When He Mentioned Beyoncé, I Almost Rolled My Eyes, But Then I Saw Where He Was Going

Every bit of this poem by Lemon Anderson is fantastic, but things get especially powerful around 2:43:

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Allow me to share three of my favorite excerpts from Lemon's work:

1. Starting at 0:57:


"'Cause, more schools means way less prisons, more education, better odds, healthier communities to live in, more love, more justice, and justice shouldn't discriminate."

2. Starting at 2:52:

"One boy guilty of poverty, his hands raised, 'don't shoot,' and Ferguson burnt down. Now we know the name Mike Brown, left there with three square holes in the gutter, a mother's son beatless. Our stomachs left sick."

3. Starting at 3:08:

"Then came the Lucy man, Eric Garner, from the Wu Tang district choked by an officer, killed wearing his six children on his sleeve and now we, the millions are yelling his last words 'I can't breathe,' and now we can't breathe until we move forward behind the democracy re-preached. Can't breathe until we stop putting guns in the hands of the children we teach. We cannot breathe until we become a nation proud of its immigration, restoring love back into our homes instead of fear of our mothers not being from here. We will not breathe, determined to succeed until we get freedom, health, and justice for the young people living in between the lines, for they are children, the future and they will lead us to the promised land and the fire next time."

There are many wonderful things that 2014 brought us, but unless we also face the ugliness, we'll be unable to overcome the injustices that hold our society back.

So, go ahead and pass off a 2014 "year in review" that might make others think, empathize, and hope for a brighter 2015.

True

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.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.