LeBron James just sent a powerful message to the president without mentioning his name.

LeBron James has never been shy about speaking up for what's right. This time, he's letting his shoes do the talking.

The basketball great wore a pair of his signature Nikes with the word "equality" emblazoned on the backs. James wore one white shoe and one black.

Photo by AP Photo/Nick Wass.


The choice was not coincidental, as James and the Cavaliers suited up to play the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena, just one mile east of the White House.

Following the game, James made a statement to the press. Without mentioning the president by name, he delivered a pointed message about the importance of coming together against an oppressive leader.

"Well, ... obviously, we all know where we are and we know who's at the helm here. Us as Americans, no matter the skin color, no matter the race, no matter who you are, I think we all have to understand that having equal rights and being able to stand for something and speak for something and keep the conversation going.

Obviously, I've been very outspoken and well-spoken about the situation that's going on at the helm here, and we're not going to let one person dictate us, us as Americans, how beautiful and how powerful we are as people. So equality is all about understanding our rights, understanding what we stand for, and how powerful we are as men, as women, black or white or Hispanic.

No matter your race, whatever the case may be, this is a beautiful country and we're never going to let one person dictate how beautiful and how powerful we are."



This is the second time James laced up his "equality" kicks for a game.

James wore the black pair of Nike Equality 15s on the opening night of NBA play in October. It's believed the gesture was in response to the controversy surrounding NFL players protesting the mistreatment of African Americans. While NBA players are barred from taking a knee during the national anthem, James' footwear served as a silent but powerful message.

His outspoken nature comes as no surprise to longtime fans, who recognize James as a longtime advocate of social justice issues.

"Because we know this is the greatest country in the world. This is the land of the free. But, we still have problems just like everybody else," James said to the press during Cavaliers Media Day in September:

"I will in my voice, I will in my passion, I will in my money, I will in my resources to my youth and my inner city and outside my inner city to let these kids know that there is hope, there is greater walks of life, and not one individual, no matter if it's the president of the United States ... can stop your dreams from becoming a reality."

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

James puts his money where his mouth is, too.

His LeBron James Family Foundation funds educational and extracurricular activities in his hometown of Akron and around the country to encourage kids at risk of falling behind to stay academically engaged. The program is open to students from grades 3 to 12; those who stick with his "I Promise" program even have a chance to earn a four-year scholarship to the University of Akron. Next year, James will open up an "I Promise" school in Akron.

Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Sprite.

While we can't all personally afford to send hundreds of kids to college or to build our own schools, each of us can send a message loud and clear that hate, bigotry, and inequality have no home here.

Not on the court, not in our communities, and certainly not in the White House.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 10.23.15


Getting people who don't suffer from anxiety issues to understand them is hard.

People have tried countless metaphors and methods to describe what panic and anxiety is like. But putting it into the context of a living nightmare, haunted house style, is one of the more effective ways I've ever seen it done.

Brenna Twohy delivered the riveting poetic analogy recently in Oakland, starting out by going off about some funny "Goosebumps" plots. It's lovely, funny, sweet, and relatable, and it's totally worth the short time to watch.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."