Batman, Archie, and Harry Potter are appearing in a comic together for the best reasons.

Comic book author Marc Andreyko was just going to bed late Saturday, June 11, 2016, when he heard there had been a shooting at a nightclub in Orlando.

When he woke up the next morning, he was crushed by the news. 49 people were dead, and dozens more had been injured in an attack on Florida's LGBTQ community.

A candlelight vigil in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.


"I was horrified and sickened," says Andreyko over email. "As a gay man who was a teen during the AIDS crisis, I have seen far too much death and hatred and ambivalence toward it. Orlando hit me hard and I was flooded with the feelings of powerlessness I felt back then."

An accomplished comic book writer and seasoned storyteller, Andreyko knew that with his great power came the great responsibility to channel his feelings into something productive. Within eight hours, he announced on Facebook that he would be embarking on a new project in remembrance of the victims.

Together with dozens of artists, he put together a massive comic anthology about a single subject: love.

The book, appropriately titled "Love Is Love," is a massive collaboration between comic book writers, artists, and familiar faces, from Patton Oswalt to J.K. Rowling to comic book legends like artist Jim Lee.

Each contributed a single page of artwork, story, or dedication to the 144-page tome, and all sale proceeds will go to Equality Florida, an organization that supports the LGBTQ community in Florida.

The project even brought together competing publishers so that characters like Superman, Harry Potter, and the cast of Archie could appear in the book together despite exclusive contracts — all in the name of charity and goodwill.

"I think art can always make a difference," Andreyko says.

He knows that artists and storytellers have an important part to play in fostering conversations and a unique ability to reach people.

Comic books in particular have played a key role in media representation. Dozens of famous and recognizable characters have had LGBTQ storylines in recent years, including Batwoman, who's been openly gay since 2006 and whom Andreyko wrote for in 2013.

DC Comics also featured the first ever lesbian engagement in a comic when Batwoman proposed to her partner Maggie Sawyer. Image via DC Entertainment/YouTube.

"[Art] can make the tough and political more human and emotionally connected, and with the metaphors of genre, it can make people see things in a new way," Andreyko says.

Compiling the anthology was a long and arduous process, but Andreyko says that seeing the artwork every day kept him motivated.

"When things got emotionally tough or frustrating, all the art, the hard work, the expressions of love from so many busy, talented and generous folks, well, that was all I needed to keep moving forward," Andreyko says.

To purchase the "Love Is Love" anthology, check out IDW Publishing's website, and for more information on Equality Florida, visit their website.

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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