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How do you document the Black Lives Matter movement? These 10 images are a powerful start.

These photos look past the chaos to see the people behind this impassioned fight for equality.

How do you document the Black Lives Matter movement? These 10 images are a powerful start.

When Natalie Keyssar graduated from art school in 2009, she was convinced she wanted to be a photojournalist instead.

She didn't want to spend her time by herself in a studio. She wanted to be out in the world, among the people exploring whatever was going on at the time.

She also found while studying painting that subjects that related to current events, activism, and protest movements inspired her. The young artist was using a lot of photojournalism as reference for her paintings in art school.


Keyssar already knew about color and composition from studying art. She just needed to hone her photography skills. She took on internships to get that coveted hands-on experience.  

"I think in a lot of ways painting and photography are almost the same thing in certain ways — it's just a different tool," she muses.

Keyssar grew up in North Carolina. She says as a kid she was always very aware of, and outraged by, instances involving police brutality.

Then in the fall of 2014, a wave of societal unrest erupted, beginning with the shooting of an unarmed young black man.

On Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, just outside St. Louis.

"I had a sense that it was gonna be a really important moment in America, historically," Keyssar explains. She never gave it a second thought. She just had to go and cover the tragic shooting that would take her on a yearlong journey of documentation and discovery.

Here are 10 of the most powerful images by Keyssar from the #BlackLivesMatter movement:

1. Bishop Derrick Robinson is arrested on Nov. 30, 2014, in Ferguson.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

This particular image stands out in Keyssar's mind, she says, because it encompasses the unrest at the time. Robinson is a prominent leader of the Black Lives Matter movement. She remembers him peacefully protesting outside a Rams game in St. Louis at a public park.

"Riot police just went for him. I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a police officer, but as a journalist, I saw nobody break any kind of law," Keyssar says. "I just saw five men in full tactical gear tackle a clergyman to the ground and arrest him for peacefully protesting in a public park. That was profoundly disturbing to me, and honestly I think it should be profoundly disturbing to everyone."

2. Kids dance to music playing from a truck with the words "no shoot, no loot" on Aug. 19, 2014, in Ferguson.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

3. Carrie Chambers poses for a photo on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson on Aug. 19, 2014.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

4. A protester is bathed in police lights after the Millions March on Dec. 13, 2014, following the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

5. Thousands of protesters take to the streets in Baltimore on April 29, 2015, following the death of Freddie Gray.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

6. Police dressed in tactical gear enforce a curfew in Baltimore on April 28, 2015.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

Keyssar says she was used to seeing other issues abroad. "Seeing this sort of really, really militarized police landscape in this American, sort of traditional stereotypical American landscape was sort of profound for me."

7. "I love peace and harmony and joy," said 87-year-old Clara Thornton, pictured below. "I'm praying for both sides ... we're all children of God."

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

8. Artist Dimitri Reeves performs Michael Jackson covers in Baltimore on May 1, 2015, after it was announced charges would be filed in the Freddie Gray case.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

9. A man in his car shows support to protesters with a gesture in Baltimore on April 28, 2015.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

10. Marcus Mopkins wipes off the sweat from his brow before posing for a portrait in Ferguson on Aug. 19, 2014.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

This last image is also profoundly special to Keyssar. Marcus was one of the first people she photographed when she got to Ferguson. It was brutally hot that day, but he was dedicated. She considers him her introduction to this powerful experience that began in Ferguson.

"My goal with my work is always to convey nuance and create a jumping off point for a complex and necessary conversation."

What Keyssar doesn't want is for her work to reinforce anyone's biased narrative.

She wants her images from Ferguson, Baltimore, and New York to show the breadth of people, the humanity of those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I really want people to see other people. I think that's the foundation."

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

The Schmidt family's Halloween photoshoot has become an annual tradition.

Two of Patti Schmidt's three sons were already well into adulthood when her daughter Avery was born, and the third wasn't far behind them. Avery, now 5, has never had the pleasure of close-in-age sibling squabbles or gigglefests, since Larry, Patrick, and Gavin are 28, 26, and 22, respectively—but that doesn't mean they don't bond as a family.

According to People.com, Patti calls her sons home to Point Pleasant, New Jersey, every fall for a special Halloween photoshoot with Avery. And the results are nothing short of epic.

The Schmidt family started the tradition in 2017 with the boys dressing as the tinman, the scarecrow, and the cowardly lion from "The Wizard of Oz." Avery, just a toddler at the time, was dressed as Dorothy, complete with adorable little ruby slippers.

The following year, the boys were Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, and Avery was (of course) Princess Leia.

In 2019, they did a "Game of Thrones" theme. ("My husband and I were binge-watching (Game of Thrones), and I thought the boys as dragons would be so funny," Schmidt told TODAY.)

In 2020, they went as Princess Buttercup, Westley, Inigo Montoya, and Fezzik from "The Princess Bride."

Patti shared a video montage of each year's costume shoot—with accompanying soundtracks—on Instagram and TikTok. Watch:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."