These Are the Good News Stories You Missed This Week: November 10, 2023

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The reality is, there's a lot of bad news in the world. The last several weeks have felt especially heartbreaking.

But, as experts in positive news, we feel inclined to offer the reminder that there is always more good news happening in the world than bad news.

We're inspired by the words of Mister Rogers when he said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Every day, when bad things happen, countless Helpers step up and look for ways to make a difference.

And every day the Good Good Good’s team of journalists works hard to collect the best good news in the world — the stories of Helpers showing up to do good — and then we share it with our community. Here are the highlights for this week!

If you want to get good news in your inbox every day, join the Goodnewsletter — the free daily newsletter designed to leave you feeling hopeful. These stories are all sourced from this week's emails.

The Best Positive News We’re Celebrating This Week —

Thanks to advocacy efforts, the New York City Marathon introduced new supports for moms during this year’s race

Many athletes set their sights on athletic goals while navigating the challenges of motherhood. This year, the New York City Marathon introduced lactation stations along the course and provided facilities for nursing mothers to pump breast milk during the race.

The lactation stations are a result of advocacy efforts by athletes such as accomplished middle distance runner Alysia Montaño and the nonprofit she co-founded, &Mother, which works to change the landscape of women's sports and advocate for better maternity accommodations.

Olympian sprinter Allyson Felix and elite marathoners Kellyn Taylor and Molly Huddle have also been vocal advocates for maternity rights in sports and advocated for the addition of the stations.

The introduction of lactation stations at the New York City Marathon highlights the importance of accommodating and supporting women in sports who are also mothers — promoting inclusivity and success for all athletes. These stations are part of a broader movement to advocate for maternity accommodations for women in sport.

Why is this good news? Historically, many female athletes have successfully returned to sport after giving birth, but accommodations for new mothers have been limited. The introduction of lactation stations at the New York City Marathon represents a significant step toward making sports more inclusive and supportive of female athletes and helping them thrive both as athletes and as mothers.

By addressing the needs of mother-athletes, this initiative can encourage more women to participate in sports and pursue their athletic dreams, knowing that they will receive the necessary support.

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Women now constitute 35% of workers in top-paying occupations in the U.S., up from 13% in 1980

Women have increased their presence in America’s top 10 highest-paying occupations. Women now constitute 35% of workers in these fields — which includes physicians, lawyers, and pharmacists — up from 13% in 1980.

Women have also made progress in earning advanced degrees required for these high-paying jobs, with women now constituting about half of the recipients of degrees such as Juris Doctor (J.D.), Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.D.S. or D.M.D.), and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.).

The progress made so far is a positive sign that efforts to promote diversity and gender equality in the workplace can yield results. With continued focus on these goals, there is hope for further improvement in the representation of women in high-paying jobs and a more balanced workforce.

What’s the nuance? While progress has been made, women still remain the minority in nine out of the ten high-paying occupations, with pharmacists being the exception at 61% female representation. Despite improvements, the overall share of women in these occupations (35%) lags behind their share in the overall U.S. workforce (47%). Barriers to women entering high-paying occupations, such as gender differences in household and parenting responsibilities, as well as potential gender discrimination, still exist.

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Damar Hamlin funded scholarships in the names of 10 'heroes' who saved his life

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin announced he is funding 10 scholarships in the names of medical staffers who saved his life during a cardiac arrest incident in January.

The 10 men and women helped Hamlin on the field, in the operating room, and in his recovery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

“Last night I had dinner with my heroes,” Hamlin said. “10 of the UC Medical Staff that helped save my life. I surprised them with a scholarship named after each of them that will support youth in Cincy to chase their dreams. Wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them!”

Hamlin’s Chasing M's foundation will award $1,000 scholarships to 10 under-served young people in the Cincinnati area over the next three years, supporting those who aspire to attend private high schools or local trade schools and universities. Hamlin himself benefited from a scholarship that paved the way for his education and football career.

He's also been active in charity work, including a CPR tour with the American Heart Association to bring free CPR training to hundreds of people and distribute AEDs to youth sports groups.

Why is this good news? These scholarships will provide opportunities for underprivileged young people to pursue higher education — leaving a lasting and positive impact on the Cincinnati community by supporting local youth and their educational aspirations. Additionally, Hamlin's story and his foundation's work in promoting CPR training, distributing defibrillators, and publicly recognizing the healthcare workers who saved his life all raise awareness about the importance of preparedness in cases of sudden cardiac arrest.

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This author fought back against book bans by opening a bookstore that highlights marginalized writers

In response to legislative attacks, book bans, and threats to LGBTQ+ rights and marginalized voices, author Leah Johnson opened Loudmouth Books, an independent bookstore and community space based in Indianapolis.

Johnson’s goal is to uplift banned books and promote the work of marginalized writers. She sees Loudmouth as a means of asserting the resilience of marginalized communities against attempts to silence their voices.

One of Johnson’s own books, "You Should See Me in a Crown," which is a Reese’s Book Club Young Adult pick and a 2021 Stonewall Honor Book, was among the 50+ books put under investigation by the Oklahoma Attorney General.

Johnson's work as an author and educator has influenced her role as a bookseller — with a focus on community and providing a space for marginalized voices. The store also aims to make books accessible by giving back to the community through initiatives like a "clear the shelves" program.

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An Indigenous-led effort in Canada offers a hopeful alternative to traditional conservation practices

A landmark conservation agreement signed 30 years ago between the Haida Nation and the Canadian government has become a model for Indigenous stewardship of lands and waters, now serving as a blueprint for global conservation efforts.

The Haida's resistance to clearcut logging in the 1980s, which involved blockades and international outrage, eventually led to the Gwaii Haanas agreement in 1993. The agreement formalized protections for almost 2,000 square miles of land and ocean, preserving vital habitats, protecting endangered species, and allowing Indigenous peoples to continue their traditional practices.

The protected area encompasses nearly half of Haida Gwaii, a unique ecosystem rich in biodiversity. The agreement has led to the protection of 42 at-risk species and the revival of various marine life, including sea otters and kelp forests.

It deviates from the traditional conservation model by allowing Indigenous peoples to harvest in their traditional territory without needing permission — aligning with Indigenous philosophies of coexistence with the ecosystem.

Why is this good news? The success of Gwaii Haanas has become a model for Indigenous-led conservation efforts in Canada and has influenced other coastal nations. Gwaii Haanas is a model for Indigenous stewardship of lands and waters in the face of global biodiversity loss and environmental threats, offering hope for a planet in need of sustainable conservation practices.

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Kauai, Hawaii rapidly transitioned to greener energy by shifting from a for-profit utility to a locally owned cooperative

The people of Kauai, Hawaii have achieved rapid progress in greening their electricity supply by collectively owning and operating their utility.

Their transformation involved transitioning from a Wall Street-owned, for-profit utility to a locally owned cooperative. The cooperative set ambitious renewable energy goals, pioneering the use of solar power paired with lithium-ion batteries. They now generate 60% of their electricity from renewables, primarily solar.

Although Kauai faces challenges related to using water for hydropower generation, their pioneering efforts provide a potential model for communities nationwide seeking cleaner energy solutions through local utility control.

Why is this good news? Kauai's success in achieving cleaner and cheaper power through local ownership serves as a potential model for communities across the U.S. debating control of their utilities to combat climate change. Local, community-driven ownership allows the utility to align with the community's renewable energy goals and foster economic stability.

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All national parks, including Yellowstone and Zion, will be free to visit on Saturday

Tomorrow, November 11th, all U.S. national parks — including Yellowstone, Zion, Yosemite, and 400 more! — will offer free admission to everyone.

At the start of 2023, the National Park Service introduced “fee-free dates” where all national park sites waive entrance fees to the public on select holidays. Tomorrow, Veterans Day, marks the last fee-free date of the year.

While some park sites are free to visit annually, admission in over 100 popular spots like Yellowstone National Park can cost as much as $35 per vehicle. Those national park admission fees go toward habitat preservation, park expansion, and recreational opportunities for visitors.

According to the NPS, 80% of fees go directly to the park where it was collected and the remaining 20% are dispersed to parks that are free to visit year-round.

Why is this good news? Fee-free days promote greater access to the natural beauty and historical significance of U.S. national parks. This initiative allows more people, including those who might not typically visit national parks, to explore and appreciate these natural wonders. Free admission on these fee-free days makes national parks more inclusive to a wider range of people, allowing individuals and families from various backgrounds and income levels to enjoy the benefits of these parks.

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More good news of the week —

Portland, Oregon residents successfully protested the unannounced removal of a recently installed bike lane in their city. Protestors stood in front of a truck that was sent out to remove the bike lane.

Boston’s high school dropout rate has fallen by more than 50%. Re-engagement programs have worked by visiting the homes of chronically absent or disengaged students and encouraging them to continue their education.

U.S. cities are getting creative in addressing the need to create green spaces for community members while staying on budget. Haywood, California, for example, used native plants and repurposed materials from construction waste and urban cast-offs to create a mile-long park.

A city in Germany has gained recognition as a "zero waste city" thanks to its innovative efforts to reduce waste and promote recycling. Kiel has implemented various creative strategies, such as repurposing discarded human hair into fabric for filtering oil from water and offering grants for cloth diapers to reduce disposable diaper use.

A program in Boston and Baltimore has seen success in using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to reduce gun violence. The program helps high-risk young individuals develop impulse control and reasoning, which can be underdeveloped because of exposure to trauma and violence.

With the help of local organizations, a village in Indonesia has become a model for living in harmony with elephants — while protecting their crops and prioritizing species conservation. Their initiative has inspired other villages facing similar challenges to seek sustainable solutions to human-elephant conflicts.

More states in the U.S. are incorporating financial literacy education into high school curriculums, covering topics such as earning income, budgeting, saving, investing, and managing credit and financial risk. As of 2023, 30 states have implemented laws or policies mandating personal finance education before high school graduation, up from 21 in 2020.

Volunteers picked up more than 10,000 pounds of trash during the Yosemite Facelift, a yearly trash clean-up event that takes place on National Public Lands Day. Other special projects included collections for Yosemite’s seed banking program, installing campground food lockers, maintenance of climbing trails, and planting native grasses in the park’s meadows.

An Irish startup is spreading concrete dust onto farmland to help combat climate change. The concrete breaks down in the soil, initiating an accelerated form of natural chemical weathering and removing carbon dioxide from the air.

The Canadian federal government signed a major nature agreement with the province of British Columbia and First Nations to jointly support the goal of protecting 30% of lands and waters by 2030. The $500-million commitment from both governments aims to conserve and protect land, species, and biodiversity in B.C. and is part of a collaboration with First Nations to reverse the loss of nature.

An experimental spinal cord neuroprosthesis has shown success in alleviating walking disorders in individuals with Parkinson's disease. The device, which targets specific areas of the spinal cord with electrical stimulation associated with walking, could be a game-changer for restoring movement when medications are no longer effective.

For the first time in three years, California is drought-free. And the state is forecast to receive above-average rainfall for the winter season!

A biologist single-handedly revitalized a butterfly species in San Francisco. He established a butterfly garden, sourced caterpillars, nurtured their life cycle, and effectively reintroduced the species to the city.

Scientists have achieved a groundbreaking milestone in gene therapy by successfully restoring the natural hearing pathway in deaf children with a new technique. The success may encourage research into gene therapy for other causes of deafness and provide an alternative to cochlear implants in the future.

A Canadian start-up has developed floating desalination systems that use wave energy to convert seawater into fresh water. The company's system is designed to be marine-life friendly and, unlike other conventional desalination plants, doesn’t rely on fossil fuels.

Article Details

November 10, 2023 9:46 AM
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