Even if you can't make the March for Science, you can make a difference. Here's how.

Scientists are fed up. And on April 22, 2017 — Earth Day — they're taking their issues to the streets.

The March for Science is a global movement to show policymakers why allowing well-funded scientific research to help shape public policy is crucial in any thriving democracy.

"It's not only about scientists and politicians," say organizers, who've stressed that the event is nonpartisan. "It is about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world."


Not everyone can make the trek to Washington, D.C., of course, but that's OK.

Here are 18 ways you can still make a big difference, even if you can't make it to the march itself:

1. Attend a local satellite march.

Although the official March for Science is in D.C., there are over 500 satellite marches taking place around the globe, many of which are in the U.S.

Image via Google Maps.

Try to make it to one nearby.

2. Don't see a satellite march near you? Start your own.

It's super easy, and it's not too late! You can register one in your own town on the march's website and invite friends to join. Every marcher matters.

3. March virtually.

Anywhere you have internet access, you can tune in to the march's livestream. Organizers are asking you to still register as a participant at the D.C. march, though, then follow along during the event on Facebook and Twitter.

4. Make a kick-ass sign for your yard.

Just because you won't be carrying it in the march doesn't mean it can't do its job attracting plenty of eyeballs in your community. (Here are some cool sign ideas if you need 'em.)

5. Spend time on Saturday reading, subscribing to, and sharing articles from science publications.

Scientific journalism is critical in keeping the public informed on recent breakthroughs, technologies, and studies. Outlets like Scientific American, National Geographic, New Scientist, and Cosmos (and many, many more) do a great job at keeping readers up to speed on the science stories that matter (so does Upworthy's own James Gaines). Journalists can't do their jobs and publications can't operate without engaged readers and subscribers.

6. Buy books that support real science.

If you buy a science book from the march (topics and genres vary greatly), all profits go toward supporting the march. Getting a good book to read while helping make the march a success is a win-win.

7. Share this powerful video of Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining why science is what helped make America great.

Science In America

Dear Facebook UniverseI offer this four-minute video on "Science in America" containing what may be the most important words I have ever spoken.As always, but especially these days, keep looking up.—Neil deGrasse Tyson

Posted by Neil deGrasse Tyson on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tyson said the video contains maybe "the most important words [he has] ever spoken." It's definitely worth the watch.

8. Donate.

The march is completely volunteer-led. To help it run as smoothly and successfully as possible, funds are needed for things like event promotions and day-of operations. And while the march isn't technically a nonprofit yet because it just applied for C3 status in February, your donation will still be tax-deductible.

9. Know someone who is going to D.C. for the march? Chip in to help them cover gas or lodging.

Traveling can be expensive, after all.

Photo by Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images.

10. Share the marcher pledge on your social media channels.

Let your friends and family read why well-funded and respected scientific research is so vital for democracy to keep thriving.

"We, the peaceful, passionate, and diverse members of the March for Science, pledge to work together to share and highlight the contributions of science, to work to make the practice of science more inclusive, accessible and welcoming so it can serve all of our communities, and to ensure that scientific evidence plays a pivotal role in setting policy in the future."

Get the rest of the pledge here.

11. Support teens and young people who love science.

The march wants people of all ages and walks of life to take part, but particularly young people. That's why it created a student outreach team aimed at bringing teenagers into its grassroots movement. Help elevate their voices on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

12. Buy a science-march-themed hat on Etsy.

They're adorable, they look ridiculously warm and cozy, and they might even nudge your IQ up a few pegs when you have one on.

They're a great conversation starter too, so when you're wearing it and get some questions, it provides the perfect opportunity to talk about the march and the importance of science.

If the "brain hat" isn't your style, maybe the "DNA-hat" is.

13. Take a few minutes to donate to the groups doing so much to keep science a priority on the national radar.

Groups like the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and The Sierra Club are some big ones doing important work. But smaller, more niche organizations — like Black Girls Code, for example — need our support too. Find the groups doing work in areas you're passionate about and, if you can afford to, send a few dollars their way.

14. Shop march merchandise.

All profits from the march's online store — selling shirts, pins, and more — goes toward the March for Science.

15. Do your leaders in Washington care about science? Find out, and then set a reminder on your calendar to make sure to vote!

Science spans many different topics and political issues, of course. But, if you do a little digging, you can find out where your senators and representatives stand on issues like climate change, wildlife conservation, and funding for scientific research.

The League of Conservation Voters, for instance, tracks how your leaders have voted when it comes to protecting the Earth.

16. Find a cool science project to sponsor on DonorsChoose.

DonorsChoose — a platform where educators (much of the time in underserved communities) can crowdfund projects or raise funds for new learning tools in their classrooms — has many fantastic science initiatives that could use your help. Help students in Los Angeles get a Lego Mindstorms Robotics kit or provide students in Louisiana with materials they need to learn about a variety of STEM fields, and help budding young scientists stay curious.

17. Fight for local solutions to scientific or environmental problems in your own backyard.

In Maryland, for example, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore created Mr. Trash Wheel and his friend Professor Trash Wheel (no relation) — two hilarious-looking contraptions that use the water currents and some old school technologies to help keep Baltimore's Inner Harbor garbage-free.

18. Even if you're stuck in front of a computer screen for the day, you can use the #MarchForScience hashtag.

Share your ideas, photos, and messages of support using the hashtag across social media and make sure all your friends and family know where you stand when it comes to science.

No matter where you are on the globe this Earth Day, you can make a difference when it comes to standing up for science.

After all, it's important to remember "There is no Planet B."

Correction 4/21/2017: The March for Science is on April 22, 2017, not 2016, as an earlier version of this article stated.

Courtesy of Amita Swadhin
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In 2016, Amita Swadhin, a child of two immigrant parents from India, founded Mirror Memoirs to help combat rape culture. The national storytelling and organizing project is dedicated to sharing the stories of LGBTQIA+ Black, indigenous people, and people of color who survived child sexual abuse.

"Whether or not you are a survivor, 100% of us are raised in rape culture. It's the water that we're swimming in. But just as fish don't know they are in water, because it's just the world around them that they've always been in, people (and especially those who aren't survivors) may need some help actually seeing it," they add.

"Mirror Memoirs attempts to be the dye that helps everyone understand the reality of rape culture."

Amita built the idea for Mirror Memoirs from a theater project called "Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors" that featured their story and those of four other survivors in New York City, as well as a documentary film and educational toolkit based on the project.

"Secret Survivors had a cast that was gender, race, and age-diverse in many ways, but we had neglected to include transgender women," Amita explains. "Our goal was to help all people who want to co-create a world without child sexual abuse understand that the systems historically meant to help survivors find 'healing' and 'justice' — namely the child welfare system, policing, and prisons — are actually systems that facilitate the rape of children in oppressed communities," Amita continues. "We all have to explore tools of healing and accountability outside of these systems if we truly want to end all forms of sexual violence and rape culture."

Amita also wants Mirror Memoirs to be a place of healing for survivors that have historically been ignored or underserved by anti-violence organizations due to transphobia, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.

Amita Swadhin

"Hearing survivors' stories is absolutely healing for other survivors, since child sexual abuse is a global pandemic that few people know how to talk about, let alone treat and prevent."

"Since sexual violence is an isolating event, girded by shame and stigma, understanding that you're not alone and connecting with other survivors is alchemy, transmuting isolation into intimacy and connection."

This is something that Amita knows and understands well as a survivor herself.

"My childhood included a lot of violence from my father, including rape and other forms of domestic violence," says Amita. "Mandated reporting was imposed on me when I was 13 and it was largely unhelpful since the prosecutors threatened to incarcerate my mother for 'being complicit' in the violence I experienced, even though she was also abused by my father for years."

What helped them during this time was having the support of others.

"I'm grateful to have had a loving younger sister and a few really close friends, some of whom were also surviving child sexual abuse, though we didn't know how to talk about it at the time," Amita says.

"I'm also a queer, non-binary femme person living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and those identities have shaped a lot of my life experiences," they continue. "I'm really lucky to have an incredible partner and network of friends and family who love me."

"These realizations put me on the path of my life's work to end this violence quite early in life," they said.

Amita wants Mirror Memoirs to help build awareness of just how pervasive rape culture is. "One in four girls and one in six boys will be raped or sexually assaulted by the age of 18," Amita explains, "and the rates are even higher for vulnerable populations, such as gender non-conforming, disabled, deaf, unhoused, and institutionalized children." By sharing their stories, they're hoping to create change.

"Listening to stories is also a powerful way to build empathy, due to the mirror neurons in people's brains. This is, in part, why the project is called Mirror Memoirs."

So far, Mirror Memoirs has created an audio archive of BIPOC LGBTQI+ child sexual abuse survivors sharing their stories of survival and resilience that includes stories from 60 survivors across 50 states. This year, they plan to record another 15 stories, specifically of transgender and nonbinary people who survived child sexual abuse in a sport-related setting, with their partner organization, Athlete Ally.

"This endeavor is in response to the more than 100 bills that have been proposed across at least 36 states in 2021 seeking to limit the rights of transgender and non-binary children to play sports and to receive gender-affirming medical care with the support of their parents and doctors," Amita says.

In 2017, Mirror Memoirs held its first gathering, which was attended by 31 people. Today, the organization is a fiscally sponsored, national nonprofit with two staff members, a board of 10 people, a leadership council of seven people, and 500 members nationally.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, they created a mutual aid fund for the LGBTQIA+ community of color and were able to raise a quarter-million dollars. They received 2,509 applications for assistance, and in the end, they decided to split the money evenly between each applicant.

While they're still using storytelling as the building block of their work, they're also engaging in policy and advocacy work, leadership development, and hosting monthly member meetings online.

For their work, Amita is one of Tory's Burch's Empowered Women. Their donation will go to Mirror Memoirs to help fund production costs for their new theater project, "Transmutation: A Ceremony," featuring four Black transgender, intersex, and non-binary women and femmes who live in California.

"I'm grateful to every single child sexual survivor who has ever disclosed their truth to me," Amita says. "I know another world is possible, and I know survivors will build it, together with all the people who love us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."