Watch hundreds of New Yorkers coming together in support of immigrant children.

Writer and comedian Baratunde Thurston received a text at 10:55 p.m. Minutes later, he was out the door and on his way to New York's LaGuardia Airport.

"Calling our #HeretoStay Network! Youth & children separated from their families are arriving at LGA airport right now! Still being transported by American Airlines!! Meet us at terminal B arrivals right now!" read the text, sent from immigration advocacy organization United We Dream.

Thurston threw on a pair of pants, grabbed his external phone charger and passport, and caught a ride share to the airport. "Realized I left my Sharpies at home and my driver was like, 'I'm a mom. I always have crayons. Will that help?'" he recounts. "So I brought some crayons."


Organizations like United We Dream, Make the Road, Jewish Action, T'ruah, and the ACLU were joined by hundreds of supporters to take a stand against family separation.

Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump had responded to backlash over his administration's "zero tolerance" policy about undocumented immigrants caught crossing the border by issuing an executive order ostensibly designed to end the practice of separating families. With these now-unaccompanied children being flown into New York for a placement in facility, advocacy groups sprung into action.

For the next several hours, protesters held signs, greeted children, said chants, and sang songs.

"There are few things New Yorkers hate more than LaGuardia Airport," said Thurston the morning after the protests. "But one of those things is state-sanctioned child kidnapping. So it was beautiful to see hundreds of my fellow New Yorkers show up for immigrants and human rights last night."

On Twitter, he urged his more than 238,000 followers to "keep the direct actions coming."

Even if the practice of separating families comes to an end, Trump's executive order might not improve immigration policy.

Some even argue that it'll make things worse. His order ditches the idea of children and parents being held in separate detention facilities in favor of families being housed together in the same place. If child separation was inhumane, family internment isn't a vast improvement.

Our immigration system is broken, and as much as some supporters of Trump's policies might say the answer is simply for people to come to the U.S. through legal means (it should be noted that crossing the border in order to seek asylum is legal), it's harder than ever for people to do.

These problems go further back than just this one president. In May, the ACLU released a report cataloging abuses in immigration detention facilities dating back to 2009. Recent reports by investigative journalism organization Reveal found that a number of people within the immigration detention and shelter industry had backgrounds that included sexual assault and abuse. That group also reported on a lawsuit that alleges that some immigrant children being held were forcibly injected with psychiatric drugs to make them more docile.

These aren't new problems. They didn't start with Trump, and if nothing is done, they won't end with him, either.

We are live from NYC's LaGuardia Airport where Trump admin has sent immigrant children separated from their parents. We are here to witness where they are taking them. (Rafael Shimunov) sign up for call bit.ly/actionready

Posted by Working Families Party on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It seems now more than any other time in recent history, people really are paying attention — and taking action.

Those who showed up at LaGuardia are evidence of that. And if that focus remains, systemic change of America's broke, cruel immigration system is possible.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Wikiimages by Pixabay, Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich/Twitter

The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

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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.

Welcometoterranova 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 "Welcometoterranova-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.