Canadians just crowdfunded $3 million to buy pristine land and save it from development

Well done, Canadians.

Sometimes the monstrous machine of industry and corporate greed can feel like too much for us as individuals to battle. But a bunch of Canadian citizens has just shown what a committed band of individuals can do.

In the first crowdfunding effort of its kind, Canadians have raised $3 million to purchase a stretch of coastal wilderness in British Columbia to save it from development. The 2,000 acres (800 hectares) of pristine coastline in the Princess Louisa Inlet on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast are virtually untouched. The land includes a fjord, the top rim of which branches into high alpine snow pack forming multiple dramatic waterfalls that run down the rock.

Crowdfunding efforts were organized by B.C. Parks Foundation, a non-profit group whose mission is to protect natural landscapes in the province. The foundation's CEO Andrew Day told the CBC that the land, which is being sold by a private owner, had some interest from logging companies and developers. So people stepped up to stop that from happening.


And it wasn't just a handful of rich donors who pooled their money—scores of average Canadians offered what they could to the fundraising effort.

RELATED: 15 national parks that'll remind you how beautiful the world really is.

"It was so many people who gave us $10 or $15 and said, 'This is all I can do, but this is a wonderful thing that you're doing,'" Day told the CBC.

B.C. Parks Foundation will buy the land and make it into a protected park. The organization wrote a letter of thanks to all who donated to the fundraiser.

Dear Park Supporters,

You did it! Your love for British Columbia and beautiful places like Princess Louisa Inlet has done something miraculous. In just a few short months, you have raised $3 million to protect a jewel in B.C'.s coast.

We still have to finalize the sale with the vendor (now September 3rd), and there are more steps to come, but in donating the funds you have scaled a substantial peak on this amazing expedition.

We know people want to keep B.C. beautiful, and we know our parks are the core of our identity. They are our cathedrals, our towers, our pyramids; the wonders of our world. But we couldn't have predicted such a fabulous outpouring in such a short time from so many different people and places. We are in a state of awe and gratitude.

We will keep you posted when the deal is finalized. Any funds that continue to come in will be put in our Parks Bank to protect more areas in Princess Louisa and British Columbia.

With our deepest appreciation and admiration,

Ross Beaty, Board Chair
Andy Day, CEO


As land is continually being logged and used for development, and as governments are not always reliable protectors of the environment, crowdfunding to buy natural areas may be the most effective way of protecting them.

RELATED: Patagonia put its money where its mouth is by refusing to sell to clients that destroy the environment.

Day says the foundation will work with the indigenous Sechelt Nation and the provincial government to work out the details of how to preserve the land. "We'll do our best to make sure that that area stays protected forever," he told the CBC.

Well done, B.C. Parks Foundation and ordinary Canadian citizens. Seriously, well done.

Nature

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

Culture
via Cadbury

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.

WE Teachers
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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