The First Muslim and Native American women were just elected to Congress.

The polls have yet to close across the country and two historical firsts have already been made in the 2018 midterm elections.

The first Muslim and Native American women have been elected to Congress.

Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib became the first female Muslim elected to Congress after winning Michigan's 13th Congressional District. Although the win is historic, it was also expected.


Tlaib ran without any Republican opposition in a heavily Democratic district.

She is also now the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress.

Tlaib entered the race after winning a separate Democratic primary to fill out the remainder of former Representative John Conyers’ current term. Conyers resigned after allegations of sexual harassment.

Tlaib is expected to share the title of first Muslim woman elected to Congress after Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is declared the winner in her race for Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District. Polls had Omar far ahead of Republican Jennifer Zielinski coming into election day.

Omar will also be the first headscarf-wearing member of Congress, as well as the first Somali-American U.S. legislator, and the first woman of color to represent Minnesota in Congress.

“They defy ideas of what Muslim women should look like, do like, be like, and I think people will continue to be fascinated by them,” Wa’el Alzayat, CEO of Emgage, a nonprofit that supports US Muslim political engagement, said.

“They bring certain perspectives and experiences and views to Congress, which is predominantly white male," Alzayat continued, "and that is the whole point of electing people like them.”

Out west, Deb Haaland has made history after becoming the first Native-American woman elected to Congress. Haaland defeated Republican Janice Arnold-Jones to win New Mexico's First Congressional District.

Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, whose name derives from the small lake on its west-central New Mexico reservation.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.