I've been thinking a lot this week about what it means to create change in the world. There are a few key components that go into this:
1. Truth — As Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., alludes to in our centerfold poster, we have to be fully aware of the pain and heartbreak in the world in order to have an authentic form of hope — not naivety. Only then can we take action.
2. Imagination — Our ability to create change has to begin with imagining what the future could hold. What does a better world look like? When we dream that up and share it, we can inspire ourselves and others to actively work toward creating that better world.
3. Boldness — It's not easy to change up the status quo. We can say we want change all day long, but sometimes when it actually comes, it feels uncomfortable. It's difficult. Lean in anyway. Push through the discomfort. Something better is on the other side.
To all those points, Issue 05 of the Goodnewspaper has been an issue for change for us at on Goodnewspaper team. Entering our second year of creating this newspaper, we've made a few changes to ultimately help fulfill our goals.
We have more pages, more action, and more hopefulness. We're more committed than ever to our goals of celebrating change and becoming change. So that's why this is an issue of change.
Please enjoy some good news worth celebrating:
A Father In Seattle Is Recruiting Helpers to End School Lunch Debt
When Jeff Lew learned students at his children’s Seattle-area school were being shamed for being unable to afford lunch, he jumped into action, launching a GoFundMe campaign to help erase school lunch debt.
At some schools, students who can’t afford lunch are given a cold meal or even must wear a bracelet further setting them apart from other students.
Lew raised more than $50,000 for the Seattle school district and went on to raise more than $50,000 for the entire state of Washington. And he’s inspired a nationwide trend.
All across the country, more than 100 GoFundMe campaigns have raised more than half a million dollars to eliminate school lunch debt.
This Group of Journalists Wants to Save Democracy by Staffing Newsrooms
Newsrooms are dwindling at the local level. Nearly 30 years ago daily and weekly newspapers employed more than 450,000 people, but by January 2016 that number shrunk to 173,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This is a problem for our news consumption.
Local news is vital for functioning communities. Journalists serve as watchdogs and advocates on behalf of the public, demanding accountability from government officials and corporations.
News organizations with larger reaches — national or even state-wide news — just can’t touch on every issue affecting each community. Local news is worth fighting for.
An organization founded by two veteran journalists aims to fill local newsrooms again. The group, called Report for America, will install 1,000 journalists in understaffed newsrooms by 2022.
The nonprofit sends emerging journalists to newsrooms in under-covered corners of America to report on communities and issues for 1–2 years.
Think of it as the journalism version of national service programs such as Teach for America. Fellowship participants are carefully selected based on skills, character, and commitment to public service journalism. The program is currently in its pilot stage.
A Teenager Helped Save Six Lives By Leaving Notes On a Bridge
A teenager in the English town Sunderland has helped save six lives, according to local police. The 18-year-old college student, Paige Hunter, tied more than 40 uplifting messages — and the area’s crisis hotline — to a bridge because she wanted to show support for people experiencing a mental health crisis.
One note says: “Even though things are difficult, your life matters; you’re a shining light in a dark world, so just hold on.”
The police force praised Paige for her work in supporting vulnerable people in the community who need support.
Ethiopia and Eritrea Are No Longer At War
Leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea have signed a peace agreement and formally declared that the two countries are no longer in a state of war.
A peace deal that ended a border conflict killing tens of thousands of people almost 20 years ago was never fully implemented, and the two nations have experienced tension ever since.
Normal relations were never resumed because the two nations did not agree on the border line. But now the countries have agreed to re-establish political, economic, and diplomatic ties, according to BBC.
Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, who has been leading the country for only about three months, has now lifted a state of emergency, freed political prisoners, and announced economic reforms.
For almost two decades, it was impossible to travel directly between the two countries. But flights will now resume, and telephone lines will be re-connected. Family members who have been divided are now able to call one another for the first time since the war and could even begin flying directly between the two countries.
This App Wants to Help You Give to People Experiencing Homelessness
A new app exists to help Seattle city-goers give directly to people in need. The app, called Samaritan, works by giving app users a look into the story of a person without a home.
App users receive a notification when passing an unsheltered person who carries a small Bluetooth beacon. The notification allows the user to learn about the person and then give to the person’s unmet needs cashlessly and directly.
Recipients can redeem a person’s giving at the app’s partner merchants and nonprofits to receive goods such as clothing, fresh produce, or a haircut.
To keep the beacon active, holders meet with a counselor to gauge progress and set goals. They can even develop spending plans and access new opportunities including job training, addiction recovery, and employment.
The app allows users to connect effectively and compassionately with the people we pass daily. With the combination of financial resources and relational support, incredible shifts can happen to people who live without homes.
Mormon Musicians Are Showing Up to Support LGBTQ Youth in Utah
Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds formed LoveLoud Foundation as a response to the high teen suicide rate in Utah.
Reynolds, a Mormon, was conflicted about how the Mormon church and the LGBTQ+ community have historically been at odds. The LoveLoud music festival, now in its second year, aims to bridge the gap between the two communities.
Last year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement applauding the LoveLoud Foundation and festival for its mission to promote tolerance and respect and preventing teen suicide.
This year members of Utah’s government named July 28, 2018 — the day of this year’s festival — “LoveLoud Day in Utah.”
The festival included musical acts by Imagine Dragons, Zedd, and Tyler Glenn, the lead singer of Neon Trees who is Mormon and came out as gay in 2014.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is openly gay and grew up in a conservative, religious community of Alabama, also spoke at the festival.
“Me doing this right now is me living my Mormonism,” Reynolds told CNN. “And what my mom taught me: Love always.”
The FDA Just Approved a Drug that Treats Recurring Malaria
Authorities in the United States have approved a drug to treat recurring malaria, which affects more than 8 million people each year.
This particular kind of malaria is the most common malaria outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, and it’s difficult to fight worldwide.
This type of malaria poses a challenge because it can lay dormant in the body’s liver for years, but when it reawakens a mosquito can carry malaria-infected blood to another person.
The FDA has now approved a drug that flushes the parasite out of the liver in a single use.
There already exists a medication that works similarly, but it requires users to take the medication for two weeks, and many users stop taking it after they feel better a few days in.
There’s hope for the drug’s success. Along with bed nets and other precautions, the drug could reduce malaria around the world.
The next step is for regulators in other countries to assess the drug for use in countries where this form of malaria is a significant problem.
Friendship Moved This Former Neo-Nazi to Remove His Swastika Tattoos
An unlikely friendship all began when probation officer Tiffany Whittier was assigned the case of Michael Kent more than a decade ago.
Kent, a white man who, while serving time in prison, got tattoos exhibiting his neo-Nazi beliefs, left a life of hate behind him. His change of heart started during time spent with Whittier, a black woman.
Whittier visited Kent’s home, which was full of Nazi flags and displays, to ensure he was not violating his probation after he left prison.
She half-jokingly suggested to Kent that he replace the Nazi symbols on his walls with smiley faces. He did.
A few years later Kent completed his probation, but he and Whittier remained in each other’s lives.
He said it was the respect she showed him that eventually led him to removing the Nazi symbols from his home — out of respect for her.
Over time his views on race evolved, leading to him covering his swastika and other “white pride” tattoos.
“She gave me a chance, and it opened my eyes,” Kent told ABC News.
The Global Solar Market Grew Almost 30 Percent Last Year
Solar is the world’s fastest-growing power source, seeing more technology growth last year than fossil fuels and nuclear combined.
Nations around the world increased the world’s solar capacity by 29.3 percent in 2017 by installing 98.9 gigawatts of new capacity, according to data from the industry association SolarPower Europe.
Nearly 90 percent of the world’s solar energy capacity was installed in the last seven years, according to news organization IFLScience.
The nations leading the way in growing our global solar industry? China comes in at #1 and continues to be the world leader in solar power, accounting for 53 percent of the new capacity last year. The U.S. and India follow.
If more nations follow the trend we could continue to see solar energy shine, and we could imagine a world powered by renewable resources.
This Project Aims to Connect Cultural Leaders to Their Hometown Elections
We’re all connected to where we’re from. No matter how far our careers, relationships, or other circumstances pull us away from the towns where we grew up, we hold those communities in a dear part of our hearts.
An initiative called The Hometown Project connects cultural leaders to their hometowns to help raise awareness of local campaigns and other important issues.
These well-known people, which the project calls Hometown Energizers, work to increase voter turnout in local elections. These energizers, often figures notable for their artistic, athletic, or academic achievements, invoke a sense of pride in communities when they return to their hometown to draw attention to local issues in a meaningful way.
The project has recruited energizers including actors Mark Ruffalo and Connie Britton to excite their hometowns into engaging with local elections. Who’s the most famous person from your hometown?
France Outlawed Catcalling Women In Public
After a vote, France has now outlawed catcalling women in public. The new law came after a shocking attack on a woman in Paris who responded to a catcaller.
When Marie Laguerre stood up to a man making lewd noises to her outside of a cafe, he hit her.
Motivated by the violence she experienced, Laguerre launched a website on which women can share their experiences of sexual harassment.
The new law is encouraging because in France catcalling has long been protected as a foundational and harmless aspect of “French romance.”
But a line needed to be drawn because gender-based violence disproportionately affects women and gender- nonconforming people around the world.
The World Has More Trees Than It Did 35 Years Ago
This might come as a surprise: Worldwide tree cover has grown — not shrunk! — by 2.24 million square kilometers — the size of Texas and Alaska combined — in the last 35 years, according to a paper in the science journal “Nature.”
By analyzing satellite data, researchers from the University of Maryland assesses agricultural expansion, climate-driven expansion and contraction of ecosystems, and forest clearing and recovery.
Ultimately the study found that tree cover loss in the tropics was dominated by tree cover gain in other regions, driven by agricultural abandonment in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America, rising temperatures allowing forests to grow closer to the north and south poles, and a massive tree planting program in China.
Sadly, the research also confirms a large-scale loss of our planet’s most biodiverse ecosystems, particularly in the tropical rainforests. Researchers concluded that 60 percent of all change during the study period were associated with human activity.
While Earth might have more trees than it did 35 years ago, we can’t allow this to mask the reality that some of our planet’s most productive and biodiverse biomes have been damaged, degraded, and destroyed at our own hands. Replacing natural landscapes with crops or bare land reduces nature’s capacity for sustaining complex ecosystems.
To reduce your impact on deforestation, reduce, reuse, and recycle (in that order), reduce your meat intake, and demand action from politicians to protect our forests so we can enjoy and sustain a green planet for years to come.
Dads Are More Available For Their Kids Today
According to sociologists at BYU and Ball State, today’s dads are engaging more with their children and are more involved in their lives both physically and emotionally.
“Most dads see themselves as playing an equally important role in helping their children as mothers do,” said Kevin Shafer, co-author of the study, to BYU News.
While previous research shows many fathers struggle with navigating masculine norms and emotional availability with their children, over the past several decades fatherhood norms have changed and continue to change because of shifting paternal expectations and behaviors.
“As current social trends are pushing for men’s increased familial involvement, we see more fathers stepping up to engage more actively in their children’s lives in various ways,” said Lee Essig, another co-author of the study, to BYU News.