Being arrested is terrifying. This nonprofit can help you make your “one call” count.
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Capital One Future Edge

When Jelani Anglin was a teenager, he was arrested for a minor infraction.

Photo courtesy of Robin Hood.

When he was taken to central booking, Anglin recalls how terrifying it was and how helpless he felt. He realized the experience was something that thousands of other people go through on an annual basis.


"In the precinct, you're nervous, you're seeing folks coming in and out in handcuffs, you're being fingerprinted, all your items are being taken away and there's not much conversation with the police officers," says Anglin.

Even though it was only a minor infraction, and he was let go at the arraignment, being arrested was something Anglin never forgot. But rather than turn against "the system," the helplessness he felt made him realize he wanted to work to change the experience for others in similar positions.

So, when he graduated high school and got to college, he became involved in community organizing, doing work with unions in the New York area and working on high-profile political campaigns.

After graduating from college, Anglin moved into the tech sector. And even though his job diverged from the activism he pursued in college, he found there was an intersection between technology and working to empower underserved communities.

That's when he started thinking about how to use all his new knowledge to create change in the justice system.

Image courtesy of Good Call.

But first, he knew he needed to up his technology know-how.

So, in 2016 Anglin applied for and was awarded a fellowship to Blue Ridge Labs, a tech incubator that aims to close the gap between underserved communities and technology. That's where he and his business partner came up with a brilliant idea to help people after they've been arrested.

Blue Ridge Labs is an operating initiative at Robin Hood, "New York's largest poverty-fighting organization," according to the nonprofit's website. Blue Ridge Lab's mission is to bring technologists and communities together to help low-income residents save time and money, connect to resources, and navigate complex systems.

What's particularly innovative about Blue Ridge Lab's model is that the incubator is 100% focused on building technology. They do that through a community-centered design process that gives members multiple opportunities to influence what gets built — whether that's by helping them select the topics they'll focus on, sharing their experiences during the research process, or giving feedback on product prototypes.

The program is sponsored in part by Capital One, which not only provides funding but also offers services that help Blue Ridge Labs fellows practice and refine pitches for the organizations they will create while in the program. Through their Future Edge initiative, which invests in local community grants and programs to help more Americans, businesses and nonprofits thrive in the digital age, Capital One supports programs, like Blue Ridge Labs, that leverage technology to remove barriers and solve problems in the community.

This year, the company will also join Blue Ridge Lab's Investment Committee, which helps decide which projects the organization will fund.

For Anglin, the fellowship was an opportunity to create a resource that would help arrested people make sense of the justice system right from the first phone call they make when they're in custody.

Even when people do remember the numbers of loved ones, their loved ones often don't know how to assist them or don't have money for a lawyer.

"What ends up happening is that now, you're in the precinct, you're being interrogated by police, you don't know your rights, and you're saying things that can be used against you in a court of law," Anglin continues. "That's what happens many times here in New York City, right now, today."

In fact, according to recent stats gathered by Good Call, approximately 300,000 arrests occur in New York City every year, most of which are for low-level misdemeanors. Of those, approximately 47,000 people are sent to jail to await trial without being convicted. An arrest doesn't equal guilt, but it does make life more difficult. People who are arrested may lose their jobs, face expulsion or have their immigration status threatened. And many have little to no knowledge of how to navigate the justice system.

Anglin and Gabriel Leader-Rose, another fellow at Blue Ridge Labs, created Good Call to ensure that the one phone call an arrestee is given is legitimately useful.

Photo courtesy of Capital One.

Ostensibly, Good Call is a hotline, but beneath the surface, it's much more than that. It's a promise that every "one phone call" is answered by someone who can do something to help.

Any arrested person or loved one who calls 1-833-3-GOODCALL can be connected via the organization's proprietary technology to a lawyer within minutes. That lawyer can advise them on what to do next, invoke the client's rights, and begin work on their case right away. Because Good Call works with lawyers throughout all five of New York's boroughs, anyone in the city can receive life-changing help simply by remembering one number. The hotline creates a network of legal providers that can support more callers than any one office could alone, and lawyers can be reached 24/7.

By facilitating early legal intervention and a more reliable way to inform an arrested person's loved ones, Good Call helps ensure fairer arrest outcomes for all New Yorkers, regardless of their income.

But what really differentiates Good Call from other legal aid hotlines is its ability to store emergency contacts through its website before an arrest even occurs, creating a safeguard that will notify all the important people in someone's life in the unfortunate event that they're arrested.

So far, the system's working phenomenally.

Since 2016, Good Call has given more than 800 New Yorkers peace of mind by providing answers during a frightening and confusing time.

But this is only the beginning for Good Call. Anglin and his crew want to create lasting change across New York...and beyond.

Photo courtesy of Good Call NYC.

Anglin and his co-founders — who also include Software Designer Eugene Lynch, Designer Stephanie Yim, and Community Engagement Coordinator Malik Reeves — are working to expand the service even further, letting all New Yorkers know that they have support if they've been arrested.

“Since we expanded to all five boroughs of NYC, we've been fundraising to build up our outreach team and working towards making Good Call as well-known as 911 or 311," says Anglin. “We've created new gear featuring Good Call's logo and information about your rights when dealing with police. We're also utilizing social media, digital ads, and PR."

On the technical side, they've created a “text signup" feature that allows individuals to save emergency contacts via text.

"One phrase that we always like to say is that we don't design with the community in mind, we create with the community," says Anglin. "In 2019, we would like to hire more folks from the community which we serve, give them the skills and tech, educate them in community organizing and then have them go back and empower their communities."

And they have dreams of expanding way beyond the city limits, too.

"We're seeing that it works here in New York. We really wanna change the criminal justice landscape across the country."

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down...in the most delightful way.

There are certain songs from kids' movies that most of us can sing along to, but we often don't know how they originated. Now we have a timely insight into one such song—"A Spoonful of Sugar" from "Mary Poppins."

It's common for parents to try all kinds of tricks to get kids to take medications they don't want to take, but the inspiration for "A Spoonful of Sugar" was much more specific. Jeffrey Sherman, the son and nephew of the Sherman Brothers—the musical duo responsible not just for "Mary Poppins," but a host of Disney films including "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," as well as the song "It's a Small World After All"—told the story of how "A Spoonful of Sugar" came about on Facebook.

He wrote:

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Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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Blackface has a long and shameful history in this country. We think—we hope—after numerous call-outs and emotional explanations, Americans get the message: blackface is not okay. But that isn't the case, as many were re-made painfully aware, when Dr. Regina N. Bradley, a professor and critically acclaimed writer, shared the shocking auditory version of her new essay, "Da Art of Speculatin'", on Twitter.

Due to outrageous oversight, Fireside—a progressively minded short-story magazine who claim, in their About page, to resist "the global rise of fascism and far-right populism"—hired a young, white male voice actor to read and record Bradley's essay—an essay that identifies its writer, in its very first line, as a "southern Black woman who stands in the long shadow of the Civil Rights Movement."

According to the Washington Post, Rineer spoke in an accent that listeners interpreted as something that would appear in minstrel show, an American form of entertainment developed in the early 19th century, in which white people lampooned Black people, often portraying them as dim-witted and buffoonish, with stock characters including the dandy, the slave, and the 'mammy.' It's incredibly, incredibly offensive. So it's no wonder that, upon hearing the clip, a horrified Bradley fired off an outraged tweet, asking Fireside and Rineer if they honestly thought this is what she sounded like.



How could something so offensive have been approved, one wonders, especially in a year defined by reckoning with racial injustice? For the answer, look to Pablo Defendini, the publisher and editor for Fireside, who claimed, "nothing insidious in his decision… he just didn't listen to the recording before posting it."

"The blame for this rests squarely with me, as the person who hires out and manages the audio production process at Fireside," Defendini said in a statement. "In the interest of remaining a lean operation, I've been hiring one narrator to record the audio for a whole issue's worth of Fireside Quarterly, and I don't normally break out specific stories or essays for narrating by particular individuals."

"My personal neglect allowed racist violence to be perpetrated on a Black author, which makes me not just complicit in anti-Black racism, but racist as well."

As for Rineer, he regrets not breaking a contract rule and contacting Bradley directly about her work. His gut instinct told him not to proceed—that he was the wrong person for the job. Still, upon expressing his doubts to Fireside, he was ignored, and so proceeded with the recording—he'd already signed the contract.

"I made the mistake of reading Dr. Bradley's work and assuming an accent that was not representative of her voice," he said. "I had tried to find a different narrator who would be a suitable representative in my network and via public forums, to no avail, in the week-long time frame I had."

As for Bradley, Defendini's apology isn't cutting it. "Not listening" isn't an excuse—it's deepening the wound. Black Women have been "not listened" to since the dawn of this nation's founding.

"I am angry," she wrote. "Seething from centuries of silenced Black women angry."