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One woman’s story we didn’t get right.

We apologize and pledge to do better.

One woman’s story we didn’t get right.

To the Upworthy community:

On Thursday, June 30, we shared a video from our “Testimony” series, featuring a personal story from Noura Erakat, a professor at George Mason University and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants.


When we filmed with her, Ms. Erakat told a story of what inspired her activism. However, in the version of the story that we published, a key element of Ms. Erakat’s experience was not included: She told the story to illustrate how a first at-home protest lent her the framework to understand larger issues of oppression in Palestine.

This is a screenshot from the video in question. We have since removed it from our site and social media feeds.

The intention of this series is to tell the featured subject’s story. In this case, that did not happen, and that was a mistake.

Upworthy had no intention to skew or misrepresent Ms. Erakat’s experience by publishing this less-complete version of her story. The moment we learned about Ms. Erakat’s concerns, we moved quickly to contact her and listen to those concerns. We then made the decision to remove the video from our site and social media accounts and post this retraction.

It’s important to Upworthy that our stories are an honest and accurate reflection of the people who are featured in them. Upworthy believes in truthful representations of a diverse range of experiences in all our storytelling, and upon further review, this particular video could have done better. We apologize to both Ms. Erakat and our wider community for our error.

We also have included a link to a screenshot of the full write-up of the story for transparency.

We appreciate the many members of our community who wrote to us, commented, and shared their concerns about this video.

We are listening and examining our processes, and we pledge to do better going forward.

Sincerely,

Croi McNamara, Head of Video at Upworthy

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.