How a pet project about cooking turned into a moving tribute to grandmothers everywhere.

What we can learn from our ancestors about ourselves is invaluable.

Jonas Pariente's grandmother, Mémé, passed away shortly before his 30th birthday.

Mémé was born in Poland in 1916. His other grandmother, Nano, was born in Egypt in 1933.

When Jonas was 23, he began filming both of his grandmothers in the kitchen as a way to learn more about his roots and identity through the signature dishes they cooked and the stories they shared.


Nano and Mémé. Image from Jonas Pariente, used with permission.

Our ancestors have invaluable lessons and history to pass on to younger generations — after all, who knows more about where we came from than they do?

Mémé's death inspired Jonas to create a collaborative video series he called the Grandmas Project.

The Grandmas Project is a web series through which people around the world are invited to share their grandmothers' stories through their recipes. With his own grandmothers, Jonas discovered that food was a great entry point to conversations about their childhoods, their immigration journeys, and other things they had never talked about.

Food was how Jonas learned to appreciate the time he spent with his grandmothers, and the series of videos produced for the Grandmas Project is a beautiful way to honor the bonds and memories we share with our grandmothers with the rest of the world.

Nano cooking. Image by Jonas Pariente, used with permission.

The Grandmas Project is about so much more than just food, though. It's about preserving history.

For Jonas, the idea of collecting, celebrating, and sharing our grandmothers' recipes isn't just a way to keep the food alive — it's a way to preserve our heritage through those recipes as they're passed from generation to generation.

Some of the best moments of his life were ones spent visiting Mémé and Nano on his own, Jonas tells Upworthy, though he cautions that those moments can be fleeting if we don't take the time to appreciate them.

"Sometimes we hesitate or find excuses not to call or visit our grandparents. It sucks because these moments can't be replaced and can turn out to be magical," Jonas says.

Nano and Jonas. Image by Jonas Pariente, used with permission.

Jonas' story is a perfect example of the wonderful things that can come about when we pump the brakes on our hectic lives and take the time to call or visit our grandparents.

The amazing response to the Grandmas Project shows just how many people feel the same about their own grandmothers.

Jonas' Kickstarter campaign to create 30 short films with 30 recipes was successfully funded in May 2015. Over $21,000 was raised in 30 days. The project received video submissions from every continent — over 100 in total, Jonas says. Four films have been completed, and another 10 entries will soon be chosen to go into production after the summer.

In January 2016, the Grandmas Project received an award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for its work “raising awareness among the general public to the intangible cultural heritage through digital means.”

Jonas says he's happy his project created a little spark that's encouraging people to spend more time with their grandmas.

"I'm very, very proud of that, and I believe it does people good."

Watch one of the videos from Jonas's "Grandmas Project" series:

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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