Disney just gave $1M to the Boys and Girls Clubs because of 'Black Panther.'

"Black Panther" is well on its way to making the folks at Disney and Marvel a pretty penny, crushing the $700 million mark in just its second weekend.

Beloved by audiences and critics alike, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a naysayer-defying behemoth worthy of a Wakandan king. It did so well that director Ryan Coogler even penned a heartwarming message to fans thanking them for their excitement and support.

GIF from "Black Panther."


On Feb. 26, Disney announced plans to donate $1 million to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, going toward the group's youth STEM programs.

According to a press release, Disney made the donation to boost kids in science, technology, engineering, and math fields in celebration of the record-breaking success of "Black Panther."

Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger praised the film for its status as an "instant cultural phenomenon" and for "sparking discussion, inspiring people young and old, and breaking down age-old industry myths." Iger pointed to the movie's incorporation of STEM concepts in explaining why the organization chose the Boys and Girls Clubs for the donation.

The money will be used by Boys and Girls Clubs to develop its STEM curriculum and build new STEM Centers of Innovation in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Harlem, Hartford, Memphis, New Orleans, Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Watts, California.

Image via Marvel Entertainment.

It's possible that Disney landed on this decision out of the kindness of their hearts, but they might have gotten a little inspiration to act.

A petition on Change.org that was launched before the film's release urged Disney to donate 25% of the film's profits to black communities around the U.S. To date, the petition, which asks Disney to put money into "programs within [black communities] that focus on STEM," has received just over 8,500 signatures. The company never officially acknowledged the petition.

To be sure, $1 million is obviously a lot less than 25% of Disney's "Black Panther" profits, and it's almost certainly just pocket change to one of the world's largest companies. Still, it's something, and that money is going to help some kids do some cool things in life. That's hopefully something we can all get behind.

GIF from "Black Panther."

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Six years ago, a high school student named Christopher Justice eloquently explained the multiple problems with flying the Confederate flag. A video clip of Justice's truth bomb has made the viral rounds a few times since then, and here it is once again getting the attention it deserves.

Justice doesn't just explain why the flag is seen as a symbol of racism. He also explains the history of when the flag originated and why flying a Confederate flag makes no sense for people who claim to be loyal Americans.

But that clip, as great as it is, is a small part of the whole story. Knowing how the discussion came about and seeing the full debate in context is even more impressive.

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