We asked 3 Airbnb hosts how they felt about the company banning white supremacists.

Airbnb's decision to issue lifetime bans to users planning to attend a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday is winning the company plenty of fans locally.

The move, which drew immediate scorn from the rally's organizers and "alt-right" sympathizers — earned praise from residents who share their homes on the service.

In conversations with half-a-dozen Airbnb hosts in the Charlottesville area, none said they'd been contacted by members of the rally group, though most said they were relieved that the company was taking steps to ban them. A rally in May, led by writer Richard Spencer, drew over 100 torch-bearing white nationalist activists to the community. A July Ku Klux Klan rally to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue ended when local police intervened to break up clashes between rally-goers and counter-protesters.


"Most of us are on edge because the potential for violence is so great," says Aly B. Snider, who operates two Airbnb listings, including a tiny house and a cottage close to downtown. "Many don't understand why a hate group was given a permit."

City officials expect 400 people at the demonstration, according to the document, though local police have indicated they're preparing for up to 4,000, including counter-protesters.

Snider says that she's grateful the company supports her in refusing to rent to those who want to "come into [the] community and cause problems," though she and others were careful to note they support the group's right to free speech.

Attendees at a July KKK rally in Charlottesville. Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images.

Airbnb host Marybeth, who hadn't heard about the ban, agrees that while AirBnB has the right to ban whoever it wants, the protesters "have the right to peacefully assemble and say things that might offend others." She dismisses the group as a "vocal minority" and feels most of the coverage of the upcoming rally is overblown.

Airbnb recently faced criticism from users for failing to adequately respond to the discriminatory booking practices of some hosts.

A study conducted by three Harvard Business School researchers, published in April, found that potential renters with "black-sounding" names were 16% less likely to be approved for a reservation than identical guests whose names appeared white.

The company hired a director of diversity in 2016 to oversee efforts to review hiring — the room-sharing service's staff, like many in tech, is predominately white — and to help develop measures to prevent booking bias.

Photo by Lionel Bonaventure/Getty Images.

Last month, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing fined a host who dismissed an Asian guest with a racially-tinged comment, under a recent agreement with Airbnb that permits the agency to pursue such complaints.

Jason Lappa, a Charlottesville photographer who rents out his upstairs apartment on Airbnb, "fully [supports] the ban," which he attributes to the company's commitment to "community and inclusiveness."

In his view, the white supremacist protesters are simply desperate for attention. "This is their 15 minutes," he says.

Lappa attended and photographed the counter-protest of the July KKK rally — and left with a face full of tear gas after police intervened.

Nevertheless, he says, the brief scuffle failed to rattle the tight-knit community of Charlottesville, which bounced back to normal the following day.

"Nothing was different, people of all backgrounds and colors were doing what they always do, getting coffee, laughing with friends, eating great food, and ultimately, the Klan's presence had a zero sum effect," he says.

He believes Saturday's rally will be "more of the same."

Regardless of how the alt-rightists choose to send their message, they for sure won't be crashing at Lappa's place — soon or ever.

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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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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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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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