+
Man calls out school board member after she's caught shopping during hearing on racism

Imagine the gall it takes to sit in a meeting where community members are sharing their personal stories of racism and scroll through an online store on your computer. Now imagine the gall it takes to not just be in that meeting, but to be one of the people running it anddecide your new clothing needs are more important that the concerns of Black community members.

Gary Chambers, Jr. caught East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Connie Bernard on camera shopping online during a hearing on changing the name of Lee High School—as in Robert E. Lee— on June 18. As community members shared their feelings about having a school named for the general of the confederate army—the one who fought for the South's "right" to enslave Black people—Bernard appeared to be pondering what color dress she was going to buy.

When Chambers' turn came up to speak, he said he had intended to get up and talk about how racist Robert E. Lee was, but instead was going to talk about Connie Bernard, who was "sitting over there shopping while we're talking about Robert E. Lee." Holding up his phone, he said, "This is a picture of you shopping, while we're talking about racism and history in this country."


Chambers pointed out that it was only white members of the board got up from their tables while people in the community—which Chambers says is 81% Black—were talking. "Because you don't give a damn, it's clear," he said.

He did explain how racist Robert E. Lee was: "Not only did he whoop the slaves, he said, 'Lay it on 'em hard.' And after he said, 'Lay it on 'em hard,' he said 'Put brine on 'em so it'll burn 'em.'"

"And you sit your arrogant self in here," he said, addressing Bernard again, "and sit on there shopping, while the pain and the hurt of the people of this community is on display. Because you don't give a damn, and you should resign."

The entire video is gold, with Chambers explaining how Bernard should have resigned two years ago when she was caught on video choking a student, and how she should now walk out and resign, "because you are the example of racism in this community."

The mic drop moment at the end brought the point home: "We built this joint for free," Chambers said. "And we're done begging you to do what's right."

When Chambers mentioned Bernard "talking foolishness" on TV the week before, he was presumably referring to a June 10th interview with WVLA-33 in which Bernard said that people who didn't like the name of the school needed to brush up on their history.

"I would hope that they would learn a little bit more about General Lee," she said, "because General Lee inherited a large plantation and he was tasked with the job of doing something with those people who lived in bondage to that plantation, the slaves, and he freed them."

After understandable backlash, Bernard issued an apology in a written statement:

"My comments last week about the naming of Lee High School were insensitive, have caused pain for others, and have led people to believe I am an enemy of people of color, and I am deeply sorry. I condemn racial injustice in any form. I promise to be part of the solution and to listen to the concerns of all members of our community. I stand with you, in love and respect."

However, she also told The Advocate that what looked like her shopping was just a popup ad that she hadn't closed out. "I wasn't shopping," she said. "I was actually taking notes, paying attention, reading online comments."

But Chambers wasn't having that nonsense either—he had receipts in the form of a 20-second video of her scrolling through a full screen of clothing while one of her fellow board members—a Black woman—was speaking.

Another attendee at the meeting, Arthur Pania of Baton Rouge, corroborated Chambers' account on Facebook, "I personally watched her for about eight minutes, attempting to decide between a beige and red dress," he wrote. "The only thing I had issue determining from my sight was if it was a short dress or nightware."

People with this much blatant racism in their bones and a willingness to blatantly lie in an attempt to cover up that racism has no business making decisions for anyone, much less school children in a community of mostly Black families. As Chambers wrote on Instagram, "Our children deserve better, our community deserves better. If she remains it gives permission for others to do the same."

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

True

Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via YouTube

This article originally appeared on 02.15.22


These days, we could all use something to smile about, and few things do a better job at it than watching actor Christopher Walken dance.

A few years back, some genius at HuffPo Entertainment put together a clip featuring Walken dancing in 50 of his films, and it was taken down. But it re-emerged in 2014 and the world has been a better place for it.

Walken became famous as a serious actor after his breakout roles in "Annie Hall" (1977) and "The Deer Hunter" (1978) so people were pretty shocked in 1981 when he tap-danced in Steve Martin's "Pennies from Heaven."

Keep ReadingShow less
via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

Keep ReadingShow less