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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."
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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.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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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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via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

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The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

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