Serena Williams is a badass. This is a well-established fact.

And 2015 has been a pretty amazing year for her. She won three Grand Slam titles, shut down body-shamers, pushed back against pushy reporters, got some major praise from one of tennis' greats, struck a powerful pose in a world-famous calendar, and deservedly took home Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year award.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images.

On Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, she gave one powerhouse of a speech at the Sportsperson of the Year awards ceremony.

It's the type of speech that'll inspire you to get up and start checking things off that long-neglected to-do list. It's the type of speech that sounds like it belongs in a commercial for something ungodly expensive. It's the type of speech that'll make you want to be a better you.

It's the type of speech that stresses the message that yes, sometimes things in life are stacked against you, but no, that doesn't mean you're doomed to failure. You, like Serena, can overcome.

GIFs from Sports Illustrated.

She's faced criticism for her looks, her gender, and her race — but she won't stand for it.

Earlier this year, The New York Times published an article focused on her looks.

And, not only that, some interviewed in the article even suggested that Williams, a very muscular 5'9", was somehow less a woman as a result of how she looks.

In her speech, she had a few things to say about that and about criticism she's received because she is a black woman.

She shut down doubters who underestimated her resolve and declared her career done-and-over years ago.

She's won 21 Grand Slam titles over 16 years (and she's quick to remind us all that she's not done). And at 34 years old — ancient in professional athlete years — she's still crushing the competition. Just three titles away from tying the all-time record, she's got a shot.

But perhaps the best part of Williams speech was her reading of Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise."

It's a powerful poem about overcoming society's expectations, about pushing back against oppression and succeeding in a world that wants nothing more than to see a black woman fail. The full poem, as read by Maya Angelou, can be found here.

Photo by Picsea on Unsplash

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less
Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash (left), Kimberly Zapata (right)

Picking a psychiatrist is a precarious situation, one I know all too well. I have bipolar disorder, depressive disorder and anxiety disorder. I have been in and out of therapy for nearly 20 years. And while I have left doctors for a wide variety of reasons—I've moved, I felt better and "been better," I've given up on pharmacology and stopped taking meds—I've only had to fire one.

The reason? She was judgemental and disrespectful. In her office, I wasn't seen, heard or understood.

To help you understand the gravity of the situation, I should give you some context. In the spring of 2017, I was doing well and feeling good, at least for the most part. My family was healthy. I was happy, and life was more or less normal, so I stopped seeing my psychiatrist. I decided I didn't need my meds.

But by the summer, my mood was shifting. I was cycling (which occurs when bipolar patients vacillate between periods of mania and depression) and when I suffered a miscarriage that fall, I plunged into a deep depressive episode—one I knew I couldn't pull myself out of.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo from Dole

As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

Keep Reading Show less
via @Kingkeraun / Twitter

Keraun Harris, who goes by the name King Keraun, is a popular comedian on social media who's appeared as an actor on HBO's "Insecure" and ABC's "Black-ish."

On Monday, he posted a video on Twitter sharing the story of how a white woman had his back during a recent traffic stop.

"I just got pulled over, and for the first time, I watched a white woman record my whole traffic stop," she said.

Keep Reading Show less
via Tania / Twitter

Therapy animals have become a controversial issue of recent, even though they've helped over 500,000 people overcome psychological and physical issues that have made it difficult to perform everyday tasks.

It's because countless people have tried to pass off their pets as service animals, making it hard for legitimate, trained animals to gain acceptance in public.

So when people hear about emotional support llamas, they're met with understandable cynicism. However, studies show they are great at helping children with autism spectrum disorder, and they are routinely used to cheer up people residents in retirement homes.

Keep Reading Show less