These women's husbands don't believe it takes so long to get water. After you hear them, will you?
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Stella Artois

Imagine if your entire day was spent waiting in line ... for water.

The women interviewed in the above video don't have to imagine. They live in the Ukambani region of Machakos, Kenya. The region has been facing hot, dry periods of weather, which means that water has become very scarce. As a result, women (the members of the family usually tasked with this responsibility) must walk miles to the nearest well for water. Sounds hard, right?


But only when you hear the women's stories does it really hit you just how *hard* it is.

Getting the water takes a painfully long time.

The reason it takes so long? Well, here's the math: 1 well + 100 people waiting at the well = a slow, tedious process that, when added to the travel time, takes up the bulk of a woman's day.

But the hardest part is the threat of violence.

Walking while female can result in very uncomfortable situations for women anywhere and no less in Machakos. While it is predominantly women who go on this journey, very young girls are also often in charge of bringing back water.

On the trek, there is always the lurking threat of wild animals — and, just as scarily, men who might try to rob or assault the women.

This is a deeply rooted problem that can be traced back to Kenya's droughts and the strong link between poverty and water scarcity. Spending so much time and risking personal safety just to meet a basic need shouldn't be a way of life for these women or any others.

And it doesn't have to be this way.

Kenya just started the first-ever African water fund. If the endeavor goes well, it will provide clean water for over 9.3 million folks. Funds like these can go along way to combat water shortage in drought-ridden parts of Kenya. Hopefully, there will be more.

Share this post to spread the word about them, their stories, and the solutions that are helping to change their reality.

Controversy has been brewing for months at the University of Texas at Austin as student-athletes petitioned the school to stop playing the school's alma mater song, "The Eyes of Texas."

The issue is that the origins of the song are allegedly steeped in racism. It was written in 1903 by two students who were inspired by speeches given by then-UT President William Prather, in which he used the phrase "The eyes of Texas are upon you." Prather himself had been inspired by General Robert E. Lee—leader of the Confederate army that fought for the right to own slaves—who used to say "the eyes of the South are upon you."

That's not all. The song is set to the tune "I've Been Workin' On the Railroad," which has its own questionable origins, and according to the Austin American-Statesman, "The song debuted at a Varsity minstrel show, a fundraiser for UT athletics, and was at some points performed by white singers in blackface." (Minstrel shows were a long, disturbing part of America's history of racism, in which white performers made themselves into caricatures of Black people and Black performers acted out cartoonish stereotypes in order to entertain audiences.)

This summer, in the midst of nationwide protests against racial injustice, students at the university launched a petition asking the school to confront its historic ties with the Confederacy in the names of buildings on campus and to formally acknowledge the racial roots of the alma mater song. A second student petition asked the school to replace the song with one that didn't have "racist undertones" in an attempt "to make Texas more comfortable and inclusive for the black athletes and the black community that has so fervently supported this program."

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Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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History books are filled with photos of people we know primarily from their life stories or own writings. To picture them in real life, we must rely on sparse or grainy black-and-white photos and our own imaginations.

Now, thanks to some tech geeks with a dream, we can get a bit closer to seeing what iconic historical figures looked like in real life.

Most of us know Frederick Douglass as the famous abolitionist—a formerly enslaved Black American who wrote extensively about his experiences—but we may not know that he was also the most photographed American in the 19th century. In fact, we have more portraits of Frederick Douglass than we do of Abraham Lincoln.

This plethora of photos was on purpose. Douglass felt that photographs—as opposed to caricatures that were so often drawn of Black people—captured "the essential humanity of its subjects" and might help change how white people saw Black people.

In other words, he used photos to humanize himself and other Black people in white people's eyes.

Imagine what he'd think of the animating technology utilized on myheritage.com that allows us to see what he might have looked like in motion. La Marr Jurelle Bruce, a Black Studies professor at the University of Maryland, shared videos he created using photos of Douglass and the My Heritage Deep Nostalgia technology on Twitter.

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