A beacon of light: The Russian LGBT Network is providing a glimmer of hope for the crisis in Chechnya. The Russian Republic garnered global attention when reports of gay men being rounded up and forced into concentration camps began to unfold. Russian President, Vladimir Putin has been mute on the situation, so local LGBTQ advocates intervened and rescued at least 40 men. Despite the victory, the anti-gay hostility hasn’t ebbed with claims that the government has issued death threats to gay men and rumors that Chechen President, Ramzan Kadyrov, wants them all purged by the start of Ramadan.
Down the drain: According to the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the island nation’s drinking water is at an all-time low in terms of safety. It gets worse. In 2015, it was reported that 99.5 perfect of the population came into contact with lead-contaminated water that was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Many of the toxins include cancer-causing pollutants and harmful bacteria that put the more than 2.4 million people’s lives at risk. As a U.S. territory, it’s up to the EPA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s government to find a solution.
Don’t fix something that isn’t broken: In a remarkably close vote of 51 to 49, the Senate has decided to keep an Obama-era climate change rule. The legislation on the table was whether or not to repeal a law that curbed methane emissions. Republicans Sen. John McCain, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Susan Collins reached across the aisle to back the Dems in shutting down the GOP’s proposal.
Tough Crowd: The 2017 graduating class of Bethune-Cookman, a historically black university, taught Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, a lesson as she delivered their commencement speech. Critics have called DeVos extremely unqualified for her job, and she that she was uninformed on issues of diversity after erroneously referring to HBCUs as an example of “school choice.” In reality, black students didn’t have a choice. Black communities made their own schools of higher learning because Jim Crow laws barred them from attending college with white students. During her speech, the students booed her and half of them stood up and turned their backs while she spoke—priceless.
Giving you wings: RedBull has aligned itself with a social movement to redefine gender norms for women. In the brand’s series MAVENS, cameras document the lives of influential women who are making a difference in their community. In the most recent episode, the owner of the clothing company Wildfang , Emma McIlroy, talks about breaking the glass ceiling and self-expression.
Restless Youth: Yesterday, VICE magazine had a launch party to celebrate its latest issue, Restless Youth, which is all about young people taking action on local, national, and global problems. During the event, there was a panel of activist experts including New York City Councilmember Rafael Espinal; Executive Director of Equality for HER, Blair Imani; deputy director of the National Partnership for New Americans, Tara Raghuveer; and Impact’s very own Director of Advocacy, Nick Carter (no relation to that boy band from the ’90s). The panel opened up a community dialogue on the importance of young people getting involved in activism and making the difference that they want to see. Stay tuned for more.