How this man with one arm is using tech-based music to bring communities together.
True
State Farm

Emman "Small Eyez" Twe loves music, but an obstacle has gotten in the way of him playing traditional instruments — he only has one arm.

Twe was born prematurely and never fully developed a left arm. It made a lot of things more difficult for him to accomplish, but that didn't mean his mother stopped pushing him to succeed.

"My mom always told me that you have to work 20 times harder than everybody else," Twe recalls.


Emman Twe. Image via Jarrett Heatherly/Digital Good Times.

He often turned to the music world to escape his frustrations and connect with his inner spirit, but he felt he couldn't contribute as much as he'd like to because of his disability.

That all changed when he discovered how technology made music totally accessible to him.

Twe playing a keyboard. Photo via State Farm.

Thanks to software advancements, Twe found he could do almost anything he wanted to in the music world. At the age of 14, he put his writing and freestyling skills to work and made his first eight-track CD demo. At age 22, he founded the label Mind Musik Records and was performing with artists like Talib Kweli and Dead Prez.

"When I was making music, that’s when I became me," Twe says.

Today, he's taking all his music tech know-how and sharing it with other underserved people via his podcast, "Digital Good Times."

He started the show with friends Jack Preston and Tristan Khavari, who also believe in the importance of bringing the power of music technology to disadvantaged communities.

Preston on the podcast. Photo via State Farm.

"We know the sacrifices that others made for us to have the opportunities that we have, so it only seems fair that we extend those resources to those who may not have that same opportunity," Preston explains.

But it's not just about empowering others through technology and music on-air. Digital Good Times brings communities together IRL too.

They host regular music-centric events that they hope are bridging the gap between communities while inspiring people using cutting-edge technology.

Fans at a Digital Good Times event. Photo via State Farm.

These events usually highlight major players in the music and tech industries that have something new and exciting to share.

"[They're] real-life examples of what it means to be the real deal," Twe says.

Through tech, community, and collaboration, Twe is helping to show struggling creatives there is a world of opportunity waiting for them.  

Of course his dad, who was a professor by day and a staple of community support at night, is brimming with pride.

Twe's dad. Photo via State Farm.

"If I can live up to half of [what he's done], then I’ll feel complete," Twe says.

Check out Twe's whole story here:

He was born premature with one arm, but he didn't let that stop him from making incredible music ... and helping others. #GoodNeighborDay

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, September 28, 2017

The fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less