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15 Aug Glass Half Full: a prominent climate scientist offers the gift of science-backed hope.

The world is making some progress in the battle against climate change, and it’s still possible to avoid the most devastating outcomes. “If all countries enacted and implemented their Paris Agreement pledges, the analyses indicate the world could limit heating to 1.9 degrees above preindustrial levels,” said Gonzalez. (Under the agreement, nations agreed to take measures to limit warming to well below 2 degrees and ideally below 1.5 degrees, the threshold beyond which scientists say more severe effects will proliferate.) There are measures to celebrate: Between 2009 and 2018, the world doubled renewable energy capacity globally, adding solar, wind and other renewable energy equivalent to 3,200 coal plants. The U.S. actually cut carbon emissions between 2005 and 2019. What is the effect of each household turning off a 100-watt lightbulb?” asked Gonzalez. “That’s 100 million households approximately, 100 watts per household, that’s about 10 gigawatts. That’s about 10 nuclear power plants. And more to the point, that’s about 27 coal-fired power plants. So, go to your light switch, turn it off. If everybody does that, we just did away with 27 coal-fired plants. That is the power of combining many small actions.” Read more about how you can make an impact here....

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08 Aug Researchers: Suicide Risk Is 3 Times Greater When LGBTQ+ Youth Suffer Trauma

The Trevor Project on Thursday released new research into the relationship between trauma and suicide among LGBTQ+ youth, a relationship the advocacy group says has been understudied. What their scientists concluded from available data is that LGBTQ+ youth who suffer major individual trauma may be more likely to self-harm. To start, The Trevor Project says its research has demonstrated that protective factors, such as building resilience to cope with traumatic events, experiencing family acceptance, and placing youth in LGBTQ-affirming environments can make a difference. Read more about the research findings here....

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01 Aug Abortion Moves Up on “Most Important Problem” List

When Americans are asked to name the most important problem facing the U.S., 8% of the resulting mentions focus on abortion. While not high on an absolute basis, this is the highest such percentage since Gallup began tracking mentions of abortion in 1984. Additionally, another 6% of Americans name a related issue -- problems with the nation's judicial system and courts. Abortion ranks behind three other issues on the "most important" list in Gallup's July 5-26 update. Inflation (17%) and dysfunctional government or bad leadership (17%) top the list, with another 12% of Americans making general complaints about the economy. In addition to specific mentions of inflation, 5% of respondents mention fuel and gas prices. Read more about the statistics here....

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25 Jul Virtual Bookshelf: Disability Pride Month

Celebrate Disability Pride Month and the contributions of disabled Americans by exploring NEH-funded projects that expand disability access and research and support the teaching and preservation of disability history and experience. NEH celebrates the July 26, 1990, passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on disability. Modeled on other civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, sex, color, age, national origin, or religion, the ADA guarantees Americans with disabilities the right “to equal opportunity.” A person with disability is defined by the ADA as a person with “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.” For more information, read here....

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18 Jul Supporting Your Team’s Mental Health After a Violent News Event

After violent events like these, everyone’s mental health is affected. Even if you weren’t physically present, the trauma is still real. Combined with a constant news cycle and the tendency to doomscroll on social media, this can lead to increased stress and anxiety. Violence and the fear of violence causes both trauma and toxic stress, which are contributing factors to mental health conditions. All of that doesn’t magically go away when we’re at work. Read here for ways that managers and leaders can support their people and themselves through violent, devastating events....

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11 Jul What can donor organizers do right now for abortion rights?

We are so grateful for the powerful networks of reproductive justice organizers and advocacy organizations in our region and urge you to turn your attention and support to them at this time. Abortion funds in our region include the Northwest Abortion Access Fund which serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington; the Susan Wicklund Fund in Montana; and Chelsea’s Fund in Idaho. The names of these organizations are linked directly to pages where you can donate in support. We are only as strong as our communities, and so we also strongly encourage you to support our friends at Seeding Justice by donating to their Oregon Reproductive Health Equity Fund. The reproductive justice movement has deep roots first and foremost in the Black feminist tradition. In that spirit, we recommend supporting and learning from Surge Reproductive Justice locally (Seattle) and nationally from SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Read more here....

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05 Jul LGBTQIA+ Access to Healthcare and the Social, Economic, and Overall Health impacts of COVID-19

Public Health — Seattle & King County is monitoring changes in key economic, social, and other health indicators resulting from strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19. Just as the pandemic has had disparate impacts on parts of our population, mitigation measures present more hardship for some members of our community than others. The economic, social, and health impacts data project helps inform strategies and policies to minimize those harms and maximize outcomes for all residents of King County. Inequities in healthcare access based on gender identity and sexual orientation continue to be a public health concern. Read more about what resources are available here....

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27 Jun Roe v. Wade Overturned: Supreme Court Gives States the Right to Outlaw Abortion

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO). The ruling upheld Mississippi’s ban on abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy, overturned Roe v. Wade, and ended the federal constitutional right to abortion in the United States. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court erased nearly 50 years of precedent. They took away our power to make our own personal medical decisions, and they gave that power to lawmakers. The court’s decision most harms Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other people of color — communities for whom systemic racism has long blocked access to opportunity and health care. Read more here....

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19 Jun Ways to celebrate and serve Juneteenth

June 19, 2022 marks the second annual observance of Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Organizers nationwide are kicking off a week of festivities commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. and championing the ongoing struggle for equity and justice. Though Juneteenth -- June 19th—is newly minted as an official holiday, many African American communities have celebrated the date for generations. Getting the event federally sanctioned took years of hard effort. In her nineties, civil rights activist Opal Lee hosted an annual 2.5-mile walk to demand Juneteenth's national recognition and also honor the seldom-told history of some 250,000 enslaved in Galveston, Texas who did not learn of their freedom until two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Read more here. ...

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13 Jun June 12 is Loving Day — when interracial marriage finally became legal in the U.S.

When Richard and Mildred Loving awoke in the middle of the night a few weeks after their June, 1958 wedding, it wasn't normal newlywed ardor. There were policemen with flashlights in their bedroom. They'd come to arrest the couple. "They asked Richard who was that woman he was sleeping with? I say, I'm his wife, and the sheriff said, not here you're not. And they said, come on, let's go, Mildred Loving recalled that night in the HBO documentary The Loving Story. The Lovings had committed what Virginia called unlawful cohabitation. Their marriage was deemed illegal because Mildred was Black and Native American; and Richard was white. Their case went all the way to the Supreme Court. And on June 12, 1967, the couple won. Read more here....

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