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You Probably Don't Think You're Racist, But Even You Can Make Wrong Assumptions. These Photos Might Prove It.

Do you really know what anyone else's life is like? This photo project asks viewers to see the same men they might pass on the street and make assumptions about as the complex human beings they really are. If there's no difference for you, congratulations. But if it makes you question if you're really setting prejudices aside on a daily basis, then self-reflection is a good thing.

You Probably Don't Think You're Racist, But Even You Can Make Wrong Assumptions. These Photos Might Prove It.


I’m Not That Guy

“I was doing a job [yard work] and a guy pulled up and said ‘I seen you.’ I asked ‘do you need anything?’ He says ‘I see you come out of my house last night.’

Then he called the police on me and the next thing, the police came and arrested me and gave me a charge. I later found out that the guy didn’t see no one. I found out it was his wife that said she saw a guy on a bicycle that looked like me with a backpack… but I ain’t got no backpack.

I went to jail and they let me go after 3 months because the lady didn’t show up in court. They took 3 months of my life… I lost a lot of customers after that. People I was working with for years… people that left me at their house and everything.

I work for a living. I’m an honest person.”

— Harbert Ave. | Memphis, TN

Infinite

“I want to be infinite. I want things to be timeless… from every aspect of me. There are things you can’t buy with money. And one of those things is memories. Memories…. these memories [pointing to house], you can’t get back. Memories are what define you… that’s your legacy.

I remember living here and my mom was on crack… crack cocaine. My dad was an alcoholic. I was resentful of both my parents, but I realized I have to accept what it is and who they are. It made me who I am. You want what people deny you. Now I did the opposite… I have a stable life. I have a wife and kids. I have an appreciation for life because of those hardships.”

— 381 Michigan St. | South Memphis, TN

Prisoner est. 1976

“That’s how I feel… trapped. I feel like I fell into a trap they set out for me. And now I’m in the hands of people who are conditioned to fear me.”

— Bronx River Houses | Bronx, NY

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.