More

This lieutenant general's incredible speech against racism is a must-watch.

After black cadets were targeted with racial slurs, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria took a bold stand.

This lieutenant general's incredible speech against racism is a must-watch.

U.S. Air Force Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria has responded to an incident of racial harassment on campus with a powerful message.

Days after news reports surfaced about five black cadets being targeted with racial slurs on dorm room message boards, Silveria delivered a speech to roughly 5,500 cadets, airmen, and academy staff. He set out to make it clear that what happened was unacceptable and, in the process, demonstrated how leaders should address acts of hate aimed at marginalized groups.  

In his five-minute speech, Silveria highlighted diversity as a source of power and strength within the academy and urged cadets to uphold its values.

Race relations in the U.S. aren't exactly in a great place right now, and too often, bigotry is going unchecked. Racism isn't an issue we can afford to ignore, even if it means having some very uncomfortable conversations.


"You should be outraged not only as an airman, but as a human being." All GIFs from KOAA5/YouTube.

"We would be naive to think that we shouldn’t discuss this topic," Silveria told the crowd. "We would also be tone-deaf not to think about the backdrop of what’s going on in our country. Things like Charlottesville and Ferguson, the protests in the NFL."

"This is our institution and no one can take away our values."

"We come from all walks of life," he said, "that we come from all parts of this county, that we come from all races, we come from all backgrounds, gender, all makeup, all upbringing. The power of that diversity comes together and makes us that much more powerful."

It's in closing that Silveria made his most powerful point, asking the cadets in the room to pull out their phones so they could capture it on video.

"Just in case you're unclear on where I stand on this topic," he went on (emphasis added), "I'm going to leave you my most important thought today: If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out."

"If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out."

"If you can't treat someone from another gender, whether that's a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can't treat someone from another race or different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out."

We still have a long way to go. This is just a start.

To be sure, there were plenty of valid criticisms of the speech. Jason Johnson at The Root criticized Silveria for "removing a 'problem' as opposed to eradicating it," and pointing to a number of fairly recent incidents that suggest the military doesn't have a handle on equality quite yet.

"It’s akin to finding out there is a serial rapist on campus and saying, 'This campus has no place for rapists, they must go!'" wrote Johnson. "Thanks, but maybe you should prosecute them too?"

With those points in mind, it's on all of us to push back on bigotry, discrimination, and marginalization in society. It's on all of us to help make the world a more just place for people of all backgrounds to live, work, and thrive.

Watch Silveria's speech below. It's worth seeing in its entirety.

True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

via Pixabay

Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

Keep Reading Show less