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upworthy
Joy

Best buddies separated during WWII reunite 78 later, proving that true friendship is forever

'It was like we had always been family.'

vets reunited, ptsd, world war 2

World War II, Operation Overlord, Omaha Beach, 1944.

This summer, after 78 years apart, my grandfather, World War II veteran Jack Gutman, got to reunite with his best friend from the war, Jerry Ackerman. They saw each other for the first time since the 1940s and spent two days laughing, joking, catching up and being honored by the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California.

Finding an old friend is always an occasion to celebrate, but the story of how this reunion came to be feels like true kismet. Not only were two buddies reunited, it also brought closure to two WWII veterans during some of the tougher years of their lives, while also uniting two families, now forever changed.

Take a moment and think back to what you were doing at the age of 17.



Depending on your generation, the activities might look a bit different. Baby boomers might have been sipping a milkshake at the local diner. Gen Xers might have been angstily listening to The Smiths or the Sex Pistols. If you’re a Gen Y millennial like me, you were maybe shopping for cheap jewelry at Claire’s Accessories at the mall. Regardless of what you were up to as a teenager, you probably weren’t doing what my grandfather was doing at age 17—fighting as a Navy Corpsman during the invasion of Normandy.

My Grandpa Jack was born in 1925 and grew up in New York City. When Uncle Sam called, he lied about his age and enlisted in the Navy. He wanted to serve his country, but had no idea the horrors of war he would witness during the Normandy Invasion and the invasion at Okinawa.

When I was growing up, my grandfather didn’t talk about the war. For years he struggled with PTSD and all of the various coping mechanisms people experiment with to get out of pain. It almost tore his life apart, but with the love and support of our family, he made his first steps toward healing.

With the help of Dylan Bender, a talented therapist with the Veterans Association, a decade of EMDR and CBT, my grandfather can now talk about his experience during the war. He even wrote a book about it.

Group photo of young navy corpsmen during World War II.

via Erin Shaw

He’s been interviewed on television, at the WWII Museum in New Orleans and he speaks to groups of students regularly. He even got to travel to Normandy, France for the 75th anniversary of D-Day as part of a documentary. You could say his journey to heal the wounds of war was pretty complete, but there has always been one bit of closure he was never able to get.

A friend he always wondered about.

In between the invasion of Normandy and his time in Okinawa, my Grandpa Jack returned to Camp Pendleton for training and that is where he met Jerry Ackerman.

“I was assigned to Oceanside, California and that’s where I met Jack, and we became instant friends,” said Jerry. “He was the most jovial, fun-loving guy ever. Always smiling and always happy.”

The feeling was mutual. “Jerry was one of my best friends after Normandy. I knew him when I got transferred over to Oceanside to the Beach Battalion. We hit it off, I guess from both being New Yorkers maybe. One thing I didn’t like about Jerry was that he was better looking than me,” Grandpa Jack joked. “We bonded together, and it was one of the greatest times I’ve ever had.”

The camaraderie of this new friendship gave my grandpa a respite from all of the atrocities he had experienced while trying to patch up dying soldiers on the beach in France. In his friendship with Jerry and another Navyman, Joe Gagliardi (who we haven’t been able to find), Grandpa Jack found solace and humanity … the very things he wanted to fight to protect when he enlisted. Unfortunately, the war hadn’t ended yet and when Grandpa Jack was sent to Japan, he, Joe and Jerry lost touch.

“We never got a chance to say goodbye when we got to Pearl Harbor,” said Grandpa Jack. “I got transferred to another ship. So all these years I often wondered about them.”

Apparently, Jerry had been wondering about my grandfather as well because one day in early 2021, out of nowhere, a silly little song my grandpa had once taught him popped into his head. It was a happy memory that Jerry desperately needed. His wife Barbara was in the hospital in New York for a health issue, and he was very down after having visited her.

“My parents have been married for 70 years and when something happens to one of them, like my mother’s hospitalization, it really affects the other,” said Peter Ackerman, Jerry’s son. “My father and I finished visiting her and went to a restaurant. It was there, toward the end of our meal, when a song randomly popped into his head that he hadn’t sung since his Navy days during WWII. It was a song, he said, that was taught to him by his good buddy, Jack Gutman. As my father lamented out loud about having never been able to track his friend down, using my phone and good ol' Google, I found someone matching Jack’s description and Navy background. When my father realized I was actually calling someone named Jack Gutman his eyes were as wide as pies!”

Meanwhile in California, Grandpa Jack was having a tough time himself. His life had changed drastically when the pandemic hit. He, like everyone else, was feeling isolated, and while younger generations were turning to their devices, social media and Zoom, older generations without as much tech knowledge were feeling even lonelier. At the time, Grandpa Jack had just gotten over the coronavirus and my grandma had gotten COVID-19 pneumonia and was still slowly recovering. They were quarantined at home and Grandpa Jack was experiencing some pretty tough bouts of depression.

“I was depressed and really down, sitting in my office one afternoon and I was just thinking that life was a lot of crap,” Grandpa Jack said. “I usually try to stay pretty positive, but this day was tough. In my lowest moment of depression the phone rang, and it turned out to be a guy named Peter. He said to me, ‘Are you Jack Gutman?’ and I said, ‘Yeah…’ and he said, ‘Were you stationed in Oceanside, California?’ and I said, ‘I sure was, yeah.’ And he said, ‘Did you ever know a Jerry Ackerman?’ and I said, ‘He was my best friend. I’ve got his picture up on my wall,’ and he said, ‘He’s my father and he’s sitting right here, and he’s been looking for you for about 77 years.’ And I tell you, the tears flowed. It was just the thing I needed so badly. I could not believe it.”

The timing of this call couldn’t have been better, and it was so random that it felt kind of like fate to our families.

“I will take to my grave the look of pure joy on my father’s face when he and Jack spoke for the first time. They talked for a half hour and vowed to keep in touch,” said Peter.

For Grandpa Jack, it was an emotional and life-affirming call that helped give his days some renewed vigor. “Hearing his voice and realizing that there’s a man that for 77 years has been wondering about me, it touched my heart,” said Grandpa Jack.

When the call ended, Peter tells me that his father was beyond grateful to have reconnected with Jack. “He was almost in shock, and happier than I had seen him in a very long time,” he said. “Sitting there in that restaurant, listening to my father talking, laughing and reminiscing with Jack, I felt so happy for both of them, and a deep sense of satisfaction in having helped sew that stitch. It was as if a circle was completed. It was a highlight of my life, and I believe one of the great highlights of my father’s life as well.”

These two men could have connected at any point during the last 70-plus years but for some reason it didn’t happen until a moment when they both needed to hear from each other. Some might call it coincidence, some might call it fate, but it changed both men’s lives.

“My dad’s life had changed so much because of the pandemic,” said my mom, Paula Shaw. “He couldn’t be out with his friends and doing his speaking engagements. So when Jerry’s call came through, dad’s whole life picked up again and turned around. It gave him hope and it gave him a sense that he mattered because this man, 77 years later, remembered him and sought him out. So it was a real turning point for dad.”

You’d think that just having that phone call would have been a highlight of these two men’s twilight years, but there was more coming.

A reunion with military honors.

Jack and Jerry kept in touch over the phone for the next year, but they were still yet to see each other face to face. My mom Paula had gotten to befriend Peter and together they were able to plan a time for Grandpa Jack and Jerry to meet, with a few family members in tow.

It turned out the Ackermans were planning to be in San Diego for a wedding in June of this year and with my own family based in Southern California it would be the perfect time for a reunion.

But before that, they had a face-to-face chat with my mom when she interviewed them for her podcast, Change it Up Radio. I asked my mom what it was like to facilitate the first face-to-face interaction between Jack and Jerry on her podcast over Zoom, and she described it as life-changing.

“When I got the idea to have them see each other for the first time on the Zoom screen I had no idea how really wonderful and moving and almost life-changing it was going to be. When they laid eyes on each other for the first time, dad started to cry, and Jerry just got the sweetest, softest expression on his face. He was so touched that dad was so happy to be able to see him.”

With their podcast interview in the can and a first face-to-face reunion over Zoom a success, it was time to get together in person in San Diego.

World War II veterans are harder and harder to connect with these days. According to Forbes, we lose approximately 234 of them each day. Having two best friends from the war still alive, healthy and with all their mental faculties intact is rare, so time was of the essence to get these two together for some quality time.

Unbeknown to Jerry and Grandpa Jack, my mom had arranged a visit to Camp Pendleton for them as well as for CBS News to come capture their reunion. Our family captured some of our own amateur footage, which is hard to watch without crying.

So what was it like to witness the reunion in person? “It was just lovely to see,” said Mary Jo Gutman, my grandma. “To think about the time that had passed and now they were able to see each other and touch each other, it was just a beautiful moment. Everybody that was there was having the same experience. Some people teared up and some were just in a state of shock, but a happy state. We were all just happy for them both.”

My uncle, Craig Gutman, traveled with Grandpa Jack back to Normandy in 2019 and was with him when he visited the beaches and military cemetery there. He says while that was tough, this moment of closure was nothing but joyful. “It was just so nice for them to see each other again and to be back with each other,” he said. “Even after just a few minutes they were the same 19-year-old guys, BS-ing with each other and telling jokes. To just see the joy in both of them, being able to find an old friend after so many years that they probably figured was either dead or gone and would never be seen again. It was just great.”

My aunt Marilyn Gutman describes their reunion as a full-circle moment. “When they met, it was like they had always been together, starting in on the jokes, the laughter, the camaraderie that had brought them together initially. I felt their lives had just come full circle. I felt a completeness for them, a closure of the wounds of war.”

Over the course of the next couple of days, the families got to spend time together and although I wasn’t able to be there myself, everyone who was there described loving each other instantly just like Jack and Jerry had upon meeting.

“It was like we had always been family,” my mom Paula said. “I get a little teary just thinking about it. It was like we’d known each other for years. We laughed, we had meals together, we chatted up a storm. It was crazy. It was like whatever that energy was that brought dad and Jerry together had been passed onto the families. All the family members felt that same connection.”

For my Grandpa Jack, getting to reunite with his best friend from the war was the last bit of closure he has needed during his healing journey with PTSD. It has reminded him that love is the most important thing we can give to others and that we never know how we touch someone’s life just by being their friend.

“Jack struck me as the happiest guy in the whole world,” Jerry said. “I never ever knew what he went through in Normandy. I’m very delighted to know that at least I was a part of helping Jack rehabilitate himself. I’m very happy about that. Our reunion is something I will never forget.”

Grandpa Jack told me that he spent so long working to get over post-traumatic stress but not knowing what happened to Jerry was like a wound still left open. Finding out what had happened to him gave him closure, but being able to see each other and connect was a moment he’ll never forget. “It really fulfilled a closure for me. It was just amazing.”

“I feel like for both of them there was this unfinished chapter,” said my mom, Paula. “There was so much love between these two men and the war didn’t kill it.”

Perhaps Virgil said it best when he said, “Amor vincit omnia.” Love conquers all.

Image from Pixabay.

Under the sea...

True
The Wilderness Society


You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."

But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.

(Get your mind outta the gutter.)


There's this dude named Captain Ahab who really really hates the whale, and he goes absolutely bonkers in his quest to hunt and kill it, and then everything is awful and we all die unsatisfied with our shared sad existence and — oops, spoilers!


OK, technically, the narrator Ishmael survives. So it's actually a happy ending (kind of)!

whales, Moby Dick, poaching endangered species

Illustration from an early edition of Moby-Dick

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Basically, it's a famous book about revenge and obsession that was published back in 1851, and it's really, really long.

It's chock-full of beautiful passages and dense symbolism and deep thematic resonance and all those good things that earned it a top spot in the musty canon of important literature.

There's also a lot of mundane descriptions about the whaling trade as well (like, a lot). That's because it came out back when commercial whaling was still a thing we did.

conservation, ocean water conservation

A non-albino mother and baby sperm whale.

Photo by Gabriel Barathieu/Wikipedia.

In fact, humans used to hunt more than 50,000 whales each year to use for oil, meat, baleen, and oil. (Yes, I wrote oil twice.) Then, in 1946, the International Whaling Commission stepped in and said "Hey, wait a minute, guys. There's only a few handful of these majestic creatures left in the entire world, so maybe we should try to not kill them anymore?"

And even then, commercial whaling was still legal in some parts of the world until as recently as 1986.

International Whaling Commission, harpoons

Tail in the water.

Whale's tail pale ale GIF via GoPro/YouTube

And yet by some miracle, there are whales who were born before "Moby-Dick" was published that are still alive today.

What are the odds of that? Honestly it's hard to calculate since we can't exactly swim up to a bowhead and say, "Hey, how old are you?" and expect a response. (Also that's a rude question — jeez.)

Thanks to some thoughtful collaboration between researchers and traditional Inupiat whalers (who are still allowed to hunt for survival), scientists have used amino acids in the eyes of whales and harpoon fragments lodged in their carcasses to determine the age of these enormous animals — and they found at least three bowhead whales who were living prior to 1850.

Granted those are bowheads, not sperm whales like the fictional Moby Dick, (and none of them are albino, I think), but still. Pretty amazing, huh?

whale blubber, blue whales, extinction

This bowhead is presumably in adolescence, given its apparent underwater moping.

GIF via National Geographic.

This is a particularly remarkable feat considering that the entire species was dwindling near extinction.

Barring these few centenarian leviathans, most of the whales still kickin' it today are between 20 and 70 years old. That's because most whale populations were reduced to 10% or less of their numbers between the 18th and 20th centuries, thanks to a few over-eager hunters (and by a few, I mean all of them).

Today, sperm whales are considered one of the most populous species of massive marine mammals; bowheads, on the other hand, are still in trouble, despite a 20% increase in population since the mid-1980s. Makes those few elderly bowheads that much more impressive, huh?

population, Arctic, Great Australian Blight

Southern Right Whales hangin' with a paddleboarder in the Great Australian Bight.

GIF via Jaimen Hudson.

Unfortunately, just as things are looking up, these wonderful whales are in trouble once again.

We might not need to worry our real-life Captain Ahabs anymore, but our big aquatic buddies are still being threatened by industrialization — namely, from oil drilling in the Arctic and the Great Australian Bight.

In the off-chance that companies like Shell and BP manage not to spill millions of gallons of harmful crude oil into the water, the act of drilling alone is likely to maim or kill millions of animals, and the supposedly-safer sonic blasting will blow out their eardrums or worse.

This influx of industrialization also affects their migratory patterns — threatening not only the humans who depend on them, but also the entire marine ecosystem.

And I mean, c'mon — who would want to hurt this adorable face?

social responsibility, nature, extinction

BOOP.

Image from Pixabay.

Whales might be large and long-living. But they still need our help to survive.

If you want another whale to make it to his two-hundred-and-eleventy-first birthday (which you should because I hear they throw great parties), then sign this petition to protect the waters from Big Oil and other industrial threats.

I guarantee Moby Dick will appreciate it.


This article originally appeared on 11.04.15

Identity

Do you have a 'gay voice'? Here's how to tell.

Have you ever wondered if you have a “gay voice”?

Photo pulled from YouTube trailer "Do I sound gay?"

For anyone who's wondering if they have a gay voice and what that actually means.

This article originally appeared on June 5, 2015


Have you ever wondered if you have a “gay voice”?

If you're anything like me, the answer is yes. Many times.

For anyone who’s laid awake wondering if your voice is just as gay as you are, I've created a rigorous test for you to finally get some answers. Follow the chart below to see if you, in fact, sound like a homosexual. ***(Image needs to pulled from Robbie Couch who wrote the article.)


Temporary pic pulled as a place holder

Temporary pic pulled as a place holder******

Yes, that's correct: You do not have a "gay voice" — because a "gay voice" is not really a thing.

Unlike humans, voices do not identify as certain genders or sexual orientations. They're just ... sounds. (Crazy, I know!)

Stereotypes about what LGBTQ people sound like lead some to think their gay-dar can accurately sniff out queer folks in a crowd based on voices alone. However, research shows we actually do a pretty poor job at guessing another person's sexual orientation solely using our ears.

Even if we do wear our queerness on the tips of our tongues, though, why should it matter?

Some LGBTQ people fret over their voice, fearful their queerness is on display every time they speak. And that concern is understandable. Sometimes, it's not a matter of accepting yourself, but a matter of survival: When your voice outs you as an "other" in an environment that's hostile toward gay, transgender, or otherwise queer people, personal safety becomes a priority.

“A lot of gay men are self-conscious about sounding gay because we were persecuted for that when we were young," LGBTQ activist and media personality Dan Savage said in the 2014 documentary "Do I Sound Gay?"

CNN's Don Lemon, who is openly gay, also chimed in on the topic. Has he ever felt insecure about "sounding gay"? “I’d have to say, if I told you ‘no,’ I’d be lying," Lemon admitted in the documentary.

But we should never let a bully's bigotry convince us our voices should be silenced. You sound perfect the way you are, honey — and don't you forget it.

Checking out the documentary "Do I Sound Gay?", available on multiple streaming platforms. Here's a look at the trailer:

This article was written by Robbie Couch and originally appeared on 11.5.15

@geaux75/TikTok

Molly was found tied to a tree by the new owners of the house.

Molly, an adorable, affectionate 10-year-old pit bull, found herself tied to a tree after her owners had abandoned her.

According to The Dodo, Molly had “always been a loyal dog, but, unfortunately, her first family couldn’t reciprocate that same love back,” and so when the house was sold, neither Molly nor the family’s cat was chosen to move with them. While the cat was allowed to free roam outside, all Molly could do was sit and wait. Alone.

Luckily, the young couple that bought the house agreed to take the animals in as part of their closing agreement, and as soon as the papers were signed, they rushed over to check in.

In a TikTok video, April Parker, the new homeowner, walks up to Molly, who is visibly crestfallen with teary eyes. But as soon as Parker begins cooing, “Baby girl…you’re gonna get a new home,” the pitty instantly perks up—all smiles and tail wagging.

“We are going to make her life so good,” Parker wrote in the video’s caption. “She will never be left all alone tied to a tree.”

@geaux75 The people that sold our house to us left behind their 10yr old dog they had since it was a puppy. I was so stressed we wouldnt get the house and something bad would happeb to her. We are going to maje her life so good. She will never be left all alone tied to a tree. 😭😢@roodytoots ♬ Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) [2018 Remaster] - Kate Bush

The video has been seen upwards of 4 million times. Countless people commented on how enraging it was to see a dog treated so carelessly.

“I’ve had my dog since she was 7 weeks old. She just turned 10 a few days ago. I literally cannot imagine doing this,” one person wrote.”

Another added: “The tears in her eyes…she doesn’t understand why they could just leave her, it breaks my heart. People like that shouldn’t be allowed to be pet owners.”

Subsequent videos show Parker freeing Molly from her leash and introducing the sweet pup to her husband, with whom she was instantly smitten. It’s clear that this doggo was both relieved and elated to be taken in by her new family.

Since being rescued, Molly has accompanied her new mom and dad everywhere.

@geaux75 Replying to @ohitscourtney ♬ Lucky Girl - Carlina


“She’s sticking to our side,” Parker wrote. “She won’t stop following us around. It’s so sweet.”

Parker has created an entire TikTok channel documenting her newfound pet’s journey, aptly named “Molly’s New Life,” showing Molly enjoying warm baths, plenty of treats, cuddles…all the finer things in life.

But what Molly seems to enjoy most of all is car rides:

@geaux75 Taking Molly to get a treat! Stay tuned!! #mollysnewlife #goodgollymissmolly ♬ original sound - Mollysnewlife 🐾🐕💗

And in case you’re wondering, the kitty is doing well, too, though it still prefers to stay outdoors.

Molly also has two indoor cat siblings who instantly welcomed her into the family. The video below shows one of them, Joofus, comforting a trembling Molly with kisses during a thunderstorm.

@geaux75 We had a big storm this morning and Molly was having a hard time. Joofus got on the bed and started comforting her. It was the sweetest thing. They got snuggled up and Molly went to sleep. Animals are amazing. #mollysnewlife #petsarefamily ♬ I Won't Let Go - Rascal Flatts

It seems that Molly has gotten the safe, loving home she’s deserved all along.

We know that animal abandonment is fairly common. According to The Zebra, almost 4 million dogs are either given up to shelters or abandoned each year. And still, it’s really hard to fathom how humans can treat such innocent creatures with such blatant disregard when they provide so much pure joy.

Thankfully, there are folks out there like the Parkers who know that taking care of animals like Molly is one of life’s most precious offerings.

Stay up-to-date with the rest of Molly’s journey by following her on TikTok.


This article originally appeared on 5.31.23

Identity

High school girl’s response to ‘Ugly Girls’ poll inspires positive reaction

This brave high school student stood up to her school’s cyberbullies.

Lynelle Cantwell/Facebook.

Lynelle Cantwell had a response on her own Facebook page.

Lynelle Cantwell is in 12th grade at Holy Trinity High School in Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador (that's Canada).

On Monday, she found out that she had been featured on another student's anonymous online poll entitled "Ugly Girls in Grade 12," along with several other classmates.


Cantwell responded via Facebook with her own message, which has already been shared more than 2,000 times and counting.

cyber bullying, bullies, kindness

The unkind poll.

Lynelle Cantwell/Facebook.

Take a look:

bullying, brave response, community support

“Just because we don’t look perfect on the outside does not mean we are ugly.” - Lynelle Cantwell.

Lynelle Cantwell/Facebook.

Since posting her brave response on Facebook, more people have come out to show support than people who voted in the first place.

Check out some of the responses:

appreciation, confidence, self esteem, love and support

Some responses to her post.

Lynelle Cantwell/Facebook.

The School District of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced that it will be looking into the incident further. For Cantwell, the positive outpouring of love and support vastly outweighs the initial cyberbullying and is raising her confidence in new ways.


This article originally appeared on 08.20.17

Health

Artists got fed up with these 'anti-homeless spikes.' So they made them a bit more ... comfy.

"Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

Photo courtesy of CC BY-ND, Immo Klink and Marco Godoy

Spikes line the concrete to prevent sleeping.


These are called "anti-homeless spikes." They're about as friendly as they sound.

As you may have guessed, they're intended to deter people who are homeless from sitting or sleeping on that concrete step. And yeah, they're pretty awful.

The spikes are a prime example of how cities design spaces to keep homeless people away.


Not all concrete steps have spikes on them, but outdoor seating in cities like Montreal and Tokyo have been sneakily designed to prevent people from resting too comfortably for too long.

This guy sawing through a bench was part of a 2006 protest in Toulouse, France, where public seating intentionally included armrests to prevent people from lying down.

Of course, these designs do nothing to fight the cause or problem of homelessness. They're just a way of saying to homeless people, "Go somewhere else. We don't want to look at you,"basically.

One particular set of spikes was outside a former night club in London. And a local group got sick of staring at them.

Leah Borromeo is part of the art collective "Space, Not Spikes" — a group that's fed up with what she describes as "hostile architecture."

"Spikes do nothing more than shoo the realities of poverty and inequality away from your backyard — so you don't have to see it or confront what you can do to make things more equal," Borromeo told Upworthy. "And that is really selfish."

"Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

charity, social consciousness, artist

A bed covers up spikes on the concrete.

assets.rebelmouse.io

The move by Space, Not Spikes has caused quite a stir in London and around the world. The simple but impactful idea even garnered support from music artist Ellie Goulding.

"That was amazing, wasn't it?" Borromeo said of Goulding's shout-out on Instagram.

books, philanthropy, capitalism

Artist's puppy books and home comforts.

assets.rebelmouse.io

"[The project has] definitely touched a nerve and I think it is because, as a whole, humans will still look out for each other," Borromeo told Upworthy. "Capitalism and greed conditions us to look out for ourselves and negate the welfare of others, but ultimately, I think we're actually really kind."

"We need to call out injustice and hypocrisy when we see it."
anti-homeless laws, legislation, panhandling

A message to offer support in contrast with current anti-homeless laws.

assets.rebelmouse.io

These spikes may be in London, but the U.S. definitely has its fair share of anti-homeless sentiment, too.

Spikes are pretty obvious — they're a visual reminder of a problem many cities are trying to ignore. But what we can't see on the street is the rise of anti-homeless laws that have cropped up from sea to shining sea.

Legislation that targets homeless people — like bans on panhandling and prohibiting people from sleeping in cars — has increased significantly in recent years.

For instance, a report by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty that analyzed 187 American cities found that there's been a 43% hike in citywide bans on sitting or lying down in certain spaces since 2011.

Thankfully, groups like "Space, Not Spikes" are out there changing hearts and minds. But they need our help.

The group created a video to complement its work and Borromeo's hoping its positive underlying message will motivate people to do better.

"[The world] won't always be happy-clappy because positive social change needs constructive conflict and debate," she explained. "But we need to call out injustice and hypocrisy when we see it."

Check out their video below:

This article originally appeared on 07.24.15