When two black men were unjustly arrested while sitting in a Philadelphia Starbucks, Americans were rightfully outraged.

After weeks of lackluster public statements and an increasingly infuriated public, Starbucks announced it would close 8,000 of its stores for racial-bias training on May 29.

Starbucks will have to grapple with its missteps over time. But as the mega corporation begins what is hopefully a first step toward establishing a more inclusive and welcoming business, thousands of Americans still need a good flat white to kick off their day.


Want to get some good, fairly priced coffee while also supporting business owners of color?  We've got you covered.

To get through the Starbucks shutdown, we've rounded up some incredibly dope coffee shops from sea to shining sea.

Here are some new places to try in each region of the continental U.S.:

West

Boon Boona Coffee, Seattle  

Known for sourcing coffee from East Africa, Boon Boona Coffee works with coffee farmers across the region to develop relationships and support crop sustainability. The result? Some delectable coffee.

Red Bay Coffee, Oakland

Owned by Keba Konte, a former photojournalist and lifelong adventurer, Red Bay specifically staffs women, people of color, and individuals who have formerly been incarcerated. The coffee shop is known for its impressive role in the community and for its ability to make patrons of color feel right at home.

Photo courtesy of Red Bay Coffee.

Bison Coffeehouse, Portland, Oregon

Touted as the only Native-owned coffee shop in Portland, Bison Coffeehouse serves up "strong, medium, or light" espresso, in-house baked goods, and other yummy treats. It allows visitors to step into an older Portland while also supporting the folks who were there first.  

Watts Coffee House, Los Angeles

A staple in South L.A., Watts Coffee House has coffee, brunch, and everything in between for the bustling, vibrant local community.  

Midwest

Golden Thyme Coffee and Cafe, St. Paul, Minnesota

Nestled in St. Paul, Golden Thyme Coffee & Café offers a chill atmosphere and coffee-based beverages named after some of the world's most famous jazz musicians. They also sell cakes and treats to appeal to the inevitable sweet tooth.

Crazy Coffee Co., Overland Park, Kansas

Crazy Coffee Co. serves up everything one might need for their java fix. The business specializes in drip coffee and offers a variety of flavors for home coffee makers.

Rise and Grind Cafe, Milwaukee

A home for the worker bee, Rise and Grind serves up delectable food options and delicious coffee for visitors. They also offer catering for large events.

Whittier Cafe, Denver

Who doesn't love a good neighborhood cafe? Whittier is just that. With cute sweets, an outdoor patio, a cozy library, and endless coffee options, this is the perfect place to sit, read, and caffeinate before or after a busy day.

Northeast

Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse, Philadelphia

Owned by Ariell Johnson, Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse is a super neat space for comic nerds and coffee fanatics.

The self-proclaimed first black women to own a comic book-coffee shop hybrid in the Northeast, Johnson offers a warm smile and works with her staff to create an inclusive space for those who are comic book experts — and those who just want an excellent cup of coffee.

Busboys and Poets, Washington, D.C.

Owned by Iraqi-American immigrant Andy Shallal, Busboys and Poets is a coffee shop, restaurant, bookstore, and bar wrapped into one.

With several locations in the DMV area, Busboys and Poets staff are trained to work with diverse patrons and people of color are visible in leadership positions, kitchen, and bar staff — and everything in between. Enjoy a delicious cup of coffee while reading one of the lounge's many books by authors and scholars of color.

Photo courtesy of Busboys and Poets.

Serengeti Teas and Spices, New York City

For anyone who prefers tea over coffee, Serengeti Teas and Spices is an excellent option. Located in Harlem, this tea shop serves teas from a number of African nations. Their staff — many of whom are African immigrants — offer advice on how to choose the right tea, and the cozy environment will ensure that you feel as peaceful as possible while enjoying your drink.

Black Swan Espresso, Newark, New Jersey

Black Swan Espresso, Newark's first specialty coffee and tea shop, specializes in using international coffee beans in all their roasts. The atmosphere is pretty sweet, too.

Southwest

Tres Leches Cafe, Phoenix

Tres Leches Cafe is owned by Latinx cafe experts. In addition to coffee, the Mexican cafe offers unique treats inspired by Mexican desserts like churros, dulce de leche, and, of course, tres leches.

Kaffeine Coffee, Houston

One of the best ways to get away from the scorching Texas heat is to find a coffee shop that serves up a great iced coffee with lovely customer service. Kaffeine Coffee offers both in the city's hopping downtown area.

Pie + Lattes. Our version of Pilates. • • • • 📸: @jenndguez

A post shared by Kaffeine Coffee (@kaffeinecoffee) on

Piñon Coffee House, Albuquerque

Piñon Coffee House offers espresso-based drinks, nitro cold brew, and other options made with their own classic Dark Piñon coffee.

Throughgood Coffee, Houston

A hip new spot in Houston, Throughgood Coffee caters to millennials, but clearly has coffee standards rooted in the old-school methods. It's staffed largely by people of color and serves the diverse Houston community with respect and Southern hospitality.

Southeast

Dee's Coffee, New Orleans

Stationed in a bustling city of world-renowned music, food, and culture, Dee's Coffee allows people to take a step back from the wildness and enjoy a cozy, safe atmosphere. Owned and staffed by people of color, Dee's Coffee serves tea, a number of coffees, and locally made pastries.  

Cafe Ulu, Atlanta

Atlanta is known for housing businesses with some of the coolest vibes around, and Cafe Ulu handily meets that standard. The cafe centers black culture and the historical influence of coffee and the coffee trade.

Beyu Caffe, Durham, North Carolina  

Beyu Caffee dives into bohemian culture with gusto. In addition to some amazing coffee selections, they offer a full bar and live jazz for patrons.

The Terminal Cafe, Nashville

Perfect for those who are gluten free or health-conscious, The Terminal Cafe offers great coffee with food options like gluten-free waffles and French toast with apples. Lovely vibes are thankfully included.

And these are just a few of the options.

From city to city, state to state, and corner to corner, there are endless coffee shops owned by people of color to match just about any taste. As you explore new coffee and tea shops, support people of color and local businesses by learning, exploring, and opening up to new places.

You may just find some great cold brew along the way.

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

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The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

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via Pexels

If you know how to fix this tape, you grew up in the 1990s.

There are a lot of reasons to feel a twinge of nostalgia for the final days of the 20th century. Rampant inflation, a global pandemic and political unrest have created a sense of uneasiness about the future that has everyone feeling a bit down.

There’s also a feeling that the current state of pop culture is lacking as well. Nobody listens to new music anymore and unless you’re into superheroes, it seems like creativity is seriously missing from the silver screen.

But, you gotta admit, that TV is still pretty damn good.

A lot of folks feel Americans have become a lot harsher to one another due to political divides, which seem to be widening by the day due to the power of the internet and partisan media.

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Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

True

Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

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A recent (and fairly insensitive) sketch from “Saturday Night Live” said it best regarding the widespread fixation many have on the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial:

“It’s not the most pertinent story of the moment, but with all the problems in the world, isn’t it nice to have a news story we can all collectively watch and say ‘glad it ain't me?’”

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Trial Cold Open - SNL www.youtube.com

Schadenfreude, celebrity fascination and previously inaccessible information now being at our fingertips is a potent combination in this trial, making amateur lawyers and psychologists of all who feel compelled to unleash their hot takes. And though the right to converse and speculate exists, is it always in our best interests to do so? Especially when it means potentially spreading misinformation, or at the cost of empathy and compassion?

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Mama sloth, aka Grizzly, gave birth to their healthy little one in Feb 2022, which delighted more than 3,000 people on Facebook.



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