Obama saved one last national monument from Trump. Here's how to help protect it.

Patagonia's ambitious plan to save Bears Ears National Monument might just work.

Without having been there in person, it's hard to fully grasp the majesty of Bears Ears, 1.35 million acres of public land in southeastern Utah.

During his final weeks in office, President Obama declared the land a national monument, providing legal protection to its pristine landscape.

For years, local indigenous tribes had lobbied the president to use his power under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate the land a national monument to protect it from vandalism and mining. Rich with spiritual significance, the area contains ancient cliff dwellings, rock art, and other fascinating archaeological artifacts dating back thousands of years.


But with Obama out of office, Bears Ears is once again threatened, and one company has a plan to rally support.

Last month, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a resolution calling on President Donald Trump to revoke Bears Ears' status as a national monument, again opening it up to exploitation by people and groups who want to drill and mine natural resources from the land.

That's where Patagonia comes in.

What better way to rally support for the national monument than to bring the experience of Bears Ears to the people directly? That's what Patagonia set out to do with an ambitious virtual reality video series.

Teaming up with Google, Patagonia created a virtual reality experience that immerses viewers in Bears Ears National Monument to hear stories from the likes of Navajo Mountain community member Willie Grayeyes, Hopi archaeologist Lyle Balenquah, and Zuni medicine man Octavius Seowtewa, among others.

It's a really cool experience — whether on desktop, mobile, or a virtual-reality-enabled device — and it has one goal: to inspire people into action.

Last year, the outdoor retail giant donated its Black Friday sales (estimated at more than $2 million) to grassroots environmental groups to fight climate change. Its campaign to help save Bears Ears follows a similar thread.

In January, Yvon Chouinard, the company's founder, wrote an open letter to Governor Herbert urging him to accept the new designation protecting the land. Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario began work retooling an in-progress "This Is Bears Ears" project meant to celebrate the new designation with one that more forcefully defends it.

"The call to action really came out of necessity because of the attacks by the legislature and governor," Marcario told Mashable. "And we wanted to get more people just understanding the issue, understanding what's at stake, and coming into the dialogue with us and the environmental fight to protect these public lands."

Now, the 10-part video series ends with a firm call to action urging viewers to call U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to make the case for preserving the land.

"It is imperative that we protect this culturally rich and recreationally spectacular landscape and keep public lands in public hands," reads a portion of the call script.

The Trump administration poses a very real threat to lands like Bears Ears and to the environment in general. Luckily, there are things you can do.

In addition to following through on Patagonia's Bears Ears call to action, we've created a list of 21 things you can do right now to help save the environment. While things may have, in many ways, shifted backward, it's important to remember that the fight to protect our world, our environment, is not over.

Most Shared

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

Culture
via Cadbury

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.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

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.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture