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This blistering resignation letter from a White House adviser is a must-read.

The woman who helped write the Refugee Act is resigning in disgust over Trump's immigration policies.

This blistering resignation letter from a White House adviser is a must-read.

When Elizabeth Holtzman was in Congress, she helped write the Refugee Act, which has guided the U.S.'s principles on the issue for nearly four decades.

In more recent years, she's been serving on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, a bipartisan team of experts that advises presidential administrations. That council includes a committee which, in 2016, called for the end of for-profit immigration detention facilities — an issue front and center in Trump's support of family separation policies.

Holtzman is a Democrat, but she's a stateswoman first and foremost. She's joined four other council members who are resigning in protest of Trump's immigration policies, and her powerful resignation to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen letter is a must-read.


The letter is a call to arms that recalls America's progress on how we treat refugees and immigrants, and how we're now squandering that away in catastrophic fashion.

"There was a time that the U.S. welcomed refugees," Holtzman wrote.

She pointed out that the Refugee Act was created in the aftermath of our country's failure to properly take in Jewish people and other marginalized groups fleeing the Holocaust. Holtzman dropped some hefty numbers: 750,000 refugees taken in from Vietnam, 600,000 from Cuba, and 100,000 Jewish refugees who fled the Soviet Union.

She argued that the shift in policy is not only immoral, but also in direct violation of the Refugee Act: "Considering that history, the thought that the U.S. government is afraid today of 2,000 children and their parents is both laughable and appalling."

She's resigning, but she wishes it were someone else.

Technically, her letter is written to Nielsen, and that’s heavy enough. But it’s clearly a shot at Trump as well.

"Although it is I who am resigning in protest against these policies, it is you who should be tendering your resignation instead," Holtzman wrote to Nielsen.

Yes, the letter is a scathing indictment of Trump's family separation policy, something nearly 70% of Americans oppose. But it's also about something more: The U.S. is abdicating its moral leadership on vital humanitarian issues at a time when we should be doubling down on doing the right thing.

Consider this letter the new inspirational poster to pin to our walls, serving as a reminder of how great we've been, and can be if we stand up for what's right.

Correction 7/23/2018: An earlier version of this story mistook who Holtzman was asking to resign; it has been updated for clarity.

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Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Welcometoterranova article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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