This woman's must-watch speech just settled the whole 'bathroom bill' debate.

The story of one woman's brave stand against anti-trans myths.

Madeline Goss is a software engineer from North Carolina, and she has one simple request: to be able to use the bathroom.

Believe it or not, her state's legislators called a special session (at a cost of $42,000 to the taxpayers) to pass a bill that says women like Madeline aren't allowed to use public bathrooms.

Seriously.


GIFs from Human Rights Campaign/YouTube.

Why? She happens to be transgender, so those legislators think she should be forced to use men's restrooms.

But before the bill became law, Madeline worked up the courage to make her case in front of state legislators.

She shared an emotional story about growing up in Hickory — a city of about 40,000 people located 57 miles northwest of Charlotte — and what it was like for a woman like her to be forced to use the men's room.


In telling her story, you can hear her voice fill with a swirl of emotion. There's desperation, frustration, exhaustion, and sadness.

Recounting her assault, Madeline verges on crying, but she pushes onward so as not to go down without a fight.

Hearing about the law, "felt like a one-two punch to the stomach."

In a blog post for the Human Rights Campaign, Madeline described how it felt to learn that North Carolina's elected representatives had deemed her less a person than she truly is.

"I couldn't believe my home state would pass such a discriminatory bill into law," she wrote with more than a hint of despair. "They ignored the public outcry from trans people, allies, business leaders, celebrities, as well as representatives from HRC, Equality NC, and the ACLU."

And before the House of Representatives, she shared a chilling truth: Being forced to use the men's room puts her and others like her in grave danger.

GIF from Human Rights Campaign/YouTube.

Nearly 70% of transgender people have been harassed or assaulted in a public bathroom — so Madeline has every right to be afraid.

A 2013 study found that 68% of trans people had experienced verbal harassment and 9% had been physically assaulted. By telling women like Madeline that she should use the men's room, they're sending her into a very dangerous and scary situation.


17 states and more than 200 cities offer protections that ensure trans people can use restrooms in alignment with their gender identity — without incident.

Even so, those insistent on passing laws blocking nondiscrimination ordinances peddle the fiction that trans-inclusive protections are a radical concept. They're not, and Madeline got that point across as tears welled in her eyes.

GIF from Human Rights Campaign/YouTube.

"This is the moment when a hero stands up, reeling from just being clobbered, and fights back for the greater good," she wrote, describing her testimony.

Madeline spoke out even though she had to know that there was little hope of her testimony getting through to those intent on making her a second-class citizen. Still, she stood up with a brave face to stand up for what's right.

The world needs more heroes like Madeline.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture