It has been a very full, exciting week. Sarah is still exploring Arizona, my SO accepted an amazing job offer, which means a big level-up for job happiness, and I completed my first read of the year, making progress on my 2016 Reading Challenge! (It’s not too late to start your own challenge on Goodreads.)

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Homemade banana bread. Yum!

This week, I also tried a peanut butter chocolate chunk banana bread recipe (with pecans added) and it came out delicious. (I never bake, so this was big win for me.)

In exciting off-planet news: Pluto likely has mixed feelings about this, but there might be a new ninth planet in our solar system!

Many places of work were closed this past Monday, mine included, to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Tributes and think pieces asking “What would MLK think of America now?” or “Who would MLK vote for?” flooded my social feeds. This article by Jamil Smith does an excellent job of explaining why that kind of self-serving speculation is a harmful oversimplification of the issues.

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Google Doodle for MLK Day

If you missed seeing the movie Selma last year, I highly recommend it. Ava DuVernay perfectly recreated the 1965 marches for voting rights in Alabama, led by civil rights leaders, including MLK (portrayed in the film by the absolutely astounding, David Oyelowo). This film is a powerful, beautiful vision for how America can work and it should have won all the Oscars last year. Speaking of the Academy missing the mark: #OscarsSoWhite, anyone?

Maybe we should boycott the show and pressure advertisers to do the same. Or maybe the Academy should learn the lesson of history and change because it’s the right thing to do.

David Oyelowo was one of many actors and public figures that spoke out against the Academy’s continued lack of diversity this week. We can all plainly see the issue in the nominations, but Lexi Alexander gets to the heart of the problem and why the solution requires inclusion from top to bottom.

It seems the Academy has heard our collective outrage and plans to take steps towards more inclusion. Fingers crossed that they follow through with real actions & results!

This week, a presidential nominee spoke up about another injustice happening in America, and more people finally started paying attention. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a devastating tragedy. It’s heart-breaking that this was not major news from day one and that there has not been a stronger push for accountability in the local government.

Speaking up matters. It’s hard to face the injustice in the world, but change only happens if we speak up. It has happened before, like in Selma, despite roadblocks, actual and political, and despite disappointments, tragedies, and fatigue. You may not always be able to call a press conference or join a march, but don’t forget the most basic way to raise your individual voice for change.

If you wonder if you should speak up this week about something, big or small, I say go for it! And have a great week!

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