Feeling hopeless after Charlottesville? 16 ways you can make a big difference.

This was the scene on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Those are rescue workers aiding an injured, shaken woman who was plowed into by a car driven by an alleged white supremacist. In 2017. In America.

It's a difficult photo to see — as are many of the other photos taken over the weekend — but it's important we all see it and recognize this image for what it is.

The terrorist attack, allegedly carried out by a 20-year-old from Ohio who was in town supporting the "Unite the Right" white nationalist conference, left one victim, counter-protester Heather Heyer, dead. It injured 19 others.

It's easy to feel helpless in the days following an event like Charlottesville. If you're in a position of privilege, it's maybe even easier to intentionally tune out — to put on your headphones and ignore the bigger problems waiting outside your door. But it's important we act.






If you're feeling hopeless after the events in Charlottesville, here are 13 ways you can help make a difference:

1. First and foremost, make sure you are OK.

If you're a person of color or part of another targeted marginalized group, the events in Charlottesville may have been exhausting and painful to see on TV or witness firsthand. DoSomething.org has a coping with discrimination self-care guide that includes tips like mindfully disconnecting from our often chaotic world and finding ways to channel your anger into constructive actions.

2. Become a member of the NAACP.

The NAACP is working tirelessly across the U.S. to counter the hateful forces like the ones on display last weekend. Join forces with the national group or find a local chapter — like the one in Charlottesville — to get involved.

3. Follow Sesame Street's lead and go out of your way to do something nice (big or small) for someone each day this week.

Give an extra big tip to your barista, call an old friend to say hello, hug your mom a little bit tighter; a simple gesture goes a long way.

4. Donate to the victims of the Charlottesville terror attack.

Beyond Heyer's tragic death, the violence on Saturday left 19 others injured. Community group Unity C-ville has set up a GoFundMe page to help with their medical costs.

5. If you're not a person of color, take 10 minutes to learn about allyship.

A 10-minute cram session certainly doesn't mean you'll become the perfect ally overnight. But listening to members of an oppressed group — or learning from resources created by someone or people of that group — will give you a good start in understanding the do's and don'ts in allyship.

6. Speaking of being an ally — signing up for a Safety Pin Box subscription is a great first step.

The service, run by black female activists, informs users about the various systems of privilege and oppression that disempower certain groups, while also giving specific tasks on how subscribers can challenge the status quo as allies in the real world.

7. Find out how your own representatives reacted to Charlottesville.

Then make some phone calls.

If they condemned white supremacy and are actively fighting for policies that promote racial justice — from criminal justice reform to affirmative action — let them know you proudly support their agenda. If your representatives didn't speak out, remind them that their silence speaks volumes.

8. Help the country Swing Left in 2018.

Racism certainly isn't confined to one party, but the GOP — led by a president who has been disturbingly connected to the KKK and other hate groups — is emboldening bigotry in ways we haven't seen in recent American history.

Progressive group Swing Left is focused on flipping the House in 2018 by zeroing in on swing districts where the GOP is vulnerable. Even if you don't live in such a district, you likely live near one that could use your help.

9. Find a protest in your own community with the Indivisible Guide.

Progressive group Indivisible is mobilizing supporters to take part in local protests in response to the white nationalist gathering in Virginia. Learn more.

10. Report harassment online, or call on the allies at White Nonsense Roundup to step in.

Social media has become a breeding ground for racist and misogynistic attitudes. If you see others being harassed — or you're being targeted yourself — don't be afraid to report it. (Here's how you can do it on Twitter and on Facebook).

Alternately, if you're part of a marginalized group and feel targeted by others online — or even just find yourself batting away well-intentioned but problematic rhetoric — you can call on White Nonsense Roundup. If you tag the volunteer-run group, they'll jump into the comment thread to defend you and educate other commenters. Because, as the group notes, people of color already have enough on their plates — they shouldn't have to worry about educating the world, too.

11. Tune in to TV shows that tackle important issues of racial and social justice on screen.

The Trump era has given new meaning to series that routinely parse social justice issues via comedy or drama. Shows like "Black-ish," "Dear White People," and "Fresh Off the Boat" aren't just good TV — they're making a positive impact, with people of color working behind the scenes and in front of the cameras to tell their stories. Support these types of series and see what the world looks like in someone else's shoes.

The cast of ABC's "Black-ish." Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards.

12. Use VolunteerMatch.org to commit to volunteering once a month with a group doing social justice work in your area.

You could be an ESL tutor to immigrants in Chicago, for example, or volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club in Naples, Florida. There are plenty of online tools like VolunteerMatch.org that can pair you with reputable nonprofits in your own backyard.

13. Systemic racism is one thing. But what should you do when bigoted harassment or violence is unfolding right in front of you?

This helpful guide by the Southern Poverty Law Center, "Ten Ways to Fight Hate," details how each one of us can respond in concrete ways when we witness bigotry in our neighborhoods.

"Slurs often escalate to harassment, harassment to threats, and threats to physical violence," the guide reads. "Don’t wait to fight hate."

14. Sign up for Common Cause's Sessions Watch to keep an eye on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Jeff Sessions was too racist to become a federal judge in 1986. Yet, thanks to Trump, he's our attorney general, heading the Justice Department.  

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Sessions' racist (and homophobic, misogynistic, and anti-Muslim) history is alarming for many marginalized groups. To help keep him accountable, sign up for Common Cause's Sessions Watch, where you'll get up-to-date notifications regarding his actions as attorney general, as well as ways you can stand up to his agenda.

15. Boost the Black Lives Matter movement on social media.

There's a good chance a Black Lives Matter local chapter is active in your neck of the woods. Find out how you — as a person of color or an ally — can help the movement grow. Aside from donating or attending events, you can Like, comment, and share the messages BLM publishes on Facebook and Twitter.

16. Help Charlottesville rally past this dark period by supporting one of its incredible local nonprofits.

Author and Twitter personality Sara Benincasa shared a thread on Twitter (and then wrote an article in the same vein) listing a number of Charlottesville organizations making their corner of the world a better place.

Like the local Planned Parenthood.

Or the neighborhood Meals on Wheels.

If we've learned anything from U.S. history, it's that white supremacy can't be stomped out overnight.

It will take years of painful, exhausting work to break down the systems that keep black and brown people disadvantaged at best and, at worst, intentionally oppressed.

We have our work cut out for us. But if America truly is better than what happened in Charlottesville, now's our opportunity to prove it.

Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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