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The Atlantic Philanthropies

Moving isn't fun. Honestly, it sucks. Squeezing your life into a handful of boxes can be trying for even the most organized person. But imagine if you were forced to move.

Like right now. No notice. No calling the homies to help pack up. No farewell bash. What if you were just pushed out of your house, your neighborhood, your city, your state, and your country? Then what?


Well, that happens to lots of people all of the time while we're calmly sipping on our lattes. Why?

According to a recent report from AJ+, at least 232 million people globally live in nations where they weren't born in or aren't citizens of. Host Dena Takruri breaks down why folks are leaving their homes. There are three main reasons.

Because it's scary out there — yo!

The ongoing presence of war and persecution is the main factor. It's done more than physical damage. It's really emotional too. People have to leave everything and sometimes everyone they know in the name of safety. Right now, the largest refugee communities are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Smaller nations like Pakistan, Kenya, and Lebanon are taking these folks in. Dena says that in Lebanon almost 1 in 5 people is a Syrian refugee and that their "infrastructure and economy have been pushed to the breaking point." Wow.


Although larger nations have only taken in 14% of the world's refugees, they do have better-paying jobs.

The lack of economic resources is another reason why people escape their homelands legally or illegally. When a country like the U.S. has jobs that offer six times the pay in your country, potentially risking your life to feed your starving family may feel like the only option. Oftentimes these economic opportunities aren't the ones that everyone wants. Lots of migrants work heinous hours and make way below minimum wage. And that's not just in the U.S. "In the United Arab Emirates, Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis make up 90% of the work force, despite poor working conditions, unfair treatment and low wages," Dena explains.

If you're lucky enough to side step war or a busted economy, you're favored if you don't have to leave your country because of the environment.

Natural disasters have displaced thousands upon thousands. Climate change is also very real and affecting people in a major way. “In Tuvalu, a tiny island nation in the South Pacific, rising sea levels are forcing people to move to nearby countries like New Zealand," Dena adds.

So, sure, moving voluntarily can irk, but it doesn't compare to the serious pain of having to uproot your life due to mostly uncontrollable factors. I wonder what would happen if we all thought about these things before judging someone else's perceived right to live on the same soil.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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