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The Confederacy lost. This activist delivered their second-place trophy.

'That's my plan, to continue to go forward, being a person who stands up for what's right.'

Lifelong Arizona resident Rebecca Olsen McHood has had enough of her state's Confederate monuments and the bigotry they represent. So she did something about it.

In the wake of recent violent demonstrations over the monuments in other states, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis but refuses to remove Confederate monuments from public lands despite the fact that Arizona became a state 47 years after the Civil War.

"It’s important that people know our history," he told the press Aug. 14. "I don’t think we should try to hide our history."


McHood was outraged by President Donald Trump's Aug. 15 remarks about the violence in Charlottesville and Ducey's apathy. But she didn't let her anger paralyze her.

"When our president is coming out in support of Nazis and in support of white supremacists and when our local government is advancing these racist policies, this is a good time to say, 'Hold up here. What do you really stand for,'" she says.

Donald Trump photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images. Gov. Doug Ducey photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images for Leigh Steinberg.

Together with her friend Cynthia Lehigh, McHood turned one of Arizona's monuments into a larger-than-life participation trophy.

McHood crafted two paper banners that wouldn't look out of place at a child's birthday party, then Lehigh joined her for a trip from their homes in Gilbert, Arizona, to the state capital grounds in Phoenix on the evening of Aug. 15. Given all of the recent controversy and violent demonstrations to protect Confederate monuments, she worried she'd have to deal with crowds.

Instead, the structure was guarded by a single police officer, who watched as Lehigh and McHood started to tie their banners, which read "You lost, get over it," and "2nd place participant" to the structure, a humorous take on the popular participation trophy meme.

Photo by Cynthia Lehigh, used with permission.

The police officer asked the pair not to attach anything, so they set them down and took pictures, before heading over to a nearby rally in support of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

"I wondered if the officer would grab all the stuff and throw it in the trash," she says. "He left it there, and it was still there when we left."

Photo by Rebecca Olsen McHood, used with permission.

While McHood is not the first activist to target a Confederate monument, some may be surprised to learn she is white and a lifelong Republican.

However, McHood did not support Trump and is appalled by the bigotry and vitriol she's seeing as a result of his election. She thought about changing her party after the election but decided to stick it out after meeting some fellow Republicans while collecting signatures this summer in support of the state's public school system.

"Having been out and talking to those people and gathering those signatures, I know that there are good people in the Republican Party ... who care about equality, who care about education, who care about fiscal responsibility, who care that their neighbors have food to eat, and who care about social safety nets," she says.

Photo via Rebecca Olsen McHood.

As a white woman and Republican, McHood knows she has access other people may not, so she makes an effort to use her privilege for good.

McHood says she tries to use her access and position of relative safety to lift up voices that often go unheard.

"I know that I as a white, former Mormon, smiley, confident person, I just automatically have better access to government leaders and I have more safety than they have," she says. "Often, leaders will set meetings with me, and I will bring my friends who are in black- and brown-skinned bodies with me ... and I will pass the mic."

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Because we are all responsible for dismantling white supremacy.

This is not a left or right issue. White supremacy and white nationalism are poisons that infect and take hold in our communities, governments, and systems. Breaking that down, examining our bitter history, and making it right will take all of us, regardless of our identities or where we fall on the political spectrum.

It's a monumental task, but we're the ones we've been waiting for.

Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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