We need something positive: Teenagers take BASKETBALL HOOP to the streets to help ease tensions

Stephania Ergemlidze and a group of some friends used the power of sport to find a common ground to ease the anger and confrontation in their home city of Philadelphia following the killing of George Floyd. The teenagers took the basketball hoop to the streets and encouraged the protesters to join them in a few shots to ease the tensions. To ensure safety, the teenagers brought sanitizers to be used to clean hands and the ball. Ergemlidze stated her aim as peacefully bringing people together and spread love through basketball.

Tensions were thought to subside as small crowds gathered to watch the game. A police officer was among those whom the teenagers encouraged to throw a few shots.

This initiative aimed to bring peace through sports.

Picture retrieved from RT Question More

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Take-What-You-Need’ pantry

Stacy Mason, an ICU nurse at Mary Washington Healthcare, Virginia started a pantry, first in the ICU nurses’ break room and later, created one for the entire healthcare. Those that extra donated to the pantries and those in need got food from them. Mason came up with the idea after she saw that the supplies in the grocery stores were dindling due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Those who had the capacity provided food for those that needed it.

Even those at the frontline fighting the pandemic still looked out for those who needed extra support with food.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

PHLConnectED: Connecting K-12 students to the internet

Business and civic leaders in Philadelphia worked together to ensure that over 35,000 K-12 students can learn online through PHLConnectED. The aim of the project was to provide eligible K-12 households with high-speed internet, ensure K-12 public school students have the devices they need(laptop or tablet), and offer outreach digital navigation and digital skills training for those who needed them.

Picture retrieved from phila.gov

K-12 students were able to learn remotely for the fall semester and beyond.

PHLConnectED addressed the lack of internet by providing families with wired, high-speed, reliable internet from Comcast’s Internet Essentials program or a high-speed mobile hotspot for families who are housing-insecure. Also, racial equity and poverty were addressed by provided internet for all needy households.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Protest Sign Made by Third Grader Inspires the Nation When it Mysteriously Travels to Protests

In response to the death of George Floyd, the principal of Lake Country, Minneapolis, asked the students to join their feelings with those in the streets by making signs and sharing them with the school community. Mathias Brinda, a third-grader made a huge sign that said “If you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” This sign was hunged on the school fence, but it went missing. It later showed up at two different sites- in front of a spray-painted image of Floyd and in the possession of three children.

Picture retrieved from Good News Network

The sign inspired the nation- at least the one who took the sign from the fence, the Black man who kneeled by it in front of Floyd’s image and the three children who held it up while raising their fists- and everyone else who read the story of the sign.

Wisdom and inspiration from the lips of children.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Share a smile with Handmade cards for hospitalized patients

We are two brothers Hurshneet and Pravneet Chadha who started the initiative of Project Smile AZ to spread smiles and hope to patients who have been fighting COVID-19 all alone in the hospitals and anyone who is in need of a smile! With hospital rules to limit visitors, patients are extremely lonely and need a cheer me up thought. That’s exactly what our smile cards do!! We have more than 4000 Smile cards and have been donating them to hospitals across the US. Our goal is to bring a smile to everyone from A to Z.

More than 4500 Handmade cards have been shared to patients in hospitals, Veteran homes and to Navajo nation. We have made 130 kits for kids with card making and art supplies and shared them to friends at the Crisis center of Arizona and ACCEL centre for children and adults with disabilities like autism, who enjoy making cards from supplies. its a win win for those making the cards and those receiving it. The positive feedback from hospital staff and patients who have received these cards has been the biggest reward.

We learnt that we can always do something with where we are and with what we have to make the world better. We were stuck at home and did not have much supplies except some paper, cardstock and markers . We started off with a 100 card and soon made it to 4000 plus. Our messages brought that many smiles to patients who were lonely in hospital. Second lesson we learnt is that together we can make a big difference. Very soon after the initiative many people started regularly donating cards to our cause which helped make a bigger impact.

Story shared by Hurshneet Chadha, USA

More info here or at projectsmileaz@gmail.com

High School Students Are Demanding Schools Teach More Black History, Include More Black Authors

Three high school students, strangers to each other and separated by miles, launch a campaign to demand that schools teach more Black history, include more Black authors in the English syllabi, and other reforms that promote racial equity. The teenagers are using social media to plan reformers, to pressure school officials, and to access inspiration from other activists.

Picture retrieved from Black Children’s Books and Authors (BCBA)

They hope the reforms will promote racial equity.

The success of these efforts will promote racial equity.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Neighbors Harvest Crops for North Dakota Farmer Who Had Heart Attack

After a farmer in North Dakota, suffered a heart attack while harvesting his crops, between 40-50 neighbors organized to complete the harvesting while the neighbor was at the hospital. The neighbors realized that without their help, the 1,000 acres of crops would be spoiled and that would both a personal and financial loss to their neighborhood.

Picture from National Geographic

Within 7 hours, the crops were harvested and stored in bins. Importantly, the Unhjem family was comforted to know they had neighbors who prayed and cared for them when they were most in need.

This story shows the power of the community spirit.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

St. Xavier student creates website for grocery delivery during the pandemic

To help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, Trip Wright, a 17th-year-old college student in Cincinnati, created the zoomfooddeliver.com organization. The aim was to provide safe and free grocery deliveries to the elder and those who could not get to the stores because they were susceptible to contracting the virus. Within two weeks, Wright had recruited 70 volunteers and had fulfilled 30 orders. Between his online classes, Wright checked emails and orders so as to correspond between those in need and the volunteers.

The elderly and those susceptible to the coronavirus in Wright’s community could stay at home and have groceries delivered to them for free.

Creative ways to cater to the needs of those susceptible to the coronavirus while keeping them safe.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

NYC Opens Special Centers for Kids of Healthcare and Other Essential Workers on the Front

The New York state school system set up regional enrichment centers for children of front-line works. In these centers, the children do their homework in spaced-out desks, eat three hot meals and learn how to protect themselves from COVID. These centers served the children’s needs while their parents fought COVID-19 at the forefront as medical personnel or as essential workers.

Picture retrieved from Good News Network

8,000 children continued their learning, were well-fed, and learned protective measures against COVID-19. Essential workers were freed up and so, they were able to continue the life-saving work.

Economic inequalities were minimized because the centers were open for all parents who needed the service for their children.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Face masks designed for the deaf and hard of hearing community

College senior Ashley Lawrence noticed that the masks that were being made did not cater to the needs of those that are deaf and hard on hearing. Ashley, who is majoring in deaf education decided to design masks with transparent screens around the mouth. The transparent screen enabled those who can lipread to read the lips of the mask wearer. They also ensure the people see more of the facial expressions of the wearer.

Images retrieved from DiversityNursing Blog

Masks that were sensitive to the needs of the deaf and the hard in the hearing were designed. Ashley reports that many people reached out to ask for the masks.

The importance of looking out for the needs of the marginalized, those that are easily overlooked.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu