In 1 tweet, J.K. Rowling captured the media's hypocrisy in how it treats Syrian refugees.

J.K. Rowling is heartsick over how the thousands of Middle Eastern refugees flooding into Europe are being treated.


So when The Daily Express published an article about the major humanitarian crisis on the bottom of their front page, Rowling took them to task.

Specifically, for the prominent placement of a different story about a dog looking for a home.



Of course, Rowling wasn't suggesting that people shouldn't care about homeless dogs.

Photo via dudwnhahaha.

There are many unsheltered animals that need loving homes, and it's completely understandable — and admirable — to feel for them and want them to be safe.

And dogs are, without a doubt, very cute.

But the tweet reflects a growing frustration that, while one dog needing a home is sad, there are thousands of people who need homes — and not enough is being done about it.


Photo by Philippe Huguen/Getty Images.

Scenes like this one in Hungary, where thousands of refugees stuck on sweltering train cars were denied passage to Germany, and this one (warning, graphic images), where authorities found the body of a drowned toddler washed up on a Turkish beach, have become all-too-common across the continent.

There is hope, however. In some countries, people are taking matters into their own hands.

Photo by Andreas Tille.

According to a New York Times report, when the Icelandic government pledged to take in only 50 refugees in 2015, a group of Icelanders called on the government to permit 4,950 more to enter the country. They wrote on Facebook:

“Refugees are our future spouses, best friends, our next soul mate, the drummer in our children's band, our next colleague, Miss Iceland 2022, the carpenter who finally fixes our bathroom, the chef in the cafeteria, the fireman, the hacker and the television host. People who we'll never be able to say to: 'Your life is worth less than mine.'"

And some towns, like Goslar, Germany, have rolled out the welcome mat for new migrants.

Oliver Junk, mayor of Goslar, Germany. Photo by Nigel Treblin/Getty Images.

The mayor of Goslar believes the influx of new residents could be a huge boon for his region's economy and cultural life, and he has put out an open invitation for recent arrivals to settle there.

Hopefully, if more people like Rowling speak out, more people around the world will start opening their hearts and their communities to people in need.

We might not all have the same platform that Rowling has, but our combined voices can surely make a difference.

Syrian refugee children pose for a photo in Lebanon. Photo by Joseph Eid/Getty Images.

The Syrian migrants can't go back to where they came from. They need new homes and new lives, and it's up to us to help them.

In order to do that, we need to start seeing them not as refugees, but as our potential neighbors.

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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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Well Being

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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Culture