, according to figures collected by the American Civil Liberties Union," The Times reported.  

Protestors at a Philadelphia Starbucks rally against the discrimination of Nelson and Robinson. Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images.

Two: We must all work to end this type of commonplace oppression.

After the president and CEO of Starbucks met with the men to offer an apology, Starbucks announced that it would close 8,000 of its stores on May 29 for "racial bias training." While one day is hardly enough time to transform the crisis of systemic racism, the training is one step in ensuring that what the manager did doesn't happen again.

"What Starbucks is doing shows an understanding that to dismiss one employee as a crazy racist is to ignore the context in which that individual learns beliefs, pushes them on others, and abuses power. Using this as a teachable moment company-wide also sets an example," author Sara Benincasa wrote in a tweet.  

Nelson and Robinson's hope? That something positive comes from such a terrible incident.

"We thought long and hard about it, and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see," Robinson, said of the settlement. "It's not a right-now thing that's good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time."

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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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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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