She started with just 10 minutes a day. 552 miles later, this kid is outrunning adults.
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Nike's Made to Play

When Kelbie Black first found out that her dad was trying to make running "a thing" at her school, she wasn't thrilled.

“I didn’t think running would be fun,” Kelbie says. She was nine years old at the time, and thought that running sounded boring, especially compared to her other interests, like drawing, baking, and most of all, spending time with her friends.  

All images via Nike.


But Coach Black — as her dad was known at school — knew that running, when it's done right, could be rewarding. He had a vision for how all the kids at Taylor Creek Elementary School, including his daughter, could benefit from the activity.

Kyle and Kelbie Black.

He also believed that integrating running into the school day would have a positive impact on the teachers, parents and their Texas community.

“Our school is on the edge of town, so everyone lives kind of out in the country,” says Black. “I was trying to find a way to bring people together.”  

While looking online for healthy community-oriented activities, he came across Marathon Kids, an organization that helps schools create and manage running clubs that are designed to get kids moving.

The program, supported by Nike, has a simple mission: To encourage every kid to go at their own pace and run (or walk) the equivalent of four marathons, or 104.8 miles.

At first, four marathons seemed like a steep goal for Kelbie.

She wasn’t much of a runner and that was a lot of miles. Still, when her dad brought the program to the school, he convinced her to sign up and give it a try.

In fact, with Coach Black's encouragement, 70 students signed up. They all started out by running about 10 minutes every day after school.

Right away, Kelbie realized that running could include one of her favorite activities: “I get to be with my friends.”

She loved the chance to spend time with other kids at school, outside of the classroom. They’d chat, laugh, and encourage each other as they ran, which kept Kelbie moving even after she began to feel tired.

“My friends keep on going [even] when it's hard,” she says. “So I keep going, and I keep pushing.”

Kelbie quickly discovered that she was capable of running more than she thought, and she reached her four-marathon goal before anyone else at her school.

And she didn’t stop there.

Kelbie kept running beyond her goal, reaching the equivalent of more than 21 marathons in one school year — more than any other Marathon Kid in the country.

This newfound perseverance has helped Kelbie in school, too. Her parents say that she used to get frustrated and give up when homework was difficult, but now that she knows she can push through tough moments, she keeps trying.

These days, Kelbie’s running because she likes it.

She does a run-walk every day, aiming for at least three miles each day.

Kelbie has also inspired others to get active by showing them that you don’t have to be a superstar athlete to enjoy running.

Her friends join her a few times a week to run through their neighborhoods, and her family joins her for physical activities like walking, bicycling, and rollerblading in the evenings.

“Kelbie’s kind of inspired her mom to get active,” Coach Black says, “because there's nothing that motivates [you] more than your 10-year-old outdoing you!”

The program continues to be a success overall, motivating kids to not only be active, but to find joy and connection with others while they’re at it.

In addition to running a total of 3,000 miles during their first year as Marathon Kids, Kelbie's class of 20 students also scored higher than other students on their physical endurance exams and showed more confidence than other students, according to Coach Black.

“They know their body better,” he says. “So they know that just because it's difficult, doesn't mean [they] have to quit … They're more self-aware of what their limits are and what they're capable of.”

Experts also say that exercise can actually change children’s brain chemistry to improve their capacity for regulating their moods, which helps them function better in school.

Marathon Kids has now become a school-wide activity. Hallways and classrooms are adorned with celebratory running logs and motivational posters. 10-minute runs or walks are built into the school day. Teachers — some of whom had worried this would distract kids from their schoolwork — are motivated by what they see in their students and have started running too. Even some parents have joined in.

After running more than she ever thought possible, Kelbie hopes that her story can inspire others to give their own goals a shot.

Not everyone will run 21 marathons in one year, but everyone can start small and gradually discover what they're capable of.

“It always starts with baby steps,” says Kelbie. After that, getting active might just help you in ways that you never saw coming.

We all have a part to play in empowering kids through an active lifestyle. That's why Nike and Marathon Kids are teaming up to get kids moving — but we'll need your help.

Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

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It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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The harm done with racist humor isn't just the emotional hurt they can cause. When a group of white people shares jokes at the expense of a marginalized or oppressed racial group, the power of white supremacy is actually reinforced—not only because of the "punching down" nature of such humor, but because of the group dynamics that work in favor of maintaining the status quo.

British author and motivational speaker Paul Scanlon shared a story about interrupting a racist joke at a table of white people at an event in the U.S, and the lessons he drew from it illustrate this idea beautifully. Watch:

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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