The real face of these protests: Countless citizens dancing, chanting and marching in solidarity

Thousands upon thousands of protesters took to the streets over the weekend to rally for racial justice and protest police brutality. And despite the images and video clips of destruction that inevitably make the front page, the vast majority of these demonstrations were peaceful the vast majority of the time.

This is the main story—but it's not the story many Americans are seeing.

We humans have a tendency to rubberneck at tragedy and tune in our attention to violence, and the media caters to those instincts. In some cases, there's a good reason for shining a light on violence—like when brutality and coverup of brutality is an issue in a legal system that is supposed to protect and serve the people. But choosing to place the spotlight on a minority of people causing destruction when most are peacefully demonstrating merely reinforces the stereotypes that help race-based police brutality to go unchecked. In addition, rioting may be a true expression of rage and pain ("the language of the unheard," per Dr. King), but it also may be greedy opportunists taking advantage and outside forces purposefully sowing violence, chaos and confusion.

It's a part of the story, but not the main story.

The story of the week is that people across the nation announced that they were fed up with watching black people die and protested racial injustice in beautiful and powerful ways. Here are some images that illustrate that story:

First of all, SO much dancing.




Protesters using their bodies as shields to protect other protesters, businesses, and on some cases, police.




And group acts of powerful solidarity.







And there's just something about hearing people in London chant "Black Lives Matter" with a British accent that warms the heart.


Reports show that some of these peaceful protesters were met with tear gas and rubber bullets anyway. That's another story as well. While we can't distill anything that's happening into a single, simplistic narrative, we should at least strive to make the main story the main story. When the majority of people in cities across the nation (and now around the world) are organizing and carrying out massive, peaceful, powerful protests to push the country toward justice, that's the main story. Well done, most of America.

The fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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