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Think women don't win elections? They do. And more of them should run.

Women are just as electable as men — they just need to get on the ballot.

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

In February 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used these words to defend silencing Sen. Elizabeth Warren after invoking an obscure rule during her speech on the Senate floor.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is one of 21 women currently serving in the U.S. Senate. Photo via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.


The dynamic was striking: A strong, opinionated woman was directly and vehemently shut down by a powerful man in politics.

It wasn't particularly surprising, though — men in power have silenced their female counterparts for much of U.S. history, and we're still barely emerging from that norm.

Remember the above image of the Freedom Caucus discussing whether the Republican health care bill should repeal maternity, prenatal, and newborn coverage? This is what happens when women's voices are missing politics — we get rooms full of men making decisions that directly affect women.

There are more than 500,000 elected offices in the U.S. Currently, women hold 25% of them.

Women make up about 51% of the population, yet Congress is 80% male. Just six states have women governors. Out of the 100 largest cities in the U.S., only 22 have women mayors.

Representation matters, and we don't have it yet.

The good news is that women win elections just as often as men — when they run.

This lack of female representation in politics irked activist and entrepreneur Erin Loos Cutraro. So she founded She Should Run, a nonpartisan organization that encourages women to run for office and helps them along that journey. Lush's Charity Pot program has helped fund the organization, which recently launched the #250KBY2030 campaign, with the goal of getting 250,000 women running for office by 2030.

That means encouraging women we know to run and inspiring young people to dream big. It's one thing to say women should run for office, but it's another to figure out how to make that happen.

She Should Run founder and CEO Erin Loos Cutraro spoke with me to share how the #250KBY2030 campaign can help get women on the ballot.

The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Since She Should Run was founded in 2011, nearly 40,000 women have been encouraged to run for office through the program. Image via She Should Run.‌

What prompted you to found She Should Run?

After being involved in politics for a number of years, I decided that it was time to change the playbook, because we needed different outcomes with who we saw on the ballot across the country.

Now, as a mother to two daughters, I can't sit by without doing everything possible to ensure that girls in the next generation grow up in a world where they are equal to everyone else and have the same opportunities as anyone.

Why is it so important for 250,000 to run by 2030? Why that number and that date?

There are over 500,000 elected offices in this country and it is our mission to see at least half the ballots filled with women in this lifetime rather than the next. This is a big goal, but we believe that is possible by 2030.

To achieve this goal and close the gender gap, people from all backgrounds and walks of life must come together and support women leaders in their communities.

Photo by Lush Cosmetics.

What specific challenges do women tend to face when running for office?

We know that when women run, they win at the same rate as men. They're just not running.

That doesn't mean that there aren't challenges — like fears about raising money, balancing home, work, and campaigning, and other barriers unique to women — but the bigger challenge is convincing women of all walks of life that they have something to give to their communities and their country and to put their names on the ballot.

Does it matter if women run under a particular party?

When I started She Should Run, it was tremendously important that our organization be nonpartisan, because we know that we are not going to get the best policies if the brightest people representing all perspectives do not have a seat at the table.

That why it's our mission to have women from all backgrounds, walks of life, and all across the political spectrum raising their hands to run for office.

What kind of women should run for office?

This a very short answer: Any woman who wants to make a difference in her community, state, or country. ‌‌

When we say #SheShouldRun, we're talking to each and every one of you—women from all backgrounds, from all walks of...

Posted by She Should Run on Thursday, March 8, 2018

What’s the first step a woman should take if she thinks she wants to run for office?

Join She Should Run. Our programs are designed to give women the tools they need to be ready to run.

Our one-of-a kind Incubator helps women in our community get specific on why they want to run and the impact they'll make in elected office. Once they've made the decision to run, we demystify resources available for additional support on their journeys to elected leadership.

Joining the Incubator also gives women access to a community made up of thousands of other women who are in various stages on their paths to public office.

What can women who can't/don't want to run for office do to support women who are considering it?

If there is a woman in your community who you believe would be great in office, encourage her to consider running! Our Ask a Woman to Run tool is a quick, easy way for you to tell us about great women leaders you know who should consider a run for office.

Explain why you believe she would be a strong leader and what she could bring to the table with her personal experience and narrative. Then point her to She Should Run and our flagship program, the Incubator, that can help her take that next step on her path to public office.

Many of us know a woman who would be a great leader would be a tremendous problem solver for her community; oftentimes, she just needs that extra push.

Additionally, women can work or volunteer to support women candidates who they believe in. There are a record-breaking number of women running for office across the country at every level of government — state, local, and federal.

Giving time and/or resources to a campaign is also a great way to see if you want to run for office and to gain invaluable experience for a future run.

What specific role do you think men should play to empower/encourage women to run for office?

Everyone is necessary for us to achieve our goals of political parity and most certainly to get to #250KBY2030. Men can be mentors, supporters, and staffers to female candidates. They can also raise their daughters to be strong, ambitious women and support the women in their lives when they decide to throw their hats in the rings.

Where can women find more information about what elected offices are open and how to go about running?

Our first-of-its-kind She Should Run Incubator offers resources and a community that meets women where they are in their paths to elected leadership.

The community aspect provides a wealth of knowledge from women all over the country running for office at various levels of government who share their stories and experiences that prove to be useful for other women running for office.

The Incubator's unique approach focuses our members on why they want to run and the impact they'll make in elected office. And we demystify resources available once women in our community have made the decision to run.

[rebelmouse-image 19398109 dam="1" original_size="945x960" caption="Image via She Should Run." expand=1]Image via She Should Run.

We also recently launched a new tool called Pinpoint, an interactive tool that allows you to find and share valuable educational resources that focus on running and serving in elected office. There are so many local organizations that can assist a woman in running for office, so we made it easier for women to search for them!

All of these programs and tools are designed to simplify a woman's path to elected office.

Bottom line: We need more women to run for office, and She Should Run is offering the tools to help make it happen. Let's use them to give more girls and women a seat at the table.

She Should Run is supported, in part, by Lush Cosmetics' Charity Pot program, which funds grassroots organizations fighting for human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection. Learn more at She Should Run and Lush USA.

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
True

When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

What you look like in a selfie camera isn't really what you look like in real life.

We've all done it: You snap a selfie, look at it, say, "OMG is my nose swollen?" then try again from a different angle. "Wait, now my forehead looks weird. And what's up with my chin?" You keep trying various angles and distances, trying to get a picture that looks like how you remember yourself looking. Whether you finally land on one or not, you walk away from the experience wondering which photo actually looks like the "real" you.

I do this, even as a 40-something-year-old who is quite comfortable with the face I see in the mirror. So, it makes me cringe imagining a tween or teen, who likely take a lot more selfies than I do, questioning their facial features based on those snapshots. When I'm wondering why my facial features look weird in selfies it's because I know my face well enough to know that's not what it looks like. However, when a young person whose face is changing rapidly sees their facial features distorted in a photo, they may come to all kinds of wrong conclusions about what they actually look like.

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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
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The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

Here at Upworthy, we cherish our loved ones and although Valentine's is not all about gifts, if you are looking to buy a special gift for a special someone, then you came to the right place! We have curated a list of our personal favorites from our store, Upworthy Market, where you can feel good about your shopping because every dollar you spend directly supports local artisans who craft their own products. In this gift guide, you'll find all products have special thought, hand-made with love and they are all under $30 to help you stay within a budget.


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The airplane graveyard that 3 families call home is the subject of a stunning photo series.

From the skies to the ground, these airplanes continue to serve a purpose.

This article originally appeared on 09.18.15


What happens to airplanes after they're no longer fit to roam the skies?


An abandoned 747 rests in a Bangkok lot. Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images.

Decommissioned planes are often stripped and sold for parts, with the remains finding a new home in what is sometimes referred to as an "airplane boneyard" or "graveyard." Around the world, these graveyards exist; they're made up of large, empty lots and tons of scrap metal.

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