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Watch how this group declared outer space LGBTQ-friendly.

Planting Peace set out to create the universe's largest LGBTQ-friendly space.

Watch how this group declared outer space LGBTQ-friendly.

It's official. Space has been declared LGBTQ-friendly.

GIFs by Planting Peace.

With a GoPro, a pride flag, and a high-altitude balloon, a nonprofit set out to make an important statement about human rights.

On Aug. 17, the team at Planting Peace followed in the footsteps (though, with significantly less genocide) of explorers like Columbus, Magellan, Raleigh, and others, laying claim to the vast nothingness that is space!


How did they do that? With a flag, of course.

Just outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Planting Peace launched a high-altitude balloon carrying a pride flag and a GoPro.

The pride flag soared 21.1 miles above the Earth's surface before coming back down. While the three-hour flight was short-lived, it was powerful in its symbolism.

The purpose of Planting Peace's action was to emphasize the importance of LGBTQ rights as universal human rights, with LGBTQ individuals able to live free from fear and discrimination on the basis of who they are.

"The backdrop of space gave us a stunning, inspiring and peaceful canvas for our message of hope to our LGBTQ family," wrote Aaron Jackson, president of Planting Peace, in an e-mail. "I would love for LGBTQ children who are struggling to see this, and look up to the stars and remember that the universe shines brightly for them, and they are not alone."

You might remember Planting Peace for some of their other awesome work.

They're the folks with the rainbow-colored house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church, battling the notorious organization in Pokémon Go.

And earlier this year, Planting Peace brought a flag to Antarctica to declare it the world's first LGBTQ-friendly continent!

Spreading a message of love (and having fun at the same time) is important work. It's something we can all do.

Maybe you don't have the ability (or desire) to paint your house all the colors of the rainbow, and maybe sending a GoPro 21 miles into the air doesn't sound like your idea of a great way to take care of your electronics. Even so, there are little things you can do, just like Planting Peace, to help make the world a better place.

The group's message is something we can all get behind, and something we can all help spread in our own little ways: "You are loved, valued, and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not alone, and we will stand with you."

Watch the pride flag's epic trip to space below.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

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Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

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