Rep. Debbie Dingell's speech about the time her dad held a gun on her gave me chills.

Congressional Democrats are staging an epic sit-in in support of a bill to deny guns to people on the no-fly and terror watch lists.

The protest began yesterday morning (June 22), led by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.


Photo by Michael Reynolds/Getty Images.

Democrats have been holding the floor for almost 24 hours while their Republican colleagues gaveled the House into recess late into the night.

The protest has already produced some incredible moments.

Including Lewis' epic speech, recalling his days as a civil rights' leader, a congresswoman hiding her phone in her prosthetic leg so it wouldn't be confiscated, and an anonymous California resident having pizzas delivered to the exhausted, hungry lawmakers.


But the most chilling moment from the overnight sit-in so far might have been Rep. Debbie Dingell's jaw-dropping personal story of a time when she was almost a victim of gun violence at the hands of an abusive father.

The video was taken on Periscope by Rep. Eric Swalwell of California after Republicans banned cameras from the chamber.

(Transcript below, emphasis added).


"I lived in a house with a man that should not have had access to a gun," the Michigan congresswoman said to cheers and amens.

"I know what it's like to have a gun pointed at you and wonder if you were going to live."

"And I know what it's like to hide in a closet and pray to God to not let anything happen to me."

"And we have never — we don't talk about it. We don't want to say that it happens in all kind of households."

"And we still live in a society where we will let a convicted felon who was stalking somebody of domestic abuse still own a gun."

Dingell is far from alone — and she is one of the lucky ones.

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.

While more men are likely to be murdered, women are far more likely to be killed by a partner or family member. A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health review found that 40% of female homicide victims were murdered by intimate partner, and over half (55%) of them were killed with a gun.

The researchers concluded that having gun in the home increases the risk a homicide will occur by 300%.

The bill the Democrats are holding out for with the sit-in isn't perfect. Far from it.

Critics, including the ACLU, argue that the no-fly list itself is unconstitutional, biased against Muslim Americans, and that passing the "no-fly, no-gun" law would serve to further legitimize it.

But speeches like Dingell's send a crucial message: America needs to face the stark reality of gun violence and to take action to protect the vulnerable people who are its primary victims.

Actor Michael Jace (center), who was convicted of shooting and killing his wife in 2014. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

Sometimes that violence looks like what happened in Sandy Hook and Orlando. Far more of the time, however, it looks like a father with a gun, forcing his daughter into a closet as she prays to God he'll let her live.

As long as violent, abusive, dangerous people can own powerful firearms with little oversight, no one is safe. And if we do nothing, stories like Dingell's will continue to be terribly, tragically common.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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