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You can purchase beautiful crafts while supporting artisans in Africa—save $7 with code IMPACT7

Supporting artisans directly not only helps them financially but can helps foster economic equality in general. At our very own Upworthy Market, you can be assured that your purchases directly support artisans who craft their own products. To this aim, we want to highlight some artisans in various African countries while celebrating their work and culture. Read personal stories by the creators and view their collections below.



1. Rita Addo's Story

"I am a designer by profession. I do my designing with African concepts in mind. Growing up, I loved to sketch things on paper. It was a natural talent, I guess. The carvers who collaborate with me use traditional tools. As the demand grows, I'm able to give work to more carvers, which generates more income for them and their families. It is possible one or two carvers who show a keen interest can make a career out of this. The workshop also provides local women with a constant supply of wood scraps for cooking. With the sale of my jewelry, women in the neighborhood who enjoy stringing beads also get to earn some money when there is an increase in demand. We use mainly wood, recycled aluminum sheets and recycled plastic beads." – Rita Addo

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2. Ila Suleyman's Story

"I was born into a family of artists who have carved and crafted wood and leather products for several family generations. I have been told the crafts that we do date back to more than a century ago, but it was my great-grandfather who took on the craft and made a real venture out of it. I have since introduced new materials in my collection by exploring the use of other natural materials such as wood and some recycled materials. These are designed and crafted by me with assistance from my childhood friend Deri, who has become my partner in the workshop, along with a staff of five." – Ila Suleyman

Ila's West African jewelry traces its roots deep into the past. Exquisite beadwork harkens back to an ancient form of currency. Cowrie shells carry with them symbolic value. Religious, spiritual and nature-inspired motifs are featured in the handiwork of West African jewelry artisans, who now infuse new techniques and materials into their creations.

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3. Akwele Suma's Story

Akwele Suma Glory is a multi-award-winning and dynamic mixed media artist. She developed her trademark style, which includes her choice of materials, concept and techniques that allow her audience to see beyond her physical works. Akwele has also distinguished herself in ethnic jewelry design for more than a decade. Her work with mixed media has made art lovers admire her flair and profound perception, which are rooted in her strong faith in God. Akwele's work is a continuous process of experimentation, research and development, and this has earned her a number of awards nationally and internationally for both her paintings and jewelry collections.

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4. Abdul Aziz Mohamadu's Story

"In 2000, I went into carving and since then I have never regretted it. I am now self-employed and there are five assistants working with me. In addition, I have taught seven other people how to carve, and they are also on their own now and doing well. When I get large orders, I call on them for their assistance. I look forward to training more people in this craft and also to continuing with my paintings." – Abdul Aziz Mohamadu

Today, Abdul spreads love to the five assistants who work with him, as well as the seven other individuals he has trained in the craft of carving. Even as his work has attained incredible success—being featured in exhibits in Ghana, Nigeria, and Benin—his journey is far from over.

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5. Robert Aidoo-Taylor's Story

"I am a self-taught artist. I never took any classes or attended courses. I use manual tools to carve my pieces from wood and then I paint them myself. I enjoy working alone, and my inspiration comes from nature. In 2012, however, I started experimenting with various materials including wood, waxed linen and synthetic cords to add diversify to my products. From these and other media, I now make bangles, bracelets and necklaces." – Robert Aidoo-Taylor

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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