Pope Francis dropped the hammer on climate change at the White House. Here are his 3 best quotes.
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Pope Francis went to the White House this week and got really real about the future of planet Earth.

Photo by Pete Souza/The White House.


Specifically, that we're making it warmer. And that we have to cut it out. Sooner rather than later.

Here are the three key quotes. We'd all do well to listen to the man.

He is, after all, the freaking pope.

1. "Climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation."

You know how this goes. A big project comes down in the office on Monday morning, and it's not due till Thursday, which is so far away that it might as well be next year. You definitely can't be bothered to care yet, especially when Candy Crush Saga is sitting right there! And then, suddenly, it's 11 on Wednesday night and you're like, "I thought I had so much time?!" Well, for planet Earth, it's 11 on Wednesday night. And the pope ain't going to let you play just onnnnne more game.

According to a landmark report released last year by the United Nations, if emissions continue to grow at the current rate, we could be looking at a temperature hike of more than 8 degrees Fahrenheit, which would cause some serious chaos with sea levels and ecosystems around the world.

The pope knows it's on us — not our kids — to set things right, come hell or high water (or, in this case, likely both).

Even if he personally has to slap the coal out of your hand.

"Don't-a-burn-a-that." — Pope Francis. Photo by Tânia Rêgo/ABr.

2. "When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history."

Photo by Benhur Arcayan/Malacañang Photo Bureau.

The message from the pope is clear: The time to get on this is now. Yesterday, even, if possible.

What happens if we don't? Even if we stick to the modest temperature rise some government agencies anticipate, predictions run the gamut from a completely underwater New York City to a slightly waterlogged New York City by 2100. But the point is, unless we want to risk a future where the mecha-pope gives a speech from a deep-sea submersible orbiting the sunken ruins of St. Patrick's Cathedral*, it's time to start cutting those emissions, and fast.

3. "To use a telling phrase of the Rev. Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it."

In Catholic theology, God is pretty explicit about his expectations: He puts mankind on the Earth, and one of mankind's top jobs is to not mess the place up too much. Whether or not you're Catholic, it's hard to argue that that's not a worthy goal. But so far we ... haven't really held up our end of that bargain.

Sorry, trees.

You'll get 'em next time. Photo by Fluffball.

To reverse the trend, we need effort on a global scale. The pope knows that better than anyone and, as spiritual leader to over 1 billion people, is in a unique place to help make it happen.

But here in the U.S., as the world's second-largest polluter, we have a unique responsibility to recognize the obvious: Climate change is happening. And we all need to work together to slow it and stop it before it's too late.

This isn't even close to the first time Pope Francis has spoken out about climate change.

He's been pressing the point for quite a while. And more than a few people running for president could stand to pay more attention to his message — instead of the money they're receiving to ignore it — as this parody video by SumOfUs makes abundantly clear.

Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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