Malala Yousafzai is surviving the pandemic by starting a book club

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Read “White Teeth” with the Nobel Prize-winning advocate for girl’s education. Growing up in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai was denied an education as Taliban forces invaded and stopped girls from going to school. She became an outspoken activist for girl’s education . In response, she was shot by the Taliban in October 2012, when she was 15. She survived, and went on to develop a global platform—and win the Nobel Peace Prize. This year, she completed her education at Oxford University. Read Full Story

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This nonprofit pays former gang members to go to college—now it’s helping families survive the pandemic

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College Bound Dorchester has started offering stipends to give former gang members a small basic income so they don’t have financial worries while finishing their education. Now it’s expanded its stipend program to 125 families in need. Four years ago, Naomie Charles, who grew up in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, started college—a milestone for the mother of two who had experienced homelessness, incarceration, abusive relationships, and other obstacles that had long held her back. Now 32, Charles is set to graduate from Southern New Hampshire University, and though the coronavirus pandemic has changed what that graduation will look like, the people at College Bound Dorchester, the Boston-based nonprofit that supported her throughout her education, will still be there, as they always have. Read Full Story

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This doula raised $3 million to build a digital platform for reproductive education

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With a $3 million seed round under her belt, Loom cofounder and CEO Erica Chidi is the rare Black woman to have raised more than $1 million in venture capital. After a stint in the fashion industry, Erica Chidi was looking for her next move. She had tried on a number of hats, from art curation to a culinary degree, but nothing stuck. When she started looking into nursing programs and learned about doulas, something clicked. “What I liked about it was doulas are like educators and advocates,” Chidi says. “One of my natural gifts is speaking and helping people understand things.” Read Full Story

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Inside the quest to reopen schools—by moving classes outside

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“Every kid at every grade level in every subject area can do the majority of their learning outside.” Sharon Danks has been working for more than 20 years to get school kids outdoors. As a trained landscape architect and urban planner, she says too many schools across the country ignore the educational and health benefits offered by the outdoor spaces of their campuses. This is something she’s been trying to change through her nonprofit Green Schoolyards America , based in Berkeley, California, and something that’s become an international topic of concern since the coronavirus pandemic caused the mass closure of schools. Read Full Story

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This org wants to mobilize a new fighter in the battle against climate change: Moms

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Moms overwhelmingly care about climate change. Science Moms wants to give them the information they need to educate their kids—and become activists themselves. As a scientist, Emily Fischer understands the climate crisis. She’s an associate professor in the atmospheric science department at Colorado State University who studies wildfire smoke. But she also thinks about the climate crisis through the lens of being a mother, and sometimes those worlds collide, like when she was backpacking with her family in August and had to run from the Cameron Peak Fire, the largest recorded wildfire in Colorado’s history. Read Full Story

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