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Constance Wu kept it real about the need for diverse stories in Hollywood.

Politics, leadership, and Hollywood were on the menu at this star-studded women's brunch.

Some of Hollywood's brightest stars joined forces not for awards, premieres, or accolades, but for a bigger cause —empowering women.

On Tuesday, Feb. 27, comedian and TV host Chelsea Handler partnered with Emily's List, a nationwide resource for Democratic women running for office, to host the Resist, Run, Win pre-Oscars Brunch and panel in Beverly Hills. The lively discussion among panelists former U.S. senator Barbara Boxer, Amber Tamblyn, Padma Lakshmi, Elaine Welteroth, and Constance Wu focused on women speaking up — and speaking out — about politics, leadership, and running for office.

Left: Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Emily's List. Right: Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.


“We are in a moment for women’s leadership and empowerment at every level of leadership and especially in positions of political power," Handler said in a statement. "Emily's List has been leading this charge for over 30 years, and this event marks an important opportunity for women in Hollywood to help shift the momentum of this important cultural moment into direct electoral power."

The panel definitely wasn't politics as usual. Actress Constance Wu discussed the importance of visibility and representation in Hollywood.

Wu stars in the hit sitcom "Fresh Off The Boat," the first show in more than 20 years to feature an Asian-American family. This summer, she'll appear in "Crazy Rich Asians," a film based on the Kevin Kwan book of the same name. According to Wu, it will be the "first studio Hollywood movie ever, ever, to star an Asian-American in a contemporary context."

Think about that. Asian-Americans are often cast in historical films or in supporting roles as best friends or sidekicks, but we almost never see them save the day or fall in love. That's why Wu has intentionally shifted her career in another direction, pursuing opportunities that center and value her experience as an Asian-American.

Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Emily's List.

"I think .... understanding the thing that makes you different is nothing to be ashamed of. Actually, it's the thing that makes you great. And I think stories [should] celebrate that ... center that experience rather than having us be like the side characters who support a white person's story."

Former Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth also highlighted the need for diverse stories, and shared how pursuing them changed her for the better.

Welteroth, who recently stepped down to pursue opportunities in TV and film, was the youngest person to lead the magazine, taking on the role at just 29. She was also only the second black woman to lead a magazine in the history of publishing giant Condé Nast. Though an intimidating position for many, Welteroth rose to the challenge.

During her time at Teen Vogue, Welteroth made a point to highlight the stories and issues of young people who don't usually see themselves in mainstream publications because of their faith, gender identity, or ethnicity. The decision proved wise when the brand quickly soared under leadership. Teen Vogue’s website had nearly 8 million viewers in January of 2017, and just under 3 million the previous year.

Elaine Welteroth (L) and Amber Tamblyn speak onstage at Emily's List's 'Resist, Run, Win' Pre-Oscars Brunch on February 27, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Emily's List.

"What we found is the specificity of those stories pierced the zeitgeist of more people than we had reached prior," she said. "There is something universal about speaking of the experience of 'the other.' It is critical in a moment like this because it triggers empathy."

That's why even away from magazine publishing, Welteroth will continue to tell those authentic stories, starting with herself.

"Me being authentic, being exactly who I am is so important and so radical. Wearing my hair in an afro is important ... because a young girl is looking at me and I'm giving her an example of what's beautiful and what is centered and what is valuable in society. It's countering everything else that she's seeing. So that's important work."

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

As more women find inspiration and courage to run for office in their community or state, the importance of inclusivity can't be overstated.

Politics and government should be places where we uplift and celebrate the voices that too often go unheard. We should look to our leaders to role model community-building, acceptance, and the power of unity. Because only together can we mobilize to make change happen.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Health

This company makes it easier than ever to enjoy guilt-free fairly traded coffee

Thanks to Lifeboost, good coffee can be good for everyone.

Unsplash

Lifeboost coffee

Americans love coffee. Like, we really, seriously, truly love it. According to one recent survey, 75 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee at least occasionally, while 53 percent—about 110 million people—drink it every single day. For some, coffee is an essential part of their morning ritual. For others, it’s something they enjoy when they hit the proverbial wall in the late afternoon. But either way, millions of people use coffee to boost energy, focus, and productivity.


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Pop Culture

13-year-old ventriloquist sings incredible, sassy version of 'You Don't Own Me' on 'AGT'

Ana-Maria Mărgean only started her hobby in 2020 and is already wowing audiences on "America's Got Talent."

America's Got Talent/Youtube

Ana-Maria Mărgean singing "You Don't Own Me" on "America's Got Talent"

It’s not every day a ventriloquist act is so jaw-dropping that it has to be seen to be believed. But when it does happen, it’s usually on “America’s Got Talent.”

Ana-Maria Mărgean was only 11 years old when she first took to the stage on “Romania’s Got Talent” to show off her ventriloquism skills, an act inspired by videos of fellow ventriloquist and “America’s Got Talent” Season 2 champion Terry Fator.

Using puppets built for her by her parents, the young performer tirelessly spent her quarantine time in 2020 learning how to bring them to life, which led to her receiving a Golden Buzzer and eventually winning the entire series in Romania.

Mărgean is now 13 and a competitor on this season of “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars,” hoping to be crowned the winner and perform her own show in Vegas, just like her hero Fator.

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Pop Culture

Linda Ronstadt's 1970's ballad is a chart-topping hit once again thanks to 'The Last of Us'

The iconic 70s song "Long, Long Time" was an integral part of an unforgettable episode that fans are calling a masterpiece.

Linda Ronstadt (left), Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett (right)

HBO’s emotional third episode of the zombie series “The Last Of Us” became an instant favorite among fans, thanks in no small part to Linda Ronstadt’s late 1970s ballad, “Long, Long Time.”

Using the song as the episode’s title, “Long, Long Time,” moves away from the show’s main plot to instead focus on a heartbreakingly beautiful love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), from its endearing start all the way to its bittersweet end.

The song makes its first appearance during the initial stages of Bill and Frank’s romance as they play the tune on the piano, just before they share their first kiss.

We see their entire lives together play out—one of closeness, devotion, and savoring homegrown strawberries—until they meet their end. The song then plays on the radio, bringing the bottle episode to a poignant close.

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Joy

34-year-old man is learning to read on TikTok in series of motivational videos

His reading skills have improved so much that he plans to read 100 books this year.

@oliverspeaks1/TikTok

Oliver James is the biggest star on BookTok.

With over 125,000 followers, 34-year-old Oliver James is a star in the BookTok community. And it all started with a very simple goal: Learn to read.

For most kids, school is a place where they can develop a relationship with learning in a safe environment. For James, school was the opposite. Growing up with learning and behavior disabilities subjected him to abusive teaching practices in special education, which, of course, did nothing to help.

"The special education system at the time was more focused on behavioral than educating," he told Good Morning America. "So they spent a lotta time restraining us, a lotta time disciplining us, a lotta times putting us in positions to kinda shape us to just not act out in class."

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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