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Venus and Serena Williams just opened a center for gun violence victims in Compton.

These tennis stars are using their power to fight gun violence.

Venus and Serena Williams just opened a center for gun violence victims in Compton.

Venus and Serena Williams are incredible athletes.

But their recent work shows that their bold abilities reach far beyond the tennis court, too.  

Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.


The two sisters just opened a safe haven for Compton residents affected by gun violence, which they're calling the The Yetunde Price Resource Center.

The center’s mission hits close to home for the tennis stars: They were raised in Compton, California, and their sister, Yetunde Price, fell victim to gun violence in Compton in 2003. Serena Williams opened up about the trauma from the tragedy in 2009 and how therapy was vital in her recovery.

The purpose of the center is simple: Community members who have directly or indirectly experienced trauma from gun violence will be connected with service providers who can provide assistance. The center's workers will also direct young people and their families to other resources available in the Compton area.  

"This is an incredible investment and commitment by Serena and Venus Williams, and I commend them for their desire to help children and families in Compton thrive," Mayor Aja Brown told The Root.

Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images.

The center is opening at a critical time in Compton.

The murder rate in the area tripled in 2016, and gang violence is starting to become more prevalent in the area. Compton has a long, difficult history with gun violence, so institutions like this resource center may play a huge role in changing the narrative for the city.  

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

The negative impact of gun violence is pervasive, particularly for communities of color, which is also why the Williams sisters stepped up.

The tennis champions have long been advocates for social justice in disenfranchised communities because they know firsthand how impactful violence can be for children (according to The Child Welfare League of America, children and youth exposed to chronic trauma such as gun violence can experience inhibited brain development).

Therapy, while beneficial, is often difficult to come by for minorities who live in areas with a lower socioeconomic status.    

When athletes and celebrities in power speak up against issues, it can help us make progress.

After Philando Castile's death was captured on camera, Serena Williams penned a heartfelt Facebook post about the dangers facing black men in America and police brutality. Her conversation helped spark other important conversations, too.

Now, with her sister, she's putting money and action behind those words, making it very clear that improving the world starts with improving your local community. It's a welcome show of kindness and strength in an often challenging world.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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