Women should be able to find safe spaces in cities. So she made them an interactive map.

Back in 2015, while Jasmine George was staying in Dehli, India, a friend asked for her advice on where she could go to get an abortion.

The woman had already tried a private health clinic, but was asked to leave when the practitioner found out she wasn't married. Not only was she denied the healthcare she needed, she was outright shamed for even asking for it.

The injustice of the whole situation lit a fire inside George.


"I realized that a crucial part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare is how women are treated and how they feel when they seek healthcare," explains George in an email.

But George's frustration went beyond wishing there were more welcoming healthcare facilities. She also wanted to find a way to address the systemic crisis of women's safety in public spaces across India.

Image via Pixabay.

In the wake of "the Nirbhaya Incident," where a young woman was brutally raped and murdered by a group of men, the country became focused on amping up security and placing more restrictions on women in public places, rather than helping them take control of their own safety.

As a lawyer and autonomous woman, this didn't sit well with George. She wanted to help women feel safer in their own cities without having to rely on security systems and laws created by men.

So she connected with a couple of fellow Indian feminists, and launched an organization called Hidden Pockets Collective, which utilizes technology, research and the knowledge of locals to help Indian women find the reproductive health services and safe spaces they may need.

"We are trying to find health services that are good quality, affordable and non-judgmental that people can access without fear," writes George.

The Hidden Pockets collective, Aisha (left), Jasmine (center) and Tushita (right). Photo via Jasmine George.

Once they established their mission, they started recruiting designers, researchers, techies, and local women who know the major cities in India to help them build an interactive digital map that designates where women can find reproductive health services, transportation, and safe public areas.

"We organize community walks through the well-known and uncommon pockets of the city to help people get to know their city better and to build a close relationship with the community," explains George.

Currently, their project operates on Open Street Map, which is public, and therefore available to everyone. However, in order to get it set up, they had to become acquainted with the complexities of the data-driven mapping world, and make sure they could utilize it effectively.  

What's more, a lot of the safe spaces they wanted to highlight aren't actually visible on map resources like Google Maps, so they often had to go out and find the coordinates themselves, which, needless to say, wasn't always a walk in the park.  

Thanks to their tireless efforts though, Hidden Pockets now has digital maps for seven major Indian cities up and running, including Delhi and Jaipur.

Hidden Pockets' interactive map for Jaipur, India. Photo via Hidden Pockets.

While the work isn't always easy, this intersection of community and technology is helping them create a solution to a major problem that affects women the world over.

And that solution extends far beyond mapping safe spaces. They're also conducting ongoing interviews with local women about the importance of reclaiming health facilities and "pleasure pockets," which are public places where women can relax and enjoy themselves while still feeling safe.

This interview process was born out of the initial work they were doing to help spread health access information to locals. They'd translate information on where to find local health services into various Indian languages, then broadcast it via community radio programs. Eventually, they started broadcasting the interviews they where doing with women as well, so the endeavor took on a podcast feel.

And as the project grew and evolved, so too did this idea of audibly sharing community stories about discovering safe spaces.

"We began asking women all around India to map their cities and tell their own stories of how different spaces felt," writes George. "We are pushing them to see their own city."

AIsha interviewing a young woman about contraception. Photo via Jasmine George.

This sharing of women's stories as they traverse their cities is empowering for the storytellers and listeners alike. Now, armed with this new mapping system, they'll hopefully feel more confident about reclaiming their public spaces.

"When we share the stories of women walking in their cities, when we share spaces where women have been before, when we share happy perspectives of women accessing services, we are giving hope to a lot of women out there, [reminding them that] they are not alone," notes George. "Technology can be one of the many ways to connect to each other."

Obviously we've got a long way to go before women's safety in public places is no longer a concern, but thanks to innovators like George and her collaborators, the path ahead has gotten much, much clearer.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

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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Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

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

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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.

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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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When Donato Di Camillo was a kid, his family couldn't afford film for their Polaroid camera.

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

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