The People Of 2017 That Restored Our Faith In Humanity
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Politics and Activism

The People Of 2017 That Restored Our Faith In Humanity

Tough times don't last, but tough people do.

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The People Of 2017 That Restored Our Faith In Humanity
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It's easy to see the good in people when life is prosperous in every sense. However, only trying times can properly showcase the strength that lies within each and every one of us. It is from the very worst that the world has to offer that the most genuine and powerful beauty can be found.

I’ve taken a closer look at the year 2017 as a whole, and in the end, I’m very proud of what I’ve found. The inner strength that continues to shine through every individual both young and old in this country for the better of humanity has produced in me a hope for a brighter future.

The Silence Breakers

Creating a modern form of unity for a problem that has remained hidden behind closed doors for centuries, the hashtag #MeToo created a space of solidarity for people to share stories of abuse and harassment they feared to bring forth until now. Further emboldened by public figures like Ashley Judd, who spoke out on her unfortunate encounter with Harvey Weinstein, women and men across the globe have begun outing their abusers and bringing up harassment claims that go back decades. Thanks to the actors, journalists, musicians, and other individuals in the public eye, women everywhere now have a movement that encourages those with less prominence to use their voice.

The Dreamers

In September, Trump announced his decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which under the Obama administration granted young undocumented immigrants work permits as well as protection from deportation. The Dreamers that were children when the act was introduced are now college students or active members of the workforce with families of their own in the United States. The pressure now lies with Congress to codify DACA protections before they expire in March of 2018. Activists, which include the Dreamers, their families, and concerned citizens, have furiously lobbied and protested throughout the year, encouraging a “clean” DREAM Act that would offer a pathway for citizenship. At the end of the day, the fight is not for the individual, but against the separation of families.

The Kneelers

Started in 2016 by Colin Kaepernick, NFL players began kneeling during the national anthem this football season in defiance with Trump’s call for players to be fired for exercising their right to free speech during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The controversy that revolved around the kneeling NFL players succeeded in starting a conversation over police brutality and racism.

The Mental Health Educators

This year showcased artists such as Logic and Demi Lovato talking openly about their personal struggles with anxiety and depression. From documentaries, to songs like Logic’s “1-800-273-8255,” to emotionally vulnerable interviews and award speeches, musicians expressed an importance in highlighting the taboo that is commonly placed around discussing mental health.

The Voice of the Youth

This year, teenagers took to the streets, held political discussions online, and learned to contact their U.S. representatives for the first time to address a wide range of issues that sprouted through the course of 2017. Their direct and symbolic acts of protest against the Sanctuary and Muslim bans, against Anti-LGBTQ bigotry, for climate change awareness, for public education, and for women’s rights proved that one doesn’t have to wait till their 18th birthday to have a say in politics.

The Natural Disaster Volunteers

As entire neighborhoods flooded in the Houston area after Hurricane Harvey,
countless stories of locals helping one another surfaced. Many volunteers ventured into the storm with their own boats in search of flood victims. Later on, Texans and others across the U.S. united to gather food and supplies to send to the affected areas.
Similar acts of kindness were seen in Puerto Rico when the U.S. government failed to provide sufficient aid to the islanders after Hurricane Maria hit. Along with donations, celebrities like chef Jose Andres visited Puerto Rico in hopes of providing the necessary supplies.
Mexico received such a large quantity of help from young volunteers after their magnitude 7.1 earthquake left many missing in the rubble, that shelters eventually had to start turning people away.

The Trailblazers

With efforts to diversify Hollywood on the rise, box office successes like Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and Lee Unkrich’s Coco allowed audiences that are often neglected to feel represented on the big screen.

The Everyday Advocates

As the nation appeared to remain divided throughout the year, heroes big and small in our everyday lives chose to stand for the persecuted, teaching us all the power of our own voices and the importance in choosing not to stay silent.

These people have defined 2017 for the better. How will you choose to impact 2018?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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