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They Had Been Getting Away With Killing Teenage Boys For Years. Then August 9 Happened.

Sad but true: It took the deaths of several young men for people to finally start "getting" why not everyone feels safe around the police — and with good reason.

They Had Been Getting Away With Killing Teenage Boys For Years. Then August 9 Happened.

On Aug. 9, 2014, police officer Darren Wilson shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The response was overwhelming. Advocates and locals mobilized to protest what they called an unnecessary use of police force on an unarmed teenage boy.


But Aug. 9 wasn't an isolated incident. Far from it.

In fact, the statistics are kind of alarming.

1,450 deaths. That's a lot. Here's how many deaths per day that is:

Three human beings every day dying at the hands of cops.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Molly Crabapple made a four-minute video commentary and used her artistic talents to *literally* illustrate exactly what we need to know about the police:

Powerful video, right?

Just in case it didn't catch your attention, I want to emphasize this statistic:

A black male teenager is 21 times more likely to be shot dead by a police officer than a white male teenager.

We have to ask ourselves: How are we letting this happen in our country?

FACT-CHECK TIME!

So much of this might sound way too bad to be true. The bad news, as Upworthy's fact-checkers determined: It's all true.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

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.

Here's a look at the five winners:

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

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.