Most Shared

Last year, Sia's manager did something really brave. It inspired her new video.

On June 8, Sia released the video for "Feel Me," an emotional new song with a powerful message in support of a great cause.

Last year, Sia's manager did something really brave. It inspired her new video.

Sia is known for unique, visually captivating music videos. Her latest, for a new song called "Feel Me" is all that and important too.

Starring Zoe Saldana with narration by Julianne Moore, the video follows the impassioned journey of a mother-to-be who's just found out that she's HIV-positive.

The video — which was choreographed by Ryan Heffington (who also choreographed videos for "Chandelier," "Cheap Thrills," and "The Greatest") — is the stunning work of art the world has come to expect from Sia. But "Feel Me," and the cause it was made to support, has an important backstory.


The song was inspired by Sia's manager, David Russell, who came out publicly as HIV-positive in a 2016 interview.

Russell's diagnosis in 2002 inspired Sia to become more engaged in HIV-related activism. Over the course of the past 12 years, the two have worked together as manager and client — both watching the other grow in their own ways.

"I've been thrilled to witness Sia's reach grow further and further, all the while using her status as a person of influence for good," Russell writes in an email. "'Feel Me' is a gorgeous record and I'm so happy and proud to work with an artist as generous and open hearted as she is. She makes a difference."

Sia wrote in Billboard that Russell's "transformation of his shame into self acceptance has been magic to watch."

Photo courtesy of David Russell.

A lot has changed for the better since Russell first got his HIV-positive diagnosis.

That's due, in part, to efforts designed to fight HIV stigma — and messages like the one in Sia's "Feel Me" video.

GIF from "Feel Me" by Sia/YouTube.

"When I was diagnosed, it was only five or six years after the first round of anti-retrovirals were introduced so concepts like 'undetectable = non-transmission' or regimens like PrEP were either unavailable or not common knowledge," Russel writes. "I’d say the first five years of my living with HIV were at the tail end of the 'panic' years, and as a result I experienced a lot of negativity about my positive status."

Over the past five years or so, preventative treatments like PrEP and a fuller understanding of how and when the virus can be transmitted began making their way into common knowledge. As a result, HIV stigma has started to decline.

Sia during a 2016 concert. Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images.

Proceeds from "Feel Me" sales and streams will go toward the #endHIV Campaign's efforts to develop an HIV vaccine.

While HIV isn't anywhere near the death sentence it was in the '80s and '90s, it's still a serious issue without a cure. Nearly 40,000 Americans were diagnosed with HIV in 2015, adding to the more than 1.1 million living with it in the U.S.

"While this is a diagnosis nobody looks forward to it can also be a blessing in disguise," Russell writes when asked what advice he'd offer someone newly diagnosed with the virus. And that's really what the video is about — the scary moment of diagnosis and the flood of emotions that come after.

"Finding out I’m positive led me to look closer at my relationships, my health — both physically and mentally — and challenged me to live my life in the present.  We’ve made such enormous advances medically that anyone diagnosed in 2017 can expect to live a normal life with regular check-ups and adherence to medication."

"Feel Me" is now available on all major streaming and digital platforms. For more information about the #endHIV Campaign, visit the group's website.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

Keep Reading Show less
via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

Keep Reading Show less