More

He's black. He's a cop. He's also been stopped and frisked 30 times.

He was upset when the police stopped him the first time. But by the 30th time, there was an ironic reason why he was downright embarrassed.

He's black. He's a cop. He's also been stopped and frisked 30 times.
True
The Atlantic Philanthropies

Meet Nick.

Nick was a superstar athlete in high school who still loves to jog regularly. Nice, friendly looking guy, right?


Nick believes in abiding by the law. It's actually a hugely important value to him (you'll understand why later ... keep reading).

So why has he been stopped and frisked by the police 30 times?

"I have been stopped lots of times, sometimes driving my car; other times, I've been stopped on the street. And I've had some really poor experiences. ... It's intimidating when you know you haven't done anything wrong, that it's frustrating. It's also embarrassing." — Nick

Nick was guilty of driving, walking, and, essentially, living while black — an all-too-common narrative that has resulted in people getting stopped and searched everywhere from inside cabs to their own apartment buildings. But that's not where the story ends.

In case you don't know what stop-and-frisk is, it's a highly controversial practice when an officer stops someone who s/he thinks "looks suspicious" and frisks them for weapons. A crime-intervention policy that has sparked national and international debate over its fairness and legality, stop-and-frisk was initiated by the police and still receives tons of support from police.

But here's the irony: Nick, a black man who has been stopped and frisked 30 times, is the police. That's right. Nick is a cop.

BOOM. Imagine that: constantly being a victim of a policy supported and implemented by the same organization that you work for. That cuts pretty deep.

"It makes you wary of a police car behind you or police officers in the street, which seems really weird when I'm a police officer myself. But I genuinely do feel that." — Nick

So Nick is working with Equally Ours in the U.K., speaking up about this problem that he has experienced firsthand from both sides of the issue. And he knows it's a big problem — not just in his own life, but statistically speaking too.

Let's run the numbers.

Research from the New York Civil Liberties Union shows that stop-and-frisk in New York focuses on men of color, which seems totally skewed if you look at the total population.

For example, NYCLU's stats say that in 2011:

  • 168,126 young black men (between the ages of 14 and 24) were stopped by the police.
  • This makes up 25.6% of NYPD stops.
  • Young black men are only 1.9% of the city's population.
  • In the same year, only 24,760 young white men were stopped.
  • That accounts for 3.8% of NYPD stops.
  • Young white men also make up 2% of the city's population.

Between 2003 and 2012, stop-and-frisk climbed by a whopping 600% in New York, but only a small percentage of those incidents involved police finding someone carrying a gun or attempting to commit a violent crime. According to the NYCLU, during that time, stops increased by 524,873, but officers found only 176 more guns.

Granted, any number of guns off the streets helps, but does finding them really have to involve such racially insensitive tactics that affect hundreds of thousands of innocent people?

The good news is that stop-and-frisk practices in New York have started to dip. There's a big difference in the numbers from 2013 to 2014.

According to the NYCLU:

  • In 2013, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 191,558 times.
    169,252 were totally innocent (88 percent).
    104,958 were black (56 percent).
    55,191 were Latino (29 percent).
    20,877 were white (11 percent).



  • In 2014, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 46,235 times.
    38,051 were totally innocent (82 percent).
    24,777 were black (55 percent).
    12,662 were Latino (29 percent).
    5,536 were white (12 percent).



Most attribute this to a 2013 case New York. U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that stop-and-frisk is "unconstitutional and racially discriminatory." Part of the settlement in this groundbreaking case required that the NYPD put reforms in place, including more intense monitoring and accountability for these incidents, along with requiring that officers wear body cameras.

That sounds like a good place to start, but implementing these reforms has been difficult because of various appeals, negotiations, and, more recently, having Judge Scheindlin removed from the case, which caused some of the reforms to be put on hold.

As the battle for fair treatment continues, it's good that people like Nick are sharing their stories. To learn more, take a look at the video below.

Pexels
True
Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.