These incarcerated moms are making audiobooks so they can read to their children.

For a child with a parent behind bars, life can be isolating and stressful.

As many as 10 million children experience the pain of a parental incarceration at some point in their lives, missing out on the everyday activities so many take for granted. This particular separation can be as damaging as a death or divorce due to shame, stigma, and lack of understanding.

And staying connected with an incarcerated parent is not easy. Phone calls from prison are often cost prohibitive, and outgoing mail is frequently delayed. Given the location of state and federal prisons, many kids are unable to visit their parents behind bars.


In fact, 59% of parents in state facilities reported never having had a visit from their children.

For parents behind bars, visits like this one are a rarity. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

But volunteers with the Women's Storybook Project found a way for moms in prison to connect with their little ones.

Founded by Judith Dullnig in 2003, the Texas nonprofit allows incarcerated women to read books to their children.

All GIFs from Women's Storybook Project Texas.

With the help of one of the 150 volunteers, each mom selects a book and reads it aloud into a tape recorder.

The tapes and books are then mailed to their children, so the kids can hear their mother's voices and feel close to her during the challenging period of her incarceration.


An inmate's child reads his storybook with a relative.

Each month, the program mails approximately 350 new books and tapes to children.

The Women's Storybook Project is currently available in five of the eight women's prison facilities in Texas, with the goal of expanding to the entire network.

The Women's Storybook Project isn't just a win for the kids, it's a priceless opportunity for their moms.

Lauri Arrington, a former Storybook participant, recorded 14 books for her children while she was incarcerated. She was released two years ago and wrote about her experience with the program in The New York Times.

For Arrington and others, the program offered normalcy and dignity while living in a place often lacking both. She writes, "Many women told me that while reading to their children, they briefly felt normal. Helping them, I felt normal. Normal as in, someone who mattered again."

With the success of the Women's Storybook Project, similar programs are taking off across the country.

A corrections facility in New York launched its own Story Corner, and facilities in Iowa and Maryland offer Storybook projects for dads behind bars too.

As the American prison population continues to grow, programs like this become invaluable to maintaining strong family relationships, which can improve an inmate's success upon release.

See the power of the Storybook Project in this short video created by Women's Storybook Project Texas.

President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

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Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

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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.

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

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Since hints of it first started showing up in social media comments several years ago, I've been intrigued—and endlessly frustrated—by the phenomenon of QAnon. At first, it was just a few fringey whacko conspiracy theorists I could easily roll my eyes at and ignore, but as I started seeing elements of it show up more and more frequently from more and more people, alarm bells started ringing.

Holy crap, there are a lot of people who actually believe this stuff.

Eventually, it got personal. A QAnon adherent on Twitter kept commenting on my tweets, pushing bizarro Q ideas on many of my posts. The account didn't use a real name, but the profile was classic QAnon, complete with the #WWG1WGA. ("Where we go one, we go all"—a QAnon rallying cry.) I thought it might be a bot, so I blocked them. Later, I discovered that it was actually one of my own extended family members.

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via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

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