With a brighter light shed on police brutality in the killings of unarmed black men and women including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, communities have rallied worldwide to protest, raise awareness, donate funds, and sound off. There's so much information going around, both via TV news and on the Web, and with some being credible---some not-so-much---it's good to have a resource to help you make sound decisions on how to further the cause and show support.
Though laws have been enacted, offenders have been jailed and charged, and legislators continue talk on police reform, there's still work to be done. Consider these 9 advocacy groups and organizations to keep the fight going:
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
The NAACP is definitely an OG in the civil rights game and has a proven track record of being a pivotal part of some of America's most landmark civil rights legislation. Their legal, educational, and advocacy impact is wide-reaching. You can even check out their track record for results here.
Color of Change
With more than 1.7 million members, this advocacy and rights organization puts action behind words to get results. Recent victories include gathering more than 40,000 members in calling for the further investigation in the death of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed woman who was shot by police in Louisville, Kentucky. They were also successful in garnering 35,000 supporters to advocate for cybersecurity protections against racism related to Zoom. Subsequently Zoom hired its first chief diversity officer to address issues of hate related to cyberbullying. They've also been active in fighting against predatory loan practices, cyber discrimination and racism, and discriminatory practices related to COVID-19 resources. Find out how you can join, create a campaign or support an existing one here.
This is another organization that has a long-standing history (more than 90 years) and proven track record of sparking legislative and organizational change in the realm of human rights. They have provided legal resources, resource and support issues of women's, LGBT's, and criminal justice rights. They have been active in advocating for victims of police brutality and their families by actively supporting protesters, initiating legal action and facilitating hearings to demand reforms. For more information on their work and how you can help, click here.
The LGBTQ Freedom Fund
Brutality and discrimination against the LGBTQ community is real and has affected millions around the world. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted. The LGBTQ Freedom Fund provides resources, advocacy, and financial aid to those who have been held in jails or immigration detention centers awaiting trial. It also raises awareness about issues of poverty, criminal sentencing, homelessness, and sexual assault against LGBTQ individuals. For more information on how you can volunteer at a chapter near you or donate, click here.
National Bail Fund Network
Celebrities and activists alike have put their money where their mouths are in the form of giving to bail funds. This is indeed important because protest leaders and participants can face arrest and the possibility of criminal charges. The National Bail Fund Network platform provides a quick and easy way to find local organizations that are providing bail fund services to those in need. Check out their listing to see how you can make a targeted impact here.
COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network
With the added challenge of COVID-19-related hardships, especially for minority communities, this area of activism goes hand in hand with human rights. This network, sparked by the efforts of two medical students who saw the need well before the pandemic hit, is made up of volunteers who fight for healthcare access equity for underserved communities by providing educational, financial, and skills resources. It's very clear that the more one can empower communities, the stronger communities are to sustain activism efforts in other areas. For more on how you can donate or find a chapter near you, click here.
Equal Justice Initiative
Fighing to end mass incarceration, racial inequity in the legal system, and excessive punishment for crimes in the U.S. is what this org is all about. Add to that that it's run by savvy lawyer Bryan Stevenson, who was depicted by everyone's fantasy bae, actor Michael B. Jordan in Just Mercy. More than 130 wrongfully condemned death-row inmates have found relief, conviction reversals, or release with the help of this organization, and hundreds more who have been wrongly convicted or sentenced have gotten justice. For more on how to support, visit their website.
Loveland Foundation Therapy Fund
It's true that lack of access to qualtiy mental healthcare is a major problem in communities of color, so empowering women and girls through connecting them to mental health education and resources is not only commendable---it's literally an act of divine love. Founder Rachel Cargle turned a birthday wish into a widespread movement and now has a nationwide collaborative network of mental health professionals, experts and advocacy groups to offer services to those in need. To find out how you can donate to help someone get the counseling and resources they need or how you can become a local advocate, click here.
Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute
This organization not only fights against voter suppression, it also provides organizational training for advocacy groups and movements, policy initiative advocacy for changes in legislation and practices, and support resources for organizers fighting for voting rights. Visit their website to find out more about how to donate or volunteer.
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
If there’s one part of the face that seems to be the most vexing to correct, it’s the under eyes.
This delicate area has a way of being tipped off by our irregular sleep patterns, stress, and the straining that comes from our computers and phone screens. From puffiness to dark circles, it can be irksome to find the right products to soothe our under-eye concerns. Thankfully, there’s one solution that delivers a brighter and more awakened look over time, and that’s under-eye masks and eye patches.
Eye patches are giving our under-eye bags an eviction notice because they can’t hang our glowing faces rent-free. The beauty of these patches is that they are designed to bring your eyes targeted results through concentrated doses of active ingredients directly to the skin under the eyes. Typically made of thin, gel-like material and infused with ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, and even green teas, these small but mighty patches depuff your puffiness, brighten your dark circles, or tighten fine lines.
While every under-eye differs in its needs, every eye can benefit from an under-eye mask or patch that suits its concerns. And to help, we’ve put together the best under-eye patches to hydrate, soothe, and brighten your eyes.
The KNC Beauty All Natural Retinol Infused Eye Mask, 5-Pack, is a retinol-infused, all-natural product designed to rejuvenate your eyes. It promises to provide hydration, smoothness, reduced puffiness, and brightness without the use of chemicals. With ingredients like retinol to refine skin texture and stimulate blood flow and aloe to soothe and reduce redness, it's like getting 8 hours of beauty sleep for your eyes.
These cooling hydrogel under-eye masks from Topicals promise to fade the appearance of dark circles and discoloration in just 15 minutes. The set includes six masks and offers benefits that brighten, hydrate, depuff, and cool your under-eye area.
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Brightening Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
Grab these eye contour gel patches to brighten the eye area and combat signs of aging using a powerful form of vitamin C called THD Ascorbate, which is 50 times more potent than traditional vitamin C.
BeautyBio's Bright Eyes consists of 15 colloidal silver-infused eye gel patches designed to provide instant depuffing, brightening, and revitalization to the delicate eye area within 10 minutes. They also contain natural collagen to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, which we love.
These viral hydrogel masks offer moisture and nourishment to rejuvenate tired-looking skin. Their Snail Secretion Filtrate contains "Mucin," an effective moisturizing ingredient that soothes damaged skin and delivers deep hydration, making it suitable for dehydrated and damaged skin types. Your under-eyes will thank you.
Try these caffeine-infused patches to reduce puffiness in the under-eye area. The product features clean, vegan ingredients such as caffeine, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid for deep hydration and moisture delivery.
The Forever Eye Mask is designed to be the “last eye mask you'll ever need.” This thin, lightweight, and reusable eye patch can hold gels, serums, and creams close to the skin for better absorption, helping your skincare products work more effectively.
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