Her AncestryDNA test had a powerful impact on her, so she asked others to take one, too.

"I never really understood what it meant to be Peruvian as a child," says Connie Chavez.

Chavez is a self-taught videographer who works at Latina magazine in New York. Growing up in New York, she didn't really have an opportunity to be around other Peruvian people. Her friends dismissed her background, assuming it was the same as any other Latino culture.

"Nobody understood what Peru was," she says. "It made me really feel bad."


Now that she's older, Chavez has had the opportunity to learn about the rich, unique culture that she is a part of. "I'm Peruvian, and I'm proud," she says. Her parents taught her about the history and culture of their Incan ancestors, and that’s what led her to eventually embrace her heritage. "Because of that knowledge, I feel powerful," she says.

Learning about her background boosted Chavez's confidence in who she is — and it made her want to get others involved. Watch her story below:

She wanted to do something about the xenophobia she was seeing in the world, so she started with herself.

Posted by Upworthy on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

It wasn't just as a kid that Chavez faced misunderstandings and mischaracterizations of her culture.

During the 2016 election season, Chavez found herself on the receiving end of xenophobic and racist comments.

"It was last August, and I was feeling really low because I was hearing a lot of xenophobic things, racialized remarks towards me," says Chavez.  

She found herself wondering what she could do to start a more productive dialogue around race and culture. Inspired by activist Carmen Perez and her goal of starting "courageous conversations," Chavez wanted to start some courageous conversations of her own.

"It is really hard to talk about race. It's really difficult," she says. "People feel uneasy, but that feeling is what creates progress."

Chavez decided to take an AncestryDNA test as a starting point for these conversations.

As she puts it: "Are you 100% everything? No, you're not, and there's no such thing as a superior race because, essentially, we all have DNA from the entire world."

Chavez's test revealed that she's 59% Native American, 27% European, 2% African, and 3% West Asian.

"After seeing my Ancestry results, I got to admit, I felt really powerful," she says. "I truly felt like a global citizen. It just affirmed what I always believed in, and it really gave me the confidence to reclaim certain parts of myself."

Chavez wanted to share the empowerment she felt with others, so she persuaded her coworkers at Latina to take AncestryDNA tests too.

Chavez worked with AncestryDNA to procure tests for her coworkers, and then the women got together at work to discuss their results. They broadcast the conversation in a Facebook Live video.

Many of Chavez's coworkers felt empowered by their results too.

"I would definitely say I feel a lot more confident in who I am, knowing where I come from," says Barbara Gonzalez, a former staff writer at Latina.

It's not always an easy process; sometimes seeing the results can be emotional and even scary. Chavez says, "It is a deeply profound, sentimental issue for some people, and I understand it. This is a big thing."

But, she says, it's worth it. "It's a beautiful thing to find out who you are."

Latina staffers discussed their results in a Facebook Live video.

Chavez's project demonstrates how learning about your ancestry isn't just about the past — it can also help shape the future.

With the help of her coworkers, Chavez used her AncestryDNA results to spark important conversations about race and culture. And she's inspiring others to do the same.

After the Facebook Live broadcast, she says she received numerous emails from people thanking her.

"When I started seeing the responses and the happiness behind every response," says Chavez, "I felt compelled to just continue the work that I'm doing."

"I never really thought of myself as a pioneer for  anything, but really, starting this project really made me feel like I had a purpose here."

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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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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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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