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Dr. Dre's apology: It's a small token but often a huge victory for survivors to hear abusers own up.

And the Internet is turning into quite a tool to make sure history isn't rewritten by those with power and money.

Dr. Dre's apology: It's a small token but often a huge victory for survivors to hear abusers own up.

Victims left out of an abuser's movie — honest mistake or convenient sleight of hand?

"Straight Outta Compton," the blockbuster film chronicling the rise and fall of hip-hop group N.W.A is an important cultural touchpoint for its depiction of several really important themes: police brutality, race, youth culture, and the role of art in protest to name a few.

But when the movie, produced by N.W.A founding members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, was released, there were significant players in the story whose roles were conveniently left out. Dee Barnes, a journalist who Dr. Dre beat up in a nightclub, wrote that some reference to the occurrence would have been appropriate.


And when asked why she wasn't represented in the film, Dr. Dre's ex-fiancee Michel'le and former record labelmate said:

"But why would Dre put me in it? ... I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat up and told to sit down and shut up."

It turns out, Dr. Dre's violent past was omitted entirely, and the Internet wasn't going to let it slide. The story blew up big time.

Image from Death Row Records.

Maybe recent backlash has taught abusers some lessons on how to deal with their crimes publicly.

In what seems to be a savvy PR move cribbed from seeing just how off-the-rails avoidance and denial can go for others (see Bill Cosby), Dr. Dre has issued an official apology. As told to The New York Times today:

"Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I've been married for 19 years and every day I'm working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I'm doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again. I apologize to the women I've hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives."

An apology is not a criminal conviction or compensation for years of pain and suffering, but it's also not nothing.

Image by Leyram Odacrem/Flickr.

One of the things to understand about abuse victims who never hear an acknowledgment or apology from their abusers is that it can be a form of gaslighting. It leaves the survivor to not only wrestle with the physical and emotional wounds from what they experienced, but to also reconcile conflicting accounts from the abuser and outsiders with what they experienced firsthand. When an abuser is twisting what occurred and the public (or friends and family, for those who aren't famous) seems to be buying it or just letting them move on, it can mess with a survivor's sense of reality and ultimately, their trust in their own perceptions.

The lack of an apology can leave a survivor without official closure. As Dee Barnes said in her piece on Gawker, it's not that she's holding on to the past but that the past is holding on to her. In her case, she means physically as well as emotionally, in the form of recurring pain. But that statement can be applied for abuse victims in numerous forms. Without official closure, a survivor must learn to be at peace with an unresolved part of their past.

Seeing an abuser finally own up to what they did and be held accountable in the eyes of the public can be an important step toward healing and a powerful way to shine light on the truth of abuse for all to see.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.