He asked how to confront his racial bias. She responded with a powerful gesture.

Garry Civitello called into C-SPAN with his heart and insecurities on his sleeve.

Civitello, a white man from Asheville, North Carolina, wanted to speak with Heather McGhee, a black woman and president of Demos, a public policy group working to promote democracy for all. But his question wasn't specifically about public policy. It was about what he could do to be a better person.

"I'm a white male, and I'm prejudiced. What can I do to change, you know, to be a better American?"


McGhee was initially caught off guard by the question but took an opportunity to respond from the heart:

"I told him thank you, and I just came up with some thoughts about how he could integrate his life and learn to have more empathy and compassion."

For Civitello and others looking to make a change, McGhee offered a few places to start. From getting to know black families to asking tough questions of himself and others.

All images via Upworthy/YouTube.

Before long, video of their brief exchange was viewed more than 8 million times.

McGhee saw a unique opportunity to build on their conversation.

She traveled to North Carolina to meet with Civitello, and the two had a positive discussion, asking each other questions and learning about their backgrounds and experiences. For both, the opportunity to grow and learn from each other was a powerful thing.

"When you get to know people, usually your fears were unjustified," Civitello said.

Regardless of our backgrounds, all of us have biases to confront.

But when we confront those insecurities head on, we can grow and change for the better. It starts with moving outside our own comfort zones and challenging norms.

"It's time for us to have a conversation with white folks and for white folks to have a conversation with each other about how it doesn't have to be a zero-sum game," McGhee said.

As Civitello and McGhee revealed, the conversations are tough but necessary.

"It's just something that we don't practice, and taking that first step is the hardest thing," Civitello told McGhee.

True

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."

4-year-old New Zealand boy and police share toys.

Sometimes the adorableness of small children is almost too much to take.

According to the New Zealand Police, a 4-year-old called the country's emergency number to report that he had some toys for them—and that's only the first cute thing to happen in this story.

After calling 111 (the New Zealand equivalent to 911), the preschooler told the "police lady" who answered the call that he had some toys for her. "Come over and see them!" he said to her.

The dispatcher asked where he was, and then the boy's father picked up. He explained that the kids' mother was sick and the boy had made the call while he was attending to the other child. After confirming that there was no emergency—all in a remarkably calm exchange—the call was ended. The whole exchange was so sweet and innocent.

But then it went to another level of wholesome. The dispatcher put out a call to the police units asking if anyone was available to go look at the 4-year-old's toys. And an officer responded in the affirmative as if this were a totally normal occurrence.

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