Jeff Flake refuses to look at two women who confront him in elevator after he announces support for Kavanaugh.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) surprise announcement of support for Brett Kavanaugh all but ensures the Supreme Court nominee will move to a full vote, and approval, to the nation’s highest court.

We need to do better than this.

Flake may be the one senator who was somehow swayed to support Brett Kavanaugh after his widely panned testimony before the U.S. Senate on Thursday.


After announcing his support, he tried to quietly duck out of the Senate in an elevator reserved for members and their staff. It didn’t work out like he planned.

Flake was cornered and confronted by two women who identified themselves as sexual assault survivors.

One woman told Flake that by announcing his support for Kavanaugh, he was effectively, "telling all women that they don't matter, that they should just stay quiet, because if they tell you what happened to them you are going to ignore them."

"You have children in your family, think about them."

It’s an uncomfortable moment that’s hard to watch. But Jeff Flake is an elected member of the U.S. Senate and presumably would have the backbone to engage with a citizen, particularly one sharing such a heartfelt moment.

Instead, he looks down passively, and refuses to address the woman, clearly waiting for the elevator door to close as he mumbles, "I need to go. I need to go to the hearing."

"What you are doing, is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court," she responds. "This is not tolerable."

Without actually stepping into the elevator, she moves just close enough to delay the doors closing and calls out Flake for literally refusing to acknowledge her presence, something darkly symbolic of what many feel was revealed in the Kavanaugh hearing on Thursday by the judge’s supporters.

"That's what you're telling all of these women,” she continued. “That's what you're telling me right now. Look at me when I'm talking to you. You are telling me that my assault doesn't matter."

The second woman in the video steps in and says to Flake:

"You are allowing someone unwilling to take responsibility for his own actions and unwilling to hold the harm he has done to one woman, actually three women, and not repair it."

Over the past two years, Flake has been a consistent check on the power of President Trump and his administration. Despite being a staunch conservative, Flake has won accolades for his independence and commitment to principle in ways that brought to mind the conviction of his former Arizona colleague Sen. John McCain.

But in this moment, we see a man literally racing to get out of responsibility for his actions, refusing to hear the testimony of women clearly affected by his choice.

Flake is fully within his rights as an elected official to support Kavanaugh no matter what these women, or anyone, thinks. However, his refusal to even hear them out and defend his own position is revealing in a way that the entire nomination of Kavanaugh has been.

At worst, we are seeing a serial sexual predator about to be elevated to a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court and one of the essential branches of federal government with the power to affect policy for decades to come.

At best, we are seeing a deeply flawed nominee who is anything but essential being propped up by a broken system incapable and unwilling to do better.

You can watch the full CNN video here.

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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.

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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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