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These 11 images show just how to respond when a hate group tries to set up shop near your home.

Even though some think of the KKK as a secret, underground organization, they're not. Especially not in the Ozarks. Residents of the region are speaking up. In amazing ways.

These 11 images show just how to respond when a hate group tries to set up shop near your home.

What would you do if the KKK decided not just to put its headquarters near your house, but start a youth camp to train young people "to be a voice of racial redemption"?

This happened in July 2015 in Harrison, Arkansas.


You might be a little annoyed, right?

When Rachel Luster, a librarian, community organizer, and arts and community advocate in the Ozark region, saw this headline on Raw Story, it got real: "Klan camp: KKK developing 'a mighty army' of white nationalists at five day training in July."

A lifetime Ozarker, she was more than annoyed. She was ready to act.

"I had this visceral reaction and I didn't know what I was going to do, but as a human being and as an Ozarker, I had to do something about this."
— Rachel Luster

She spoke with members of community organizations across the South, including Black Lives Matter activists who were protesting Klan rallies in Charleston, South Carolina in the wake of the removal of the Confederate flag.

The #NotMyOzarks campaign was born.

A photo posted by NotmyOzarks (@notmyozarks) on

That's Rachel up there with her adorable family!

It's a pretty typical hashtag campaign, using the hashtags #NotMyOzarks and #RuralNotRacist to spread their message of love.

Looking at all the images, you see a picture of rural America that you just don't see elsewhere.

#NotmyOzarks #NotmyRural #LoveNotHate #BlackLivesMatter
A photo posted by NotmyOzarks (@notmyozarks) on


I spoke at length with Rachel on the phone, and she had some important things to say about the culture of silence among rural folks when it comes to race, as well as the need to break that chain.

"We grow up and we're taught ... it's not polite to talk about race or politics or anything like that, and it's also not polite to judge somebody by what color they are or 'who their momma is.'"
— Rachel Luster

A heartwarming quote from "To Kill a Mockingbird," drawn on a piece of paper in the shape of Arkansas. Image via Not My Ozarks Facebook.

Rachel continued:

"We don't really talk about things. But for me in particular ... I just feel like the only way it can get better is if we open [ourselves] up to this conversation — even if it's uncomfortable, even if it is awkward."


A photo posted by NotmyOzarks (@notmyozarks) on
MO Love, Y'all! #NotmyOzarks #NotmyRural #LoveNotHate
A photo posted by NotmyOzarks (@notmyozarks) on

Cool Missouri farmer guy, keeping it real. MO LOVE.

Thanks to the power of the Internet, people in the Ozarks are pushing back against racism.

The #NotMyOzarks campaign has over 2,000 Facebook Likes, and the number of participants is growing.

A photo posted by NotmyOzarks (@notmyozarks) on
A photo posted by NotmyOzarks (@notmyozarks) on
A photo posted by NotmyOzarks (@notmyozarks) on
A photo posted by Kally Sue (@kali_su) on

Communities that were once living in isolation to come together to stand in solidarity. That makes me happy.

If you want to join them in their message of love, take a photo of your family and post it using the hashtag #RuralNotRacist and #NotMyOzarks. Or just follow them on Facebook. In the few days I've known about this group, they've gotten hundreds of new Likes.

It's beautiful to watch love surmount hate.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less