There’s a lot of noise out there. The world is moving fast, and passions are at an all-time high. We think the best way forward is to read, listen, and, when you get fired up about something, don’t just sit there, do something about it! Here are a few stories in the news that have left us moved, troubled, or inspired us to take action right now!
Time Magazine Names #MeToo ‘Silence Breakers’ Person of the Year
Despite the fact that Donald Trump declared last week that he was “PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year,’ like last year,” but “passed” on the opportunity (Time has strongly denied this), Time instead named the 2017 person of the year what a Washington Post analysis has called “basically the opposite of Trump.” With this selection, Time is recognizing the women behind the #MeToo movement, which has sought to provide a platform for women to feel supported and encouraged to speak out about and stand up against sexual harassment and assault.
Stella McCartney to Fashion Industry: Stop Being So Wasteful!
Fast fashion is all the rage now. With thousands of on-trend pieces lining the walls and virtual racks everywhere from H&M to Forever 21 to Asos and even Costco, it’s easy to fall prey to buying, wearing, and discarding by next season, piece after piece of clothing. Aside from the fact that the garment workers making these clothes (80 percent of whom are women 18-24 years old) are often exposed to deplorable working conditions for shockingly low pay, the “throwaway nature” of today’s fashion industry is a total disaster for the environment. Top fashion designer Stella McCartney has been a longtime leader in the world of sustainable fashion, proving that luxury clothing doesn’t have to wreak havoc on the environment. Now she’s teaming up with Ellen MacArthur‘s foundation and calling on her industry to take a look at the waste they’re creating and do something about it. What you can do right now: Think before you shop! Buy your clothes from ethical, sustainable brands who are doing their part to minimize their impact on the environment. And whatever you do, don’t send your unwanted clothes to the landfill. Donate them!
Sports Illustrated Recognizes Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award
No matter where you stand in the great To Kneel or Not to Kneel debate of 2017, there’s no denying that Colin Kaepernick put a whole lot on the line when he decided to kneel down for what he believes in. Kaepernick first refused to stand for the national anthem in 2016, in protest of racial injustice and recent police killings of unarmed black men. Sport’s Illustrated’s Michael Rosengarden wrote of Kaepernick: “In the last 16 months, Kaepernick’s truth has been twisted, distorted and used for political gain. It has cost him at least a year of his NFL career and the income that should have come with it. But still, it is his truth. He has not wavered from it. He does not regret speaking it. He has caused millions of people to examine it. And, quietly, he has donated nearly a million dollars to support it.” For this, Kaepernick has been given Sports Illustrated’s annual award, which recognizes “a figure who embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and has used sports as a platform for changing the world.”
What you can do right now: Don’t be afraid to stand up (or kneel) for what you believe in, even it’s not always the popular decision. Support veterans (who protesters have been quick to emphasize they mean no disrespect to) by donating to the Wounded Warrior Project or one of the many other charities that support veterans. Support Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp or one of the numerous charities he has donated nearly $1 million to over the course of the past year.
Women Are Running for Office in Record Numbers (And Winning!)
41-year-old pacifist environmentalist Katrin Jakobsdottir is making headlines after being elected Iceland’s next prime minister. The chairwoman of the Left-Green Movement will govern in coalition with two other parties. Meanwhile, here at home, the number of women seeking elected office is rising across the country and at every level of government, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers.
What you can do right now: Join the race! If you’ve ever considered running for office, now’s the time to throw your hat in the ring. Support She Should Run and Putting Women in Their Place, two organizations committed to getting more women into elected office.
More from Make It Better:
- 7 Ways to Give Back With Local Organizations This Holiday Season
- Domestic Violence is Happening in Your Community — Far More Often Than You Think
- 35 Simple Acts of Kindness That Will Make Someone’s Day — and Yours Too
Editor in Chief of Make It Better, Brooke McDonald is a Chicago native and Northwestern University grad who spent a decade away from home working for O, The Oprah Magazine and Shape magazine in NYC, and getting her master’s degree in English literature and working in book publishing in London. Back home in Chicago, she’s outnumbered by her husband and two boys, and the four of them are certifiable Disney and Star Wars fanatics. Other obsessions include Charles Dickens, wine and authentic Neapolitan pizza. Her favorite cause to support is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.