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.

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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