Good News This Week - Cheetahs, TikTok, & Food Forests - April 8 2023

A photo collage of a Daniel Radcliffe, a crowd in front of the Tennessee State Capitol building, a food forest, Keith Lee, and two women

Every day the Good Good Good team collects the best good news in the world and shares it with our community. Here are the highlights for this week!

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The Best Positive News We’re Celebrating This Week —

Daniel Radcliffe is uplifting trans and nonbinary youth in The Trevor Project’s new “Sharing Space” video series

In stark contrast to the creator of the “Harry Potter” franchise that ignited Daniel Radcliffe’s stardom, the actor has become a beloved ally for LGBTQ+ youth.

Most recently, Radcliffe announced his continued (over 10-year!) partnership with The Trevor Project in a new video series from the nonprofit called “Sharing Space.” The series will feature roundtable conversations with LGBTQ+ youth, moderated by adult allies — and Radcliffe was featured in the first episode.

The episode premiered this past Friday (on Trans Day of Visibility!), and included Radcliffe chatting with six trans and non-binary young people.

Why is this good news? We’ll pass the mic to Mr. Potter himself, who said, “At the end of the day, if you’re going to talk about trans kids, it might be useful to actually listen to trans kids.” And there’s a lot of talk about trans kids going on these days.

Not to mention, Radcliffe’s participation in the series is especially affirming, as he represents a larger discussion surrounding the Harry Potter franchise, whose creator has become notorious for her transphobic messages.

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The first cheetah cubs were just born in India — 70 years after they were declared extinct

India has been trying to reintroduce cheetahs into the country for decades — and they just had their first successful birth of four cubs in 70 years.

Cheetahs officially became extinct in India in 1952, after dwindling in numbers due to hunting, habitat loss, and biodiversity loss. The animals are an important part of the country’s ecosystem.

The cheetah is listed globally as "vulnerable" on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. The Asiatic cheetah specifically is critically endangered, with only about 50 left located exclusively in Iran.

Last year, to aid its species recovery efforts, India brought eight cheetahs into the country from Namibia. One of the cheetahs from that group gave birth to the new cubs, who are reportedly healthy.

Extinction recovery efforts can take an incredibly long time, with many setbacks along the way — we’re celebrating this good progress with India!

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Thousands of students in Nashville walked out of school to demand lawmakers take action on common-sense gun laws

One week after the school shooting at Covenant School, students in Nashville walked out of school on Monday morning to march to the Tennessee State Capitol building to demand lawmakers take action on common-sense gun laws. The number of students who gathered is estimated to have been in the thousands.

The walkout was organized by March For Our Lives, the organization formed by students in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida just over five years ago.

The walkout was scheduled to begin at 10:13 AM — the same time the tragedy took place at Covenant School one week before.

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More from Monday’s walkout and protest:

A 30-year-old urban ‘food forest’ in Arizona has become a model for climate action

Nestled just outside of downtown Tuscon, Arizona (the third-fastest warming city in America is an oasis of climate action and mitigation.

The urban food forest in the Dunbar Spring neighborhood hits just about every sustainability mark available: it has hundreds of native, fruit-bearing trees which are watered by diverted rainwater from city streets (utilizing Indigenous water harvesting techniques!), the trees feed residents and cool the neighborhood, and more.

It's also proof of concept for climate mitigation strategies throughout the city (the neighborhood foresters helped inform Tuscon’s climate action plan), the country, and the world.

The trees alone offer a lot of hope for communities. One day in Dunbar Spring, for example, when an exposed street reached 123 degrees Fahrenheit — a shaded street was 85 degrees (a whopping 38 degrees cooler). Plus, they’re a food source for the community.

Why is this good news? As climate change begins to severely impact more and more communities around the globe, relatively simple and inexpensive solutions like urban forests and gardens will be critical to our climate mitigation strategy. And it’s not just an idea — Dunbar Spring is living proof.

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A food reviewer is using TikTok to help turn struggling eateries into massive success stories

TikToker Keith Lee has quickly risen through the ranks of social media’s biggest food reviewers, filming genuine, honest, no-nonsense reviews from a Paw Patrol-themed kid’s chair.

Lee started creating content in 2020, filming family vlogs and glimpses into his life as a mixed martial artist. But what has made the most impact among viewers is his food review of mom-and-pop restaurants.

One of his videos reviewing the once-struggling Vegas pizza shop Frankenson's received over 42.5 million views, and lines of customers traveled down the block in the following days. And after his Southern Taste Seafood truck review, customers both came hungry and donated funds to the food truck’s owner — totaling nearly $30,000 to help support his struggling business.

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More good food news:

A digital equity center in a rural county in Maine is helping older residents stay connected and informed

In Washington County, Maine, the population density is under 10 people per square mile, the winters are brutal, and health care can be hours away.

And when the pandemic’s shelter-in-place order went into effect in 2020, the county’s National Digital Equity Center saw the severe isolation and loneliness of older people in the community — and stepped into action.

Working with a philanthropy, they sent out fully loaded tablets with cell connectivity and a Zoom link to people over 70. Instructors with the Center called users to walk them through setting them up. And they just received a grant to help even more people.

Why is this good news? Technology is becoming more and more integrated into our everyday lives — and that’s not changing anytime soon. These days, there are very few things you can’t do without an internet connection, and for that reason alone, everyone — from older people to people in underresourced communities all around the world — deserves access to these basic services.

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Thousands of students around the country participated in a National School Walkout to demand action on gun safety laws

We don’t think we’re alone in saying the Helpers that inspired us most this week were students. By the thousands, from Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, to Uvalde and Dallas, Texas, students walked out of class on Wednesday at noon (local time) — protesting a lack of action on gun safety laws, and demanding that change.

While common sense action on gun safety laws certainly shouldn’t require thousands of students to raise their voices — it wouldn’t be the first time those voices have made a big difference.

After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018, students quickly mobilized and formed March For Our Lives — and that same year, new gun control laws were passed in all 50 states.

With more work to be done to keep kids safe in school and people safer in their communities, these Helpers are back with renewed demands and calls for change.

Also, students in Nashville were back at the State Capitol again yesterday to show their support for three legislators as the Republican-controlled state legislature voted to expel each of them for standing with the students in protest.

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More good news of the week —

Pope Francis formally rejected the “Doctrine of Discovery,” a decree still used to legitimize occupying stolen Indigenous lands. The rejection is a historic recognition of the Vatican’s own complicity in colonial-era abuses committed by European powers.

Hours before it was set to go into effect, a federal judge temporarily blocked Tennessee’s law limiting drag shows. The judge sided with an LGBTQ+ theater company that filed a lawsuit claiming the statute violates the First Amendment.

Boston expanded its tuition-free community college program to all residents. The city’s mayor said she believes “that every Boston resident who wants to earn the skills and knowledge to give back to our communities and build a life here should be able to do so.”

NASA just named the first woman and first person of color astronauts to be sent on a lunar mission. Christina Koch and Victor Glover will join the Artemis II mission, the first crewed voyage around the moon in more than 50 years.

Trans creators raised over $2.25 million for trans healthcare. Mercury Stardust’s second annual TikTok-a-Thon, cohosted by Jory (a.k.a. AlluringSkull) reached its $1 million goal in under six hours.

An educational program on BBC is aimed at helping students banned from school in Afghanistan. The program, called Dars, is aimed at young women between the ages of 11 and 16, whose education was recently stopped by the Taliban.

Overturning a book ban, a Texas judge ordered books containing LGBTQ+ content to be returned to library shelves. Seven residents of Llano County sued officials for banning 12 books that contained content related to gender, race, or sexuality.

Thousands of women in London joined a club to help combat loneliness. The London Lonely Girls Club started in 2018, and grew from 10,000 to 31,000 members in the last year after pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Even before all the votes had been counted, Wisconsin’s election turnout had already broken spring election records. With 10% of the vote still to be counted, the turnout of eligible voters surpassed 36%, and even beat the 2020 spring election which included a presidential primary.

Kenya is expanding its landmark malaria vaccine — and it's bringing hope to millions. Since a 2019 pilot program was introduced, over a million doses of the vaccine have been administered to children in eight counties.

Plastic windows designed by a Cambridge student are making uninhabitable homes in Ukraine livable. An Insulate Ukraine window has four layers of protection and allows light in, unlike other replacements.

Upholding the “rights of nature,” Ecuador stopped a copper mining project in the Intag Valley. Setting a significant precedent, a court ruled the copper producer violated the community’s constitutional rights — and the rights of the environment.

The Supreme Court issued a temporary order allowing a girl to compete on the girls’ track team at a West Virginia middle school. While temporary, the ruling offers a glimmer of hope for the future of trans children being allowed to participate in school sports.

Home to more than 70% of the global tiger population, India just celebrated five decades of tiger conservation efforts. “Project Tiger” has brought tigers back “from the brink of extinction” in the last 50 years with a current population of about 3,000 tigers — and counting.

The United Nations just adopted a historic resolution on climate justice. The resolution is being hailed as “win for climate justice of epic proportions” and should make it easier to hold countries legally accountable for environmental failures.

Article Details

April 8, 2023 5:00 AM
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