It’s been another wild week. I mean—wow. Some days, it’s almost impossible to believe what’s happening. We’re living in very interesting times … times of transition and growth. It may feel painful and seem ugly, but I truly believe that the ultimate direction is a positive one. The awakening of the fierce and compassionate students in Florida has been stunning and inspiring to watch. My favorite tweet of the week goes to English teacher @JenAnsbach who wrote, “I’m not sure why people are so surprised that the students are rising up—we’ve been feeding them a steady diet of dystopian literature showing teens leading the charge for years. We have told teen girls they are empowered. What? You thought it was fiction? It was preparation.” Hell, yeah. And in case you need a little extra boost of inspiration, check out this article from Slate, Student Teachers: The teenagers from Stoneman Douglas are fearlessly reimagining how to effect change in the Trump era. These are some important and immediately applicable insights.
In local good news:
- Local higher ed institutions are standing with the Parkland students: If you’re a student disciplined for a gun protest, BU and MIT say it won’t hurt your chances
- Andover High School students walk out of class to bring attention to gun violence
- Federal Judge Blocks Construction of Bayou Bridge Pipeline – Pipeline construction would “irreparably harm” Atchafalaya Basin
- 236 Mayors Urge EPA Not to Repeal U.S. Clean Power Plan – The mayors, representing 51 million people across 47 states, told Scott Pruitt the emissions rules are needed to protect their cities from climate change.
- Outdoor Recreation Is a Bigger Economic Booster Than Mining
- In Blow to Monsanto, Arkansas Ban on Controversial Herbicide to Remain
- One Million Trees Pledged to ‘Trump Forest’ to Offset President’s Anti-Climate Agenda
- China reassigns 60,000 soldiers to plant trees in bid to fight pollution – Area to be planted by the end of the year is roughly the size of Ireland
- Montana won’t allow Yellowstone grizzly bear hunts in 2018
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- After Parkland, Steyer pledges $1M to register high schoolers to vote – Steyer, they seriously rich guy who is collecting signatures to impeach His Orangeness, is putting some of his money to good use.
- Pa. gerrymandering case: State Supreme Court releases new congressional map for 2018 elections
- There are over 500 women running for office in 2018
- More Than Twice As Many Women Are Running For Congress In 2018 Compared With 2016
- Democrat Linda Belcher Takes Deep-Red Kentucky Seat, the 37th Flip Since Trump’s Inauguration – Trump won this district by 50 points. Linda Belcher just took this Kentucky House seat by 36—an 86-point turnaround. (More from The Hill)
- In the brilliant category: Black voter registration effort launched at ‘Black Panther’ screenings
And here’s what’s happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice front:
- While it’s not good news that an American president has made this list, we’re glad at least that someone’s calling him out: Amnesty accuses President Trump of human rights violations
- ‘Black Panther’ blows past $500 million at the global box office after one week in US theaters. Bravo! My daughter and I just saw this yesterday, and I will definitely go see it again. SO worth it on SO many levels. It’s breaking all kinds of records.
- These Photos Of Black Kids Watching ‘Black Panther’ Highlight Why This Film Was Needed – Pure Joy.
- 1921 Tulsa Race Riot curriculum to be taught statewide
- Inspired/pressured by the wave of activism sparked by the Parkland, Florida students, many major companies are severing their ties with the NRA, including: Hertz & Avis; MetLife; FedEx, Norton, and Wyndham Hotels; Omaha Bank; Symantec; First National Bank; Chubb Insurance; Enterprise and Alamo car rental companies; and United Airlines and Delta.
- Appalled by 45’s support for an idiotic school safety strategy that relies on arming school staff, teachers struck back with a clever #ArmMeWith campaign that highlights what they really need: more books, more counselors, and dry erase markers. Priorities, people. Priorities.
- Parkland Shooting Survivors Just Proved Only Teens Should Interview Politicians —During CNN’s #StudentsStandUp event last night, some survivors from the Parkland shooting questioned politicians in a way we’re not used to seeing.
- National Gun Reform Group Gains 75,000 New Volunteers After Florida Shooting
- Clooney, Winfrey and Spielberg Donate Money for March Against Gun Violence
- Prominent Republican Donor Issues Ultimatum on Assault Weapons
- Supreme Court leaves in place California’s 10-day wait for gun buyers, rejects 2nd Amendment challenge
- We’re still not fans, but at least Florida Gov. Rick Scott moves to bar people under 21 and mentally ill from buying guns
- Oregon legislature passes bill strengthening state’s gun laws
- Meet Melissa Harville-Lebron, the first black woman to own a NASCAR team.
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia investigation front:
- First, here’s a nice wrap up, compliments of the NYT: More than 100 charges. 19 people. 3 companies: The Mueller Inquiry, Explained.
- New indictment accuses Manafort of paying European politicians
- Rick Gates, Trump Campaign Aide, Pleads Guilty in Mueller Inquiry and Will Cooperate
- Trump-Russia inquiry: lawyer who worked with Manafort pleads guilty to lying to FBI
- Mueller’s interest in Kushner grows to include foreign financing efforts
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- Random goodness of the feline variety: Cat Wanders Into Third-Grade Class — And Decides He’s Never Leaving – No one knows where he came from, but he changed everything for the students
- Amy Poehler Told the National Rifle Association to F— Off … The NRA tried to use a gif from Parks and Recreation on Twitter.
- Twitter just purged ‘Russian bots’, and Trump fans are crying as their followers vanish
- Pathetic, with a capital “P” – This photo of Trump’s notes captures his empathy deficit better than anything
- Merriam-Webster throws shade after 45 misplaces a crucial apostrophe. Yes, we’re judging you.
- Dallas official to NRA: Take your convention elsewhere
- Students who survived massacre refuse to pose for photo op with Trump
“Mass State House Dome”: Photo Credit: twiga_swala Flickr via Compfight cc“Planet Earth”: From Morguefile
“Planet Earth”: From Morguefile
“I Voted”: standing8 Flickr via Compfight cc
“Blind Justice”: Government of Prince Edward Island Flickr via Compfight cc
“Russia Sickle”: AK Rockefeller Flickr via Compfight cc
“Snark Kitty”: Gratisography