The media hasn't covered Parkland's black students. This press conference changed that.

We should listen to what these amazing kids have to say.

The well-known Parkland activists have done remarkable work, but there is another group of students who aren’t being as heard.

On March 28, 2018, black students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School held a press conference to discuss their frustration with being left out of the conversations about gun violence and school safety.

Making up 11% of the school's population, black students are in a tough spot. Having gone through the same traumatic experience as the other students at the school, black students should also be at the forefront of these conversations around gun violence in America. Instead, they’ve largely been invisible on a national scale, and their white peers have noticed.


When asked what the biggest mistake in media coverage of Parkland has been, David Hogg, one of the more visible activists, told media outlet Axios, "Not giving black students a voice," noting that a significant portion of his school comprises black students. "But the way we’re covered doesn’t reflect that. It's disgusting," he added.

At the press conference, only about 10 media outlets covered the students conference, most of which were local.

In addition to asking for more inclusive media coverage, many students brought up a pressing concern at the high school that's arisen since the mass shooting. Black students take issue with the increase of law enforcement at the school — and they have good reason to.    

Black students across the nation are disproportionately affected by over-policing in schools.

Recently, many districts across the nation have made large strides to reduce the police presence. With a larger in-school police force, black students are worried about being racially profiled and unnecessarily disciplined.    

"It’s bad enough we have to return with clear backpacks," 17-year-old Parkland student Kai Koerber said. "Should we also return with our hands up?"

Increasing police staffing could be damning for an already vulnerable population. As student Tyah Amoy discussed, law enforcement hasn't been kind to black students or communities. As outrage continues to mount after the brutal shooting of Stephon Clark by police officers in California, black students are adamant that police violence and brutality be protested and addressed in the same way as other forms of gun violence.

"Black and brown men and women are disproportionately killed and targeted by law enforcement," Amoy said. "These are not facts I can live with comfortably."

The Parkland students are doing incredible work in the face of constant social media attacks, slandering from the NRA, and attacks from adults who are seemingly hell-bent on arguing with children.

But, the students must remember that activism needs to include the voices of everyone involved. When making calls for anti-violence policies, it’s imperative to make sure those policies will actually reduce violence for everyone.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Advocating for the safety of all children can be complicated, but there are plenty of resources to make it easier.

Numerous black organizations have laid the groundwork to create policies that benefit children from different schools, backgrounds, and communities. Organizations like Campaign Zero, The Movement for Black Lives, and the Black Youth Project offer ideas and ideas for anti-violence policies.  

The Parkland students are truly showing us just how much power youth voices can have in our government and society. We do ourselves a greater justice when we make sure all youth voices are apart of those conversations.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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