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This 11-year-old nails why so many kids get bored of reading in school.

“White boys and their dogs” have had a good run. But it's time for something new.

What sorts of books did you read in elementary school?

I remember a few: "Maniac Magee," "The Phantom Tollbooth," "Old Yeller." Great books, to be sure, but they all have something sorta disappointing in common: They revolve around white boys and the occasional canine companion.

For New Jersey fifth-grader Marley Dias, that just wasn’t going to work.


Photo via Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, used with permission.

“I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” she told the Philly Voice. Marley wanted to read about characters she could relate to instead, characters who looked like her and acted like her.

So she decided to do something about it. And that something has gotten pretty big.

After brainstorming with her mom, Janice, Marley launched a book drive asking people to send her children’s stories about female characters of color. The drive started trending on Twitter with #1000BlackGirlBooks, and the momentum just keeps growing.

By Jan. 19, 2016, Marley had collected 400 books. By Feb. 1, that number was up to 700. She says she’ll donate all additional contributions to St. Cloud Elementary School in West Orange, New Jersey. Not too shabby for just over a month of campaigning. And Marley’s cause is still starting dialogues and gaining attention, especially online.

#1000BlackGirlBooks has sparked awesome conversations about diversity in publishing on Twitter.

Plus, you know your cause is a big deal when you end up on "Ellen."

Ellen couldn’t help but contribute $10,000 to Marley’s book drive, and she gave Marley a personal laptop to help her brainstorm her next big move, too.

Marley, may I suggest a Twitter account? I can think of a few hundred thousand people who’d love to hear your daily thoughts. Image via Fox 29's "Good Day Philadelphia."

Marley is upbeat and eloquent (plus, her glasses game is seriously on point).

And let’s not forget that Marley is 11. ELEVEN. When I was 11, I couldn’t even put a pair of tights on straight without assistance. (To be honest, this is something I still struggle with. Those seams.) But this kid is spearheading an impressive campaign and grabbing much-deserved national attention for her mission.

With diversity in America on the rise — 50.4% of children in the U.S. age 1 or younger were minorities as of July 2011 — Marley’s mission is becoming more important than ever.

As of July 2011, 50.4% of children in the U.S. (age 1 or younger) were minorities. That representation isn’t really present in most children’s books.

Marley is well past her original goal of 1,000 books, so what could be next for this rockstar?

Student-body president? Space camp? Whatever it is, Marley’s sure to succeed.

Photo via Mark Wills, used with permission.

She’s not afraid to be — or in this case, read — the change she wants to see in the world.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

Honorees, speakers and guests on stage at We the Peoples

True

Some people say that while change is inevitable, progress is a choice. In other words, it’s a purposeful act—like when American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner established the United Nations Foundation 25 years ago.

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Soul Asylum's "Runaway Train" actually saved 21 missing children.

Anyone who was a teen in the '90s will remember the grunge era. Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were topping the charts with their gravely metaphorical lyrics, but they weren't alone. Soul Asylum burst onto the scene with their solemn anthem "Runaway Train" complete with a video that showcased missing kids.

The video gave missing and exploited children a much bigger platform to be recognized on, because before the video was showcased on MTV, milk cartons were the common method to distribute these photos. In theory, milk cartons seem like a pretty effective way to highlight missing children, but in reality, eventually people would become blind to the photos.

The music video for "Runaway Train" was played all around the world and to the target audience that would most likely recognize the faces. It should come as no surprise, then, that the video helped to bring home 21 missing children. What is surprising, is that the band had to push to keep the pictures of the missing kids in the music video because people didn't think it was working.

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True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

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Democracy

Florida city commissioner is being called a hero for confronting mayor who cut off power to residents

"You're calling me disrespectful because I've interrupted people, but this gentleman has turned off people's lights in the middle of a global health pandemic."

City commission meeting in Lake Worth Beach, Florida

This article originally appeared on 03.23.20


Palm Beach Post/YouTubeThey say a crisis brings out the best and the worst in people. It also reveals the best and the worst in our leaders.

A city commission meeting in Lake Worth Beach, Florida has gone viral after Commissioner Omari Hardy took his fellow city officials to task for their seeming indifference to their constituents during the coronavirus crisis.

Hardy confronted Mayor Pam Triolo and City Manager Michael Bornstein, who he said refused to call an emergency meeting last week, per Hardy's repeated requests, to discuss issues coming about from the coronavirus crisis. And he let his frustrations show.

"You're calling me disrespectful because I've interrupted people, but this gentleman has turned off people's lights in the middle of a global health pandemic," Hardy said, referring to Bornstein.

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Chris Hemsworth and daughter.

This article originally appeared on 08.27.18


In addition to being the star of Marvel franchise "Thor," actor Chris Hemsworth is also a father-of-three? And it turns out, he's pretty much the coolest dad ever.

In a clip from a 2015 interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Hemsworth shared an interesting conversation he had with his 4-year-old daughter India.

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Community

A newly single mom gets inspiring life advice from an internet 'Bubbie' who's been there

'Take care of yourself first. When you take care of yourself, you can take care of your kid.'

Photo by arty on Unsplash

A newly single mom gets inspiring life advice from an internet grandma.

Becoming a single mom isn't easy, especially if it's unexpected and you feel wholly unprepared. Recently, a newly single mom posted a tearful plea on TikTok asking for advice on how to navigate her new life. But she wasn't without advice long, "TikTok Bubbie" stitched the video and responded explaining how she survived as an unexpectedly single mom in 1989.

The video was sweet and full of inspiration for single parents starting their journey. In the beginning of the video she explained that her ex-husband left her when her son was 4 years old and took all the money out of the bank account. Being suddenly single caused her to have to give up her acting career.

The internet Bubbie went on to tell the young mom, "I got furniture from the Salvation Army. That's right, I got secondhand furniture. Secondhand clothes for me, my son never. He always was first in my book and still is to this day." TikTok Bubbie wasn't done, she made a second video to expand on her advice.

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