In the Alaskan Arctic, Rue shares a story that connects African-American history with nature.
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Sierra Club

Rue Mapp started Outdoor Afro as a blog in 2009. She has an amazing, fast lesson we can all use to learn how to connect with the land.

In a video by the Sierra Club, Rue's quick lesson from the Arctic starts off at a pretty high level. She says that to protect the land, “there has to be a point of relevant relationship."


A part of what Rue means is that if we're going to manage climate change, if we're going to keep dirty fuels in the ground, then we have to feel connected to the land. Each of us.

"At the core of any kind of caring, there has to have been a relationship," she says.

To further connect with the land, Rue suggests a second step: connecting with our histories. "All of us in the United States, usually within a few generations," she says, "has significant ties and connections to land."

Standing in the Alaskan Arctic, Rue shares a story from African-American history.

Rue contemplates how Harriet Tubman had to know about her natural surroundings to help American slaves escape the horrors of enslavement on southern plantations. For example, Tubman had to know bird calls to navigate.

Rue teaches us that we can reach back into her own connection to history and explain how we can each find a connection to wild lands that can feel remote but need our attention. Lands need our attention, so humanity can stay safe. Wow.

Now is the time to make a connection with one natural area in particular: the Arctic.

Research says that all Arctic oil must stay in the ground:

"Trillions of dollars of known and extractable coal, oil and gas, including most Canadian tar sands, all Arctic oil and gas and much potential shale gas, cannot be exploited if the global temperature rise is to be kept under the 2C safety limit agreed by the world's nations."

Got that? A clarification from the same article in the Guardian:

"The research also finds no climate-friendly scenario in which any oil or gas is drilled in the Arctic."

Shell's plan to drill for oil in Arctic's Chukchi Sea threatens this Arctic habitat and threatens a secure climate future. Keep that oil in the ground. And tell President Obama he still has time to say ‪#‎ShellNo .‬

Take a deep breath, check out these amazing Arctic wildflowers, and let's connect to the land and protect it.

via Fox 5 / YouTube

Back in February, northern Virginia was experiencing freezing temperatures, so FOX 5 DC's Bob Barnard took to the streets to get the low down. His report opens with him having fun with some Leesburg locals and trying his hand at scraping ice off their parked cars.

But at about the 1:50 mark, he was interrupted by an unaccompanied puppy running down the street towards the news crew.

The dog had a collar but there was no owner in sight.

Barnard stopped everything he was doing to pick the dog up off the freezing road to keep it safe. "Forget the people we talked to earlier, I want to get to know this dog," he told his fellow reporters back in the warm newsroom.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"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.

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