+
Most Shared

These 6 orgs are making sure freedom and justice are for all Americans.

Independence Day is an important day in the United States.

In 1776, the Continental Congress declared the 13 American colonies were no longer a part of the British Empire and would be recognized as a new nation — thus asserting independence from British rule. This action led to the creation of the U.S. Constitution over a decade later.

But for years, the rights our independent nation promised only applied to certain people.

Black Americans, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and many other communities didn't get to experience the same freedoms. Instead, to varying degrees, they experienced persecution.


With the passage of several Constitutional amendments — such as those that granted black Americans citizenship, women the right to vote, etc. — the U.S. made steps toward equality for all. But, progress is an ongoing journey. While our nation has improved in many ways, black and Latino citizens still experience disproportionate rates of poverty; gun violence has decimated communities of color, schoolrooms, and churches; and LGBTQ citizens still face high rates of discrimination.

Thankfully, Americans are a fighting bunch.Citizens across the country continue to raise their voices for the rights of all Americans. Here are six organizations fighting tirelessly to ensure that rights to freedom and justice truly do apply to all citizens:

1. RAICES

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images. Illustration by Tatiana Cardenas.

RAICES is a nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrants. The Texas-based organization has been doing great work to support immigrants since 1986, and they're now the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. After a Facebook fundraiser for the organization went viral and amassed more than $13 million, RAICES has been able to increase its ability to help separated families locate one another. Their dedication to reuniting families and ensuring that immigrants are afforded the human rights they deserve serves as a true example of fighting for liberty and justice for all. You can support RAICES here.

2. Color of Change

Photo courtesy of Color of Change. Illustration by Tatiana Cardenas.

Color of Change is one of the largest racial justice organizations in the U.S. Operating online, it strives to make the government and large corporations more knowledgeable about how to create safe and equitable environments for black Americans. Striving to ensure black Americans enjoy the same freedoms afforded to them by the Constitution, the organization continues to successfully fight for economic, criminal, and media justice as well as be an amplified power and voice for people of color. You can support Color of Change here.

3. Easterseals

Photo courtesy of Easterseals. Illustration by Tatiana Cardenas.

Americans living with disabilities have made huge strides thanks to organizations like Easterseals leading the way. Easterseals works to provide support to citizens with various disabilities. Their work contributes to a growing mission to ensure that all Americans enjoy accessible spaces and the same freedoms and respect. You can support Easterseals here.

4. Planned Parenthood

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images. Illustration by Tatiana Cardenas.

Planned Parenthood provides comprehensive health services, such as mammograms, birth control, and reproductive and sexual health care, to millions of women around the world. Recently, the organization has been under increased attack from the far right and Christian extremists. In spite of threats from the current administration to decrease funding and growing discrimination, citizens and celebrities have banded together to keep the vital organization flourishing and able to provide health care and services. You can support Planned Parenthood here.

5. Lambda Legal

Photo courtesy of Lambda Legal. Illustration by Tatiana Cardenas.

LGBTQ Americans certainly weren't mentioned in text when the Founding Fathers were imagining what a free nation for all would look like. Lambda Legal has spent years fighting for equal rights and safer environments for LGBTQ people and queer expression. But, in light of recent rollbacks to policy in place to protect queer citizens, that work is really just beginning.

Lambda Legal communications director Jonathan Adams writes, "We have seen in their continued attacks on heath care an issue of grave concern to millions of Americans today. We the people — all of us — must stand together at this time to protect our shared rights and freedoms." Adams highlights how the current administration is "actively working to divide us by attacking children, immigrants, people of color, trans and queer individuals, Muslims, and other groups they seek to marginalize. Their continued focus on polarizing us is taking a toll on the fundamentals of this great nation, those being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Lambda Legal's efforts to fight for queer citizens is more important than ever, and it is near the truth of our county's declared ideology. You can support Lambda Legal here.

6. Everytown for Gun Safety

Photo courtesy of Everytown for Gun Safety. Illustration by Tatiana Cardenas.

Founded in 2014, Everytown for Gun Safety combined two orgs — Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America — with a shared goal for comprehensive gun safety laws. "In order for all Americans to feel and be free, it's imperative that we feel safe to be who we are in our communities — whether that's in a place of worship, at a concert or at school or a college campus," wrote Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action.

Watts continued, "We must do everything in our power  to make our communities safer and that means doing more to protect marginalized communities from gun violence. ... The fight for gun violence prevention is also a fight for equality." You can support Everytown for Gun Safety here.

The promise of America — that freedom and justice exists for all — is a beautiful example of how democracy should work. But that promise can become meaningless if we fail to ensure that those freedoms extend to everyone for a safe and equitable society. These six organizations — and many more — are doing the work to make sure that the sentiments our country was founded on extend to all citizens.

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

Keep ReadingShow less
AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

AMC announced that it would be implementing a new three-tier ticketing system.

AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.

Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Pexels

A mother puts a fresh diaper on her baby.

Scientists at Penn State University have devised a “smart diaper” that alerts parents when their baby is wet. The diaper is made of paper, treated with sodium chloride (salt) and has a circuit board drawn with a pencil.

When the humidity level rises in the diaper, the graphite and the urine are absorbed by the paper and it turns on a sensor powered by a small lithium battery. The sensor then sets the alarm on an app that parents download onto their phones.

“The hydration sensor is highly sensitive to changes in humidity and provides accurate readings over a wide range of relative humidity levels, from 5.6% to 90%,” the researchers at Penn State said in a statement.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

"It's a me."

Pedro Pascal and HBO seem to be a match made in pop culture heaven. His role in the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” shot him to notoriety. He’s currently starring in “Last of Us,” which also boasts a massive viewership.

And now, thanks to one epic “Saturday Night Live” skit, fans are clamoring to see Pascal take on a new role—a brooding, hardened, princess smuggling Mario.

The faux trailer imagines the video game Mario Kart as a quintessential HBO drama. Mario (Pascal) has to use his driving skills to get Princess Peach (played by Chloe Fineman) through an apocalyptic Mushroom Kingdom.
Keep ReadingShow less