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They Almost Had To Abandon Making A Film That Would Be Wonderful For Women's Rights. Almost.

This post serves as a thank you. A big HUGE thank you from the people who are working on the documentary "Equal Means Equal," whose New York shoot was funded thanks to the help of Upworthians like you.

They Almost Had To Abandon Making A Film That Would Be Wonderful For Women's Rights. Almost.

"What I want to know — the central question of this film, in fact — is how much of our stories are shaped by this fundamental, and yet generally invisible, legal bias?


Many will claim that a Constitutional Amendment is not a panacea for the litany of ills that women face ... and yet the potential for it to be truly transformative across the board cannot be denied.

We need the law on our side. I believe this more than ever after this shoot."

— Kamala Lopez, director of "Equal Means Equal"

We here at Upworthy are so happy we can help facilitate a positive social change in any way we can. Take a look below at the great video created for the Kickstarter, whose goal was $87,011 to help film the many segments that deal with this important issue:

After the Upworthy post, they met their goal — and then some. The total raised was a whopping $136,933, almost $50,000 more than their goal.

So what have Creator, Producer, and Director Kamala Lopez and the rest of the film crew been up to since their Kickstarter was funded?

Sarah Anderson and Jendra Jarnagin film Jezebel and Salon writer Amanda Marcotte and Kamala Lopez in New York.

Since the Kickstarter wrapped, the "Equal Means Equal" crew was able to film several segments in New York City, including interviews with global women's rights advocates like Lakshmi Puri, an assistant secretary-general of the United Nations, as well as feminist lawyers, authors, reproductive rights activists, and filmmakers — including Helen Benedict, the writer whose work inspired the Film Independent Spirit Award winner "The Invisible War."

Producer and co-writer Gini Sikes

They've also met with domestic violence advocates. Here's a quote from producer and co-writer of "Equal Means Equal" Gini Sikes:

Years ago, after a slew of movies about homicidal women with an axe to grind had just come out, a magazine assigned me to find out whether women were becoming more violent. In a California women's prison I learned that in one irreversible moment many of them had fought back against a vicious partner with fatal consequences. They'd formed the first support group for battered women in the nation and were working to change law. When I reported that female violence wasn't on the rise but women were imprisoned for defending themselves against their abusers, the magazine deemed the story not sexy enough and killed it.

Last week I reunited with several former inmates when Kamala, myself and the "Equal Means Equal" crew filmed three remarkable women in a tiny apartment. [After Battered Woman Syndrome became a legal defense in California], they were paroled, thanks to the tireless efforts of legal advocates. Their stories were hard to hear but they let people know of the injustices still facing women, and that even with new laws, things haven't changed enough.

This time around, I can rest assured their message will get out. And for that, I am deeply grateful to Upworthy for putting Equal Means Equal on the map!

The members of Convicted Women Against Abuse, with Kamala Lopez and Gini Sikes. From left: Crystal Wheeler, Leesha Gooseberry, Lopez, Cheryl Sellers, and Sikes.

So what are they up to now? As of March 2014, they're filming segments in California, and they mentioned an interview with Gloria Steinem is in the works. They still appreciate any assistance, so if you missed their Kickstarter the first time around, they still need money to complete their project! Feel free to make a donation to their project on Fractured Atlas.

Producer Liz Lopez with her daughter Kamala.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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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.

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Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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