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The 7 Twitter Moments You May Have Missed But Need To Know About From 2014

I have quite a love-hate relationship with the Internet, and especially social media. But for every nasty anonymous troll, there are incredible people using social media to start important conversations and encourage action. Here are seven hashtags from 2014 that gave me hope for a better tomorrow.

The 7 Twitter Moments You May Have Missed But Need To Know About From 2014

1. #yesallwomen

"The May 2014 shooting in Santa Barbara, California, left seven dead and 13 injured. Shortly after, the killer's video diaries leading up to the shooting were found, where he blamed women for never dating him despite the fact that he's a "nice guy." When people argued, "Not all men are like that!" Twitter user @gildedspine responded by creating the #YesAllWomen hashtag to start a bigger conversation about violence against women. The hashtag quickly went viral, with women around the world chiming in and sharing their personal stories."
3 Simple Posters Expose 3 Simple Truths All Women Understand. That's ... Not A Good Thing.













2. #youoksis

Started by Feminista Jones (@feministajones), #YouOKSis wasn't just about street harassment — it was a call to action.

TVOne did a segment on Feminista Jones and the hashtag created to help end street harassment. Check it out:

3. #whyistayed

In September 2014, "after surveillance video was released of footballer Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée (now wife) in an elevator, the inevitable (and really awful) victim-blaming began. Most echoed, "Why would she marry him after that?" or "Why didn't she just leave?" proving how little the average person understands about the cycle of abuse. The #WhyIStayed hashtag was started by writer Beverly Gooden (@evtgooden) to expose what abuse victims go through and why it's so important to focus on helping rather than blaming."
14 Tweets Answer 'Why I Stayed.' 11 Broke My Heart, But The Last 3 Gave Me Hope.





4. #alivewhileblack

In the wake of protests surrounding the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, Twitter erupted in a conversation about police brutality and racial profiling. Created by Jamilah Lemieux, #AliveWhileBlack shed light on how too often police criminalize blackness.

5. #iftheygunnedmedown

"In response to the killing of an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, and the biased media coverage of the victim that followed, young people of color on social media began wondering how they might be portrayed if the same happened to them. Started by @CJ_musick_lawya, the pictures shared with #IfTheyGunnedMeDown are powerful reminders of how stories get told in America."
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6. #blacklivesmatter

Started by Alicia Garza (@aliciagarza), Patrisse Cullors (@osope) and Opal Tometi in response to the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, #BlackLivesMatter became a rallying cry and call to action in 2014 at protests against police brutality across the nation.

7. #notjusthello

"After the hidden-camera street harassment video '10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman' went viral, many asked, 'Since when does "hello" qualify as street harassment?' Author and activist Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) created the hashtag #NotJustHello to explain how too often "hello" is just the opening line to lewd comments, threats, and even physical violence."
She Explains Why So Many Women Don't Say 'Hello.' The Reason Is Absolutely Chilling.

True

When Molly Reeser was a student at Michigan State University, she took a job mucking horse stalls to help pay for classes. While she was there, she met a 10-year-old girl named Casey, who was being treated for cancer, and — because both were animal lovers — they became fast friends.

Two years later, Casey died of cancer.

"Everyone at the barn wanted to do something to honor her memory," Molly remembers. A lot of suggestions were thrown out, but Molly knew that there was a bigger, more enduring way to do it.

"I saw firsthand how horses helped Casey and her family escape from the difficult and terrifying times they were enduring. I knew that there must be other families who could benefit from horses in the way she and her family had."

Molly approached the barn owners and asked if they would be open to letting her hold a one-day event. She wanted to bring pediatric cancer patients to the farm, where they could enjoy the horses and peaceful setting. They agreed, and with the help of her closest friends and the "emergency" credit card her parents had given her, Molly created her first Camp Casey. She worked with the local hospital where Casey had been a patient and invited 20 patients, their siblings and their parents.

The event was a huge success — and it was originally meant to be just that: a one-day thing. But, Molly says, "I believe Casey had other plans."

One week after the event, Molly received a letter from a five-year-old boy who had brain cancer. He had been at Camp Casey and said it was "the best day of his life."

"[After that], I knew that we had to pull it off again," Molly says. And they did. Every month for the next few years, they threw a Camp Casey. And when Molly graduated, she did the most terrifying thing she had ever done and told her parents that she would be waitressing for a year to see if it might be possible to turn Camp Casey into an actual nonprofit organization. That year of waitressing turned into six, but in the end she was able to pull it off: by 2010, Camp Casey became a non-profit with a paid staff.

"I am grateful for all the ways I've experienced good luck in my life and, therefore, I believe I have a responsibility to give back. It brings me tremendous joy to see people, animals, or things coming together to create goodness in a world that can often be filled with hardships."

Camp Casey serves 1500 children under the age of 18 each year in Michigan. "The organization looks different than when it started," Molly says. "We now operate four cost-free programs that bring accessible horseback riding and recreational services to children with cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening illnesses."

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