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Extraordinary, positive changes are happening all around the world and are often overlooked. Come in and get inspired as we showcase the uplifting news stories you might have otherwise missed.



 



Crazywise: A Filmmaker Explores the Heart of Mental Illness

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Phil Borges is a dentist-turned-photographer, author, filmmaker and social change storyteller. For more than 25 years, he has been documenting indigenous and tribal cultures in some of the world's most remote, inaccessible areas. His recent film Crazywise reveals a paradigm shift that's challenging the way Western culture defines and treats "mental illness" and highlights a survivor-led movement demanding more choices from a mental health care system in crisis. The film explores cultural differences with respect to consciousness, mental health and the relevance of Shamanic traditional practices and beliefs to those of us living in the modern world. More on Phil's journey in this in-depth interview.



Designing for the Circular Economy

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700

What do you do with a toaster when you no longer want it? Until recently, no one thought about that question until the toaster was ready for the scrap heap. Today, designers at the London-based Agency of Design are turning that practice on its head. As advocates of a circular economy, they believe that the best time to address end-of-life issues is when a product is first being designed and that items like your toaster should be thought of not as a disposable appliances but as products with value worth preserving. Read on to learn how these designers helping to keep products out of landfills even before they fly off the shelves.



Broadway Theater Gives Troubled Teens a Second Act

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700

When we transform troubled youth, we change their futures and our our own. But how to reach them? Stargate Theater in New York City has a novel approach: it pays court-involved and at-risk youth to script and stage performance pieces. This process gives youths the opportunity to express themselves while aiming to reduce recidivism, teach literacy, and provide valuable work experience for their resumes. When Christopher Thompson first arrived at Stargate, he was shut down, had poor posture, and failed to hold his head high. The program helped him express his emotions, become more confident, and have hope for the future. It was a step in the right direction at a time when he needed it most -- something we should be offering more to kids in need. Read on for full story.



Earth Guardians: Responding to Global Crisis

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Since he was a kid, indigenous environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez understood that all life is sacred and "each and every one of us is deeply connected not only to each other but to the world around us." At 6 years old, he saw Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary "The 11th Hour" and recognized that climate change is happening and that he has to do more. Now a teenager, Xiuthezcatl is the Youth Director of Earth Guardians, inspiring youth to understand their role as caretakers of the Earth. Earth Guardians stand up for the Earth, Water, Air, and Atmosphere so that current generations and those that follow will inherit a healthy and habitable planet. Now Earth Guardian crews are on 6 different continents and creating real change, including lawsuits demanding climate recovery plans, acting as part of Generation RYSE.



Yoga Shala West: Moving From Transaction to Trust

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Pranidhi Varshney founded Yoga Shala West (YSW) "to create an environment for practice that was inclusive to all people, regardless of financial barriers." She aimed to move away from the transactional and image-driven nature of contemporary yoga, opting instead for an alternative fee structure and community-based social enterprise model. At YSW, "each student is not paying for his or her own practice. Rather, all students are contributing what they can to the community so that all of us may thrive in practice. The fee structure is set up in a flexible manner. In this way, we are moving from transaction to trust." In this interview, Pranidhi talks about her journey that led to the creation of YSW, and what it takes to build a social enterprise based on inclusiveness rather than just profit. Through all her work, she aims to inspire, provoke, build community, and ultimately touch the heart.



Thu Nguyen: The Creative Act of Healing

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Thu Nguyen's life trajectory has far from predictable. Her father left before she was born. As a child she relocated with her mother from Vietnam to Canada as a refugee. She won an engineering scholarship, landed a prestigious career in high tech. Then, not once, but twice, a sobering health diagnosis would force her to take stock and shift gears. The first time it was diabetes, and her quest for health took her back to Vietnam, turned her into a food writer, and published author before returning her to high tech. The second time it was a pre-cancer diagnosis. In search of healing she discovered meditation, and numerous alternative healing modalities -- modalities that allowed her to start an inside out transformative process that reconnected her within and without. Today she is a tech entrepreneur with a passion for service. Read more about her journey.



The Newscaster Who Wouldn't Give Up On A Foster Child

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700

For 25 years, retiring newscaster Gloria Campos has profiled foster children who were waiting to be adopted in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on the "Wednesday's Child" television segment at WFAA-TV. Campos estimates that, over the years, she has featured more than 350 children, 75 percent of whom were adopted thanks to her reporting. But of all those children, there was one young boy whose story she would not soon forget that of Ke'onte Cook. In 2007, Campos featured spunky, well-spoken, 8-year-old Ke'onte on her program. He was adopted shortly after the segment, but unfortunately it didn't work out and he went back into the foster care system, where he bounced from home to home. After learning about his unfortunate situation, Campos featured Ke'onte again in August 2009. This time, Carol and Scott Cook were watching, and they knew that Ke'onte was meant to be their son.