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These brothers know how people should be treated. That's why they're helping them move on.

These 'Meatheads' just launched a viral campaign to end domestic violence.

These brothers know how people should be treated. That's why they're helping them move on.

Moving to a new place is stressful even under normal circumstances.

But for those in violent relationships, it can be a lot more complicated. Worries are not just "Where's my phone charger?" and "Do I have enough packing tape?" but "How do I safely get myself and my kids out of the house before my partner gets home?" The logistical and financial challenges can make it that much harder to leave a dangerous situation.

Heartbreakingly, this kind of situation is more common than you'd think. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by a partner in their lifetime.


That's where Meathead Movers comes in.

Photo courtesy of Meathead Movers.

After getting requests from cash-strapped folks trying to flee abusive relationships, Aaron and Evan Steed, cofounders of Meathead Movers, began quietly helping men and women move for free in the late 1990s.

"When I first received a frantic phone call... I could hear the sheer desperation, fear, and panic through the phone," CEO Aaron Steed recounted in an email interview. "My brother and I knew that we needed to jump in our truck and get there as soon as we could. Accepting payment was the last thing on our mind."

"Real men don't hit women." Photo courtesy of Meathead Movers.

After that initial call, the brothers visited local shelters and let them know about the services they were offering. By 2001, they had developed formal partnerships with a number of shelters to help coordinate safe relocations.

And earlier this year, Meathead Movers took things one step further by launching the #MoveToEndDV pledge. Their goal? To challenge other businesses to think about how they can help people move on from domestic violence situations.

Already, 83 business have taken the #MoveToEndDV pledge, including a yoga studio, massage therapists, other moving companies, a mortgage broker, and more.


"Take the Pledge." Meathead Movers website.

For Aaron Steed, it's been amazing to see the creative ways that other businesses are finding to contribute. "Even ones that you think could have nothing to do with helping victims of domestic violence are finding a way to get creative and make a real impact," he explains.

David Wilson, a former high school economics teacher turned vice president of mortgage lending at Guaranteed Rate in San Luis Obispo, California, plans to teach financial literacy classes at a local women's shelter to help domestic violence survivors regain their financial footing. "Oftentimes controlling the finances is part of [domestic violence], so they need to re-establish the bank accounts and credit," he told me in a phone interview.

Ruthann McKenzie. Photo by RPM Designs.

For Ruthann McKenzie, founder of Just Be Confident, a women's coaching company in Sunrise, Florida, taking the pledge had personal meaning. Four years ago, she fled an abusive relationship with her 4-month-old.

"I wanted those who have experienced domestic violence or are currently going through it to know that there is hope and they can be brave," she said in an email interview.

Now an advocate for domestic violence survivors, McKenzie's business offers a free e-course and mentors young women who have experienced homelessness and domestic violence.

Photo courtesy of Meathead Movers.

In addition to helping people escape abusive homes, the Steeds hope to show their young employees — student athletes working their way through school — that, as Aaron put it, "domestic violence lurks in even the most perfect seeming lives [and] homes."

He never could have imagined that a decision he made nearly 20 years ago could take on a life of its own. "I am surprised and humbled by the viral nature of this campaign," Aaron says. And he's put forth a moving challenge for other businesses:

"We challenge all businesses to get creative and figure out how they can help victims of domestic violence."

Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are feeling the weight of it growing heavier and heavier. We miss normal life. We miss our friends. We miss travel. We miss not having to mentally measure six feet everywhere we go.

Maybe that's what was on Edmund O'Leary's mind when he tweeted on Friday. Or maybe he had some personal issues or challenges he was dealing with. After all, it's not like people didn't struggle pre-COVID. Now, we just have the added stress of a pandemic on top of our normal mental and emotional upheavals.

Whatever it was, Edmund decided to reach out to Twitter and share what he was feeling.

"I am not ok," he wrote. "Feeling rock bottom. Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you."

O'Leary didn't have a huge Twitter following, but somehow his tweet started getting around quickly. Response after response started flowing in from all over the world, even from some famous folks. Thousands of people seemed to resonate with Edmund's sweet and honest call for help and rallied to send him support and good cheer.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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The subject of late-term abortions has been brought up repeatedly during this election season, with President Trump making the outrageous claim that Democrats are in favor of executing babies.

This message grossly misrepresents what late-term abortion actually is, as well as what pro-choice advocates are actually "in favor of." No one is in favor of someone having a specific medical procedure—that would require being involved in someone's individual medical care—but rather they are in favor of keeping the government out of decisions about specific medical procedures.

Pete Buttigieg, who has become a media surrogate for the Biden campaign—and quite an effective one at that—addressed this issue in a Fox News town hall when he was on the campaign trail himself. When Chris Wallace asked him directly about late-term abortions, Buttigieg answered Wallace's questions is the best way possible.

"Do you believe, at any point in pregnancy, whether it's at six weeks or eight weeks or 24 weeks or whenever, that there should be any limit on a woman's right to have an abortion?" Wallace asked.

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When it comes to the topic of race, we all have questions. And sometimes, it honestly can be embarrassing to ask perfectly well-intentioned questions lest someone accuse you of being ignorant, or worse, racist, for simply admitting you don't know the answer.

America has a complicated history with race. For as long as we've been a country, our culture, politics and commerce have been structured in a way to deny our nation's past crimes, minimize the structural and systemic racism that still exists and make the entire discussion one that most people would rather simply not have.

For example, have you ever wondered what's really behind the term Black Pride? Is it an uplifting phrase for the Black community or a divisive term? Most people instinctively put the term "White Pride" in a negative context. Is there such a thing as non-racist, racial pride for white people? And while we're at it, what about Asian people, Native Americans, and so on?

Yes, a lot of people raise these questions with bad intent. But if you've ever genuinely wanted an answer, either for yourself or so that you best know how to handle the question when talking to someone with racist views, writer/director Michael McWhorter put together a short, simple and irrefutable video clip explaining why "White Pride" isn't a real thing, why "Black Pride" is and all the little details in between.


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