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Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes of all time. Full stop.

She's won 22 grand slam tennis titles, 307 victories in grand-slam play, and four Olympic gold medals. She is a dominant player, beloved by millions of fans, charities, and brands.

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.


But on Sept. 27, 2016, Williams took on a challenge she can't win alone: police violence.

In a viral Facebook post, Williams explained that she asked her nephew to drive her one day so she could work on her phone between meetings.

Two people embrace during a demonstration for Philando Castile outside the governor's mansion in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.

But what should've been a simple task left Williams feeling anxious and tense, something many black Americans can't help feeling at the moment.

Here's her Facebook post:

Read the full text below, emphasis mine.

Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he's black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone...

Posted by Serena Williams on Tuesday, September 27, 2016
"Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he's black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone #safteyfirst. In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He's so innocent. So were all 'the others'
I am a total believer that not 'everyone' is bad It is just the ones that are ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive that is affecting millions and millions of lives. Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on — for it's not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.
I than wondered than have I spoken up? I had to take a look at me. What about my nephews? What if I have a son and what about my daughters?
As Dr. Martin Luther King said 'There comes a time when silence is betrayal'.

I
Won't
Be
Silent
Serena"








Williams may be one of the most recognizable faces in sports, but all the money, fame, and endorsements in the world won't stop a badge or a bullet.

Flowers and a short note found at a memorial at the scene of the death of Keith Scott. Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images.

That's why she decided she couldn't be silent about this issue anymore.

Her message comes just days after the shooting deaths of Alfred Olango, Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of police. And weeks after NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest injustices that black Americans face each day.

What does a celebrity like Williams have to lose by speaking out? Start with her life and work backward.

It's unclear how Williams will mobilize against police violence. But regardless of the method, her critics will be ready to argue, or worse.

Since Aug. 27, 2016,  Kaepernick and some of the professional and amateur athletes who've joined him (including children as young as 11) have received death threats.

"If something like that were to happen, you've proved my point,” Kaepernick told The Mercury News. “It'll be loud and clear for everyone why it happened..."

Eric Reid, Colin Kaepernick,  and Eli Harold of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sidelines during the national anthem. Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images.

That's white supremacy disguised as love of country.

"It's rude and disrespectful to protest like that," they jeer, invoking veterans and the "American way" for their cause. Still others claim it's just not the right time or place to speak out.

But there will never be a right time or place for this because these critics don't want people like Williams or Kaepernick protesting at all. They don't want a reminder that America may not look or feel the same to everyone who calls it home.

And while many people will line up to throw their support behind Serena Williams, do not begin to think this is an easy decision for her. Her fan base, endorsements, clothing line, and appearances are assuredly all in jeopardy.

This is no small move, but she's doing it anyway. That's courage.

Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for USTA.

So if Serena Williams can risk it all, what will you do?

Will you speak out? Will you march? Will you write letters? Will you lift up the voices of people of color calling for justice? Will you vote? Will you shut down your racist uncle or grandmother who "just doesn't know any better"?

People are dying. The time for hypotheticals, small moves, and silence is over.

Protesters march in Charlotte, North Carolina, following the shooting of Keith Scott by police. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

True

The last thing children should have to worry about is where their next meal will come from. But the unfortunate reality is food insecurity is all too common in this country.

In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

The KFC Sharemobile, a holiday-edition charitable food truck, will be making stops at schools in Chicago, Orlando, and Houston in December to share KFC family meals and special gifts for a few select families to address specific needs identified by their respective schools.

These cities were chosen based on the high level of food insecurity present in their communities and hardships they’ve faced, such as a devastating hurricane season in Florida and an unprecedented winter storm in Houston. In 2021, five million children across the US lived in food-insecure households, according to the USDA.

“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

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10 things that made us smile this week

This week's finds include an adorable baby's first 'Dada,' an appreciative delivery driver, an angel rocking out to 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' and more.

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Ho ho ho, happy humans!

It's that time of the week again, when we gather together the most smile-worthy tidbits of the past seven days and share them with you all. As the lucky person who gets to wrap them up in a nice, shiny, virtual bow, I'm delighted to tell you that this week's list is awesome. They always are—that's kind of the point—but this week I can practically guarantee you're going to be brimming with joy by the end.

Right out of the gate, we've got baby giggles. I mean, come on. Who can resist baby giggles?

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Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

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Every year, moms put on their elf hats and become Santa's helpers. They shop for and wrap the family's presents, cook the holiday meal, organize the crafts and even set out cookies for the big guy. They're so busy making the holiday season magical for their family that oftentimes they don't get any time to rest.

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