🇨🇦Terry Fox 40 Years/2020

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The Terry Fox Monument St John’s, NL Image credit TerkinByDesign

Terry Fox’s legacy lives on 40 years after his Marathon of Hope started in St. John’s

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The Terry Fox Monument St John’s, NL Image credit TerkinByDesign

40 years since iconic Canadian started his inspiring journey to raise money, awareness for cancer research

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Ask anyone to put together a list of the Top 10 Canadians of all time, and chances are Terry Fox will make the cut.”He’s iconic in our country,” said Donna Ball, who met Fox on two occasions in St. John’s. “Many refer to him as Canada’s greatest hero for many reasons — even people who have never had cancer. It’s more about hope and encouragement and inspiration and being the best that you can be and doing everything to the best of your ability. … That’s his legacy.”

The Port Coquitlam, B.C., native’s Marathon of Hope in 1980 captivated people across the country and brought a newfound visibility to cancer. His goal was to raise funds and awareness for cancer research by running across Canada with an artificial leg — his right leg was amputated in 1977 after he was diagnosed with bone cancer. It’s been 40 years since he started that trek on April 12, 1980, and though he ultimately had to cut his run short in Thunder Bay, Ont., after it was determined the cancer had spread to his lungs, the repercussions of what Fox did to shine a spotlight on the disease are still being felt to this day.

The Terry Fox Story (Full Movie, 1983)

 Viewing is intended for educational, historical and archival purposes only. The Terry Fox Story His courage made an entire nation stand up and cheer!

Lasting legacy

Hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research have been raised in Fox’s name since his death in 1981 at the age of 22, with most of that money coming from annual runs held in communities across Canada. Children still learn about Fox and take part in their own school-based runs. Last Halloween, seven-year-old Ethan Smallwood of Clarke’s Beach dressed up as Fox and raised $23,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s connection to Fox’s legacy is firmly cemented in history, as it was in St. John’s that his journey began. A bronze sculpture of Fox located at a memorial park at the east end of Water Street honours Mile Zero of that journey. Oddly enough, it was half-expected he would skip the province altogether.

“We had five days’ notice that he was coming,” recalled Rev. Bill Strong, who was then working as the provincial field supervisor for the Canadian Cancer Society, the charity Fox was supporting with his run. “Originally, the plan was the Cancer Society thought he would start from Halifax. Terry held out and said, ‘No,’ he wanted to come to Newfoundland.”

Ball speculates the decision to start in St. John’s was partially informed by a fondness he already had for the city and province. An excellent athlete, Fox first came to the city in 1978 for what was then called the Canadian Games for the Physically Disabled. Ball was working her first summer job for the games at a registration desk when Team British Columbia arrived. Fox was competing in wheelchair basketball.

“We just had a fun interaction while we were doing the registration process,” Ball recalled, adding he had a great sense of humour and a beautiful smile, and was down to earth. “I can’t remember to this day all the things we talked about, but I was trying to welcome them to Newfoundland, like a Newfoundlander would do. They were just having a lot of fun.”

Getting ready

The Terry Fox Monument St John’s, NL Image credit TerkinByDesign

Strong was grateful to spend time with Fox before he started the historic run, showing him around St. John’s and even having him over for a meal. Strong’s mother hemmed some of Fox’s athletic wear during the visit.

Meanwhile, Ball caught wind of Fox’s arrival in the city when her mom mentioned an article in The Evening Telegram about his Marathon of Hope. After the games in 1978, Ball corresponded with a couple of the athletes by mail, including Fox. Though she was not up to speed on his plans for the Marathon of Hope, Ball did know through the letters he had been training hard on running.

“He doesn’t in those letters mention that he’s planning to run across Canada. It was very, very early in his thinking, but he was training to run long distance. … He says that he’s running seven days in a nine-day cycle and adding a half-mile every nine days. You can tell he’s got a regime he’s using.”

Fox spoke, too, in the letters of being prone to injury since he was working with a fairly rudimentary prosthesis. He was lifting weights and pushing his wheelchair up a mountain to increase his body strength.

In his letters, Fox also alluded to some of the goals that ultimately inspired his Marathon of Hope.

“He talks about wanting to help people and wanting to inspire people,” Ball said.

After learning he was back in the city, Ball reconnected with Fox at the Holiday Inn, where he was staying with his friend, Doug Alward, who accompanied Fox in a camper van. She was also at city hall the next day to see him start the Marathon of Hope.

Connecting with people

According to Strong, the fanfare for Fox in Newfoundland really picked up as he went further west. There was a great reception for him in Stephenville, where he ran along the main street and received support from onlookers, as well as in St. George’s and Port aux Basques. A total of $30,000 was raised during Fox’s run across the island. He reached Port aux Basques on May 6.

“I remember there was a speech in St. George’s,” recalled Strong, who by this point was accompanying Fox and Alward. “I remarked to Doug that he’s either going to do this or he’s going to die trying. Sadly, that’s the way it turned out.”

By then, Fox had a routine in place where he would run for 12 miles and then rest for a couple of hours, and then continue. Typically, he would look to finish running for the day by two or three o’clock in the afternoon.

“He had a number of issues with the stump on his leg where sometimes that didn’t always shift right, and it would cause some pain and it bled from time to time, but he adjusted and dealt with that as best he could,” said Strong.


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The Terry Fox Monument St John’s, NL Image credit TerkinByDesign

Strong was amazed to see first-hand how focused and determined Fox was when it came to working toward goals, admitting people within the Canadian Cancer Society at the time did not fully grasp what the young man was accomplishing until his Marathon of Hope moved further along. Today, it’s a bit easier to fully comprehend what he did.

“If it was today, Terry would have been cured from the money that his run has produced,” Strong said. “That’s a marvellous thing, but the bigger thing was that how many other people have been cured from various cancers that the Terry Fox Run has funded (research for) over the years. … It’s a great story about determination and a great story of hope.”

For Ball, who went on to take part in many Terry Fox Runs with her family, Fox’s legacy stands out.

“He was not doing this for himself,” she said. “He was true to that message the entire time. He didn’t waver from that. We knew nothing else, except he was doing this for everybody else. He was completely selfless. You think about that and his determination. He was exceedingly determined in all kinds of things. I think if you merge all those things — he was charismatic, so down to earth, a fun-loving person, incredible athlete and just somebody who believed that whenever we do something, we should do it to the best that we can possibly do it.

“His message goes beyond cancer research. It’s a message of hope and determination. I think it’s all those things combined why the country got behind him. We saw this young guy who had this impossible dream. … We all bought into it. Today, we still do because we see the difference his dream has made.”

The Telegram – Terry Fox’s legacy lives on 40 years after his Marathon of Hope started in St. John’s

Donate now: The Official Terry Fox Foundation

All images supplied by TerkinByDesign


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🇨🇦 Trooper Top 10 Songs

Before Trooper officially became the Canadian rock group that would influence the Great White North’s music scene, Ra McGuire and Brian Smith were bandmates for Winter’s Green. From that group, there were a couple of songs that were recorded in 1967. “Are You a Monkey” and “Jump in the River Blues” were the two but it would only be “Are You a Monkey” that would eventually find a spot on The History of Vancouver Rock and Roll, Vol. 3‘s rock collection that was published in 1983. At the time, Winter’s Green, which changed its name to Applejack, was a local fan favorite in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Making Impressions

Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive and The Guess Who fame was impressed by Applejack’s recorded performances. It was as Applejack the band recorded “Raise a Little Hell” and “Oh, Pretty Lady.” They also covered musical material originally performed by Chicago and Neil Young, which had a quality level that had Bachman sign the group to his label, Legend Records.

At this time Applejack changed the name of the band to Trooper. The year was 1975 when Trooper was released as the group’s debut album. At the time, the lineup was McGuire and Smith as the founders, along with Harry Kalensky and Tommy Stewart. After the album was released, Trooper went on an extensive promotional tour in Canada and the United States.

In the meantime, Trooper moved from Legend Records to MCA Records. The group also added Frank Ludwig to the roster before recording their second studio album. In 1976, Two for the Show was released and quickly became certified gold by Music Canada. Right after this release was Knock ‘Em Dead Kid, which was the album that featured the recordings of “Oh, Pretty Lady” and “We’re Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time).”.


In 1978, Trooper underwent a lineup change by replacing Kalensky in favor of Doni Underhill. Together, the band recorded and released its third studio album, Thick as Thieves. This was the album that produced the band’s signature hit, “Raise a Little Hell.” For the first time, Trooper had a single chart on the US Billboard Hot 100. In 1978, it peaked as high as number fifty-nine. Thick as Thieves also went on to become certified double platinum by Music Canada.

As successful as Thick as Thieves was, 1979’s Hot Shots broke all Canadian sales records after it was released as an album. This was a compilation record that featured Trooper’s greatest hits that were remixed from the previous four albums the band had released previously. It was certified platinum six times by Music Canada. Also released in 1979 was Flying Colors. From it, this double-platinum seller released Trooper’s highest-charted single to date, “Janine.”

In 1980, Trooper earned a Juno Award for Group of the Year. That same year had both of their albums, Hot Shots and Flying Colors, nominated for Album of the Year. However, the win went to Ann Murray’s New Kind of Feeling instead.

Changing Troops

1980 also marked the year Trooper ended its business relationship with Randy Bachman. It also replaced Ludwig by Rob Deans before recording Untitled in 1980, then Money Talks in 1982. When 1986 rolled around, Ludwig returned as the band’s keyboardist while they embarked on a summer tour.

In 1989, The Last of the Gypsies became Trooper’s eighth album release. It was the first to come from their own label, Great Pacific Records. It became certified gold by Music Canada, thanks to the album’s two hits, “Boy With the Beat” and “The Best Way (to Hold a Man).”

When Ten was released in 1991, it was Trooper’s tenth album as a recording artist. It would be during this time the group experienced additional lineup changes. Ten was also the final studio album the band recorded and released before 2010’s compilation album, Hits from 10 Albums.

Recognition and Tributes

In 1999, the awards ceremony presented by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), recognized “We’re Here for a Good Time” and “Santa Maria” as songs that deeply embedded the fabric of Canadian culture as radio classics. Ra McGuire was also a recipient of the Classic Award for “Two for the Show.” In 2005, “Oh, Pretty Lady” also received a SOCAN Classic Award. SOCAN continued to honor Trooper going into 2012 with the presentation of its National Achievement Award to Ra McGuire and Brian Smith.

In 2001, Shot Spots was a tribute album that featured a collection of thirty Trooper songs that were performed by thirty Canadian punk bands. Trooper’s influence on the Canadian music scene was profound as it sparked a flurry of aspiring artists to embark on their own recording careers.

During the Vancouver Olympics Victory Ceremony that was held on February 21, 2010, Trooper began its thirty-fifth-anniversary tour. The tour ended on November 28, 2010, at Edmonton, Alberta’s Commonwealth Stadium when the Canadian Football League held its ninety-eighth Grey Cup championship game. Between February and November, Trooper’s tour broke several attendance records. On record, Trooper was named as one of Canada’s top five selling bands of all time.

Located at the Gatineau Preservation Centre is the Library and Archives Canada. It features an impressive collection of photographs and official documents that laid out the career run of a Trooper. The Canadian Museum of Civilization has a thirty-two-foot highlighted sign that bears Trooper’s trademarked logo.

Still Trooping

As of November 2021, Trooper’s founding members Ra McGuire and Brian Smith announced they were officially going into retirement. After doing so, the two encouraged the current roster to keep Trooper going without them. The group’s current roster is Gogo, Scott Brown, Clayton Hill, Steve Crane, and David Steele.

Top 10 Trooper Songs

#10 – Baby Woncha Please Come Home

“Baby Woncha Please Come Home” was Trooper’s debut single that was released in 1975. On the Canadian Top Singles chart, it peaked as high as number forty-five. Although the band had yet to experience its big breakthrough, it did mark the beginning of an era that would forever change the Canadian music scene, especially in the genre of rock and roll. Ra McGuire’s lyrical plea for his love interest to return home has been a Canadian fan favorite since it was first released. The highlight of “Baby Woncha Please Come Home” was the harmonica playing as the song’s opener. It was a unique sound that literally played an instrumental role to make this tune a Canadian classic.

#9 – Santa Maria

“Santa Maria” was a 1976 hit that came as a source of inspiration after Trooper took a boat tour to Tugwell Island. This is a popular vacation destination located not far from Prince Rupert, a coastal community located in British Columbia. As for “Santa Maria,” it also made reference to the legendary pirate ship that set sail to seek out a brave new world. On the Canadian Top Singles chart, this single peaked as high as number thirty-five. Part of the appeal behind “Santa Maria” was the hint of comedy that came with a song that also came across as a musical adventure.

# 8 – Oh, Pretty Lady

In 1978, “Oh, Pretty Lady” was released as a single from the album, Knock ‘Em Dead Kid. This was originally recorded by Ra McGuire and Brian Smith when Trooper first went by the name of Applejack. This ballad addressed the vocalist’s love interest that he was there for her and only her. This love song became a number forty-two hit on the Canadian Top Singles chart and has since become a cult classic.

#7 – Two for the Show

In 1999, “Two for the Show” was recognized by SOCAN with its Classic Award for its role in shaping the development of Canadian radio and culture. When it was released as a single in 1976, it became a number thirty-two hit on the Canadian Top Singles chart. This was a beautifully performed song that dealt with certain realities that came with the entertainment industry from a variety of perspectives. It became a fan favorite for good reason as this became one of Trooper’s signature tunes that turned the band into Canadian icons.


#6 – Janine

On the Canadian Top Singles chart, “Janine” became a number seven hit after it was released as a single in 1980. From the album, Flying Colors, this song played an instrumental role in its double platinum certification by Music Canada. Today, “Janine” remains as a Canadian cult classic as a song that addressed the narrator’s love interest by name. This was one of those classic “the one that got away” songs that continue to have fans talk about their own experiences each time it comes up in conversation.

#5 – 3 Dressed Up as a 9

“3 Dressed Up as a 9” was a song that peaked as high as number twenty-four on the Canadian Top Singles chart in 1979. The opening riffs of this tune became a cult favorite among the Canadian fan base who couldn’t get enough of guitar-driven music. “3 Dressed Up as a 9” lyrically pointed out a person can dress up as close to a perfect ten as possible but without a star-quality personality to go with it, it’s a lame attempt at best. This musical jab against vanity was classic Trooper as the band continually displayed a humble style that made them so appealing.

#4 – General Hand Grenade

In 1976, “General Hand Grenade” became the second single released by Trooper that would earn an appearance on the Canadian Top Singles chart. This time, it peaked as high as number fourteen and has since become one of Trooper’s signature hits. This was a song about two different people that featured “General Hand Grenade” as a leader thirsting for war and “Isabella Band Aid” that would be left to clean up the mess. The song served as a reflection of how society behaves as a whole.

#3 – The Boys in the Bright White Sports Car

One of the most recognizable hits associated with Trooper is “The Boys in the Bright White Sports Car.” Released in 1979, this became a number twenty-five hit on the Canadian Top Singles chart. The song made reference to a group that was recklessly driving around in a vehicle. Before the song was over, it was suggested the car was stolen as it was chased down by the police, at least according to the narrative Ra McGuire delivered in what became an all-time Canadian cult classic.

The entire song was a heavy-hitting, fast-paced tune that got the adrenaline of music fans going. “The Boys in the Bright White Sports Car” was a tune that featured Trooper at its best as a band, especially among listeners who happened to sit behind their own driving wheel. When in concert, the moment this song began, usually the audience couldn’t help themselves as they’d erupt into a rock and roll frenzy. Pairing this song up with “Raise a Little Hell” served up the perfect recipe for a fan to speed straight into a zone like a daredevil.

#2- We’re Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time)

If there was ever a song that stressed the importance today matters more than yesterday and tomorrow, “We’re Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time)” is it. Released in 1977, this single peaked at number forty-three. However, over the stretch of time, this increased in popularity clean across Canada from its Vancouver roots.

Remember, the sun can’t shine every day so why not make today count? That was the message Trooper delivered with this celebratory song and it was one that was well received by an audience who clearly agreed. “We’re Here for a Good Time” became a signature song that not only turned Trooper into a Canadian icon but as one of the nation’s pop culture ambassadors.

#1 – Raise a Little Hell

“Raise a Little Hell” became Trooper’s first and only hit single that would make an appearance on the US Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at number fifty-nine after its 1978 release on the album, Thick as Thieves. On the Canadian Top Singles chart, it peaked as high as number twenty-seven. “Raise a Little Hell” became that one song from Trooper that served as a key source of inspiration for the fans. It became a staple of classic rock on a worldwide level, as well as the favorite song to play at sporting events.

Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have been playing “Raise a Little Hell” as one of their sports anthems with zero intent of stopping anytime soon. Rolling Stone magazine also acknowledged “Raise a Little Hell” as one of the Top 10 Sports Anthems of All Time.

Top 10 Trooper Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

The New Bullying Prevention © 2022

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🇨🇦 What is Psychopathic Mobbing.


Over the course of the last 20 years or so I have not been the victim of Bullying at 80% of the employers I have worked for but rather “PSYCHOPATHIC MOBBING”, the evolution of Bullying, what is psychopathic mobbing you ask?

The word bullying is used to describe a repeated pattern of negative intrusive violational behaviour against one or more targets and comprises constant trivial nit-picking criticism, refusal to value and acknowledge, undermining, discrediting and a host of other behaviours which are defined on our page What is bullying?

Bullying is typically perpetrated by one person although others in a workplace may join in, for example by operating legitimate procedures in an inappropriate manner, at the behest of the bully, having an adverse effect on the target. “Bullying” is still an appropriate term to describe what is done to the target.

“Mobbing” involves a group of people whose size is constrained by the social setting in which it is formed, such as a workplace. It might seem to the target as if many people are involved but in reality the group might be small. The group members directly interact with a target in an adversarial way that undermines or harms them in measurable, definable ways.

Mobbing has absolutely nothing in common with a conspiracy theory known as “Gang Stalking” (to which believers also refer as “Community Mobbing”, “Community Stalking”, “Stalking by Proxy”, “Organized Stalking”, “Cause Stalking”, “Multi-Stalking”). One of the hallmarks of “Gang Stalking” is that all the self-defined “Targeted Individuals” who claim to describe the phenomenon are are unable to produce any objective evidence of it. If you wish to know about mobbing, stay on this page. If you want to read about “gang stalking”, click here.

The word mobbing is preferred to bullying in continental Europe and in those situations where a target is selected and bullied (mobbed) by a group of people rather than by one individual. However, every group has a ringleader. If this ringleader is an extrovert it will be obvious who is coercing group members into mobbing the selected target. If the ringleader is an introvert type, he or she is likely to be in the background coercing and manipulating group members into mobbing the selected target; introvert ringleaders are much more dangerous than extrovert ringleaders.

In a mobbing situation, the ringleader incites supporters, cohorts, copycats and unenlightened, inexperienced, immature or emotionally needy individuals with poor values to engage in adversarial interaction with the selected target. The ringleader, or chief bully, gains gratification from encouraging others to engage in adversarial interaction with the target. Many people use the word “mobbing” to describe this pack attack by many on one individual. Once mobbing is underway the chief bully foments the mobbing into mutually assured destruction, from which the chief bully gains intense gratification – this is a feature of people with psychopathic personality.

One aspect of psychopathic bullies is that they home in on Wannabe types – non-psychopathic lesser bullies – and then empower these individuals to gain the positions of power and authority they crave. Once installed, the Wannabe’s lack of competence makes them dependent on the chief psychopath, which means they become unwitting but willing compliant puppets. They also make perfect corporate clones and drones. A characteristic of the Wannabe is that as well as lacking all the competencies necessary for their position, they also lack the intellect to understand the nature and manner of their compliant subservience.

Throughout the mobbing experience, the target is deceived into fighting, blaming and trying to hold accountable the minor bullies of the mobbing group rather than the chief bully. The main reason a psychopathic chief bully gets away with his (or her) behaviour repeatedly is that no-one wants to believe that s/he could be the monster s/he is. This is also the reason that many pedophiles and wife-batterers evade accountability and sanction for years, often decades. They appear so charming and plausible to naive, unenlightened and inexperienced people – usually those who haven’t experienced bullying themselves. Psychopathic chief bullies are very likely to have everyone in human resources and management in their pocket, who are then manipulated into further mobbing, victimising and persecuting the target.

The golden rule when tackling a mobbing situation is, I believe, to identify and focus exclusively on the chief bully, and concentrate on holding this ringleader accountable. Expect an immediate increase in mobbing activities, and a rapidly-expanding web of deceit to be concocted against you. Alternatively, the best solution may be to make a positive decision to leave and refuse to allow these people to continue to ruin your career, your health and your life. In the unlikely event that the psychopathic chief leader is exposed and then leaves, the dysfunction, aggression and negative feelings fostered by him or her are likely to linger for years.

This is the original Bullyonline website developed by the late Tim Field. It is provided as a testament to his pioneering work. Visit our new website.

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🇨🇦 Impacts of COVID-19: LGBTQI2S Community in Focus🏳️‍🌈

Covid header

Egale recently partnered with  Innovative Research Group (INNOVATIVE) to include LGBTQI2S communities in a national study on the impacts of COVID-19 and the needs of Canadians during this health crisis. The newly released report,  Impacts of COVID-19: Canada’s LGBTQI2S Community in Focus, , uncovers alarmingly disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable LGBTQI2S communities across several priority areas including household finances, job loss, mental and physical health, overall quality of life, and more.

The survey results show a telling contrast between Canada’s LGBTQI2S community and the broader Canadian population. Although astonishing, the results are not unexpected. Below are some of the key findings;

More than half (52%) of Canada’s LGBTQI2S households have faced lay-offs or reduced employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 39% of overall Canadian households.
The perceived negative impacts on mental health over time increase exponentially for LGBTQI2S people with nearly 60% of LGBTQI2S respondents reporting that they expect their mental health to be negatively impacted in the next 2 months compared to only 42% of the general public
Additionally, LGBTQI2S people are significantly more likely to have a chronic illness or physical disability, both of which come with many barriers and risks during a time of crisis. The report also shows that over time, the perceived or expected impacts on LGBTQI2S people rises at an exponentially higher rate than the average Canadian – in some areas there is nearly a 25% increase in perceived or expected negative impacts for particularly vulnerable LGBTQI2S people.

Every inch closer that we come to closing the data gap is one step forward towards a more inclusive Canada. Our community is facing critical needs that show the potential to worsen over time – now is the time to be looking at the problems that are on the horizon, not just for LGBTQI2S people, but for everyone.

This is only a starting point. The government needs to apply this timely research to decision making frameworks and policies that assist vulnerable LGBTQI2S communities across Canada.

The full research report is available in French and English here..

Helen Kennedy, Executive Director

‘Circus Of Books’ Will Examine The Bookstore That Became ‘The Centre Of The Gay Universe’ |ET

Supporting Transgender Youth During COVID-19 Pandemic | Psychology Today

Coronavirus Is Exposing How the Health Care System Neglects LGBTQ People | VICE

LGBTQ2 groups in Canada petition federal government on COVID-19 | Xtra

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🇺🇸 Barack Obama’s annual list of favourite books films and music 2019


Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible ~ President Obama

Barack Obama’s annual list of favorite — books, films, and music. This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too. Because while each of us has plenty that keeps us busy—work and family life, social and volunteer commitments—outlets like literature and art can enhance our day-to-day experiences. They’re the fabric that helps make up a life—the album that lifts us up after a long day, the dog-eared paperback we grab off the shelf to give to a friend, the movie that makes us think and feel in a new way, works that simply help us escape for a bit. To start, here are the books that made the last year a little brighter for me. Most of them came out in 2019, but a few were older ones that were new to me this year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff
The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington
Normal People by Sally Rooney
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
Solitary by Albert Woodfox
The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
• Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter

For the sports fans:
A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule by Jim Rooney

The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala

And here’s a reminder of books that I recommended earlier this year:
• American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
• The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power
• Exhalation by Ted Chiang
• Finding My Voice by Valerie Jarrett
• Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh
• How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu
• Inland by Téa Obreht
• Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
• Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land
• Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
• The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates
• The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
• Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
• The Shadow of Sirius by W. S. Merwin
• The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
• Toni Morrison’s collected works
• Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For by Susan Rice
• The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
• Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel



From hip-hop to country to The Boss, here are my songs of the year. If you’re looking for something to keep you company on a long drive or help you turn up a workout, I hope there’s a track or two in here that does the trick.

Playing Games – Summer Walker
• Not – Big Thief
• Juice* – Lizzo
• Redesigning Women – The Highwomen
• Anybody – Burna Boy
• Burning* – Maggie Rogers
• Baila Baila Baila (Remix) – Ozuna feat. Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Farruko and Anuel AA
• Different Kind of Love – Adia Victoria
Change – Mavis Staples
• Toast* – Koffee
• Oblivions – The National
• Binz – Solange
• Seventeen* – Sharon Van Etten
• Middle Child – J. Cole
• Jícama – Angelica Garcia
• Go* – The Black Keys
• La Vida Es Un Carnaval (Rollo Tomasi Remix) – Angélique Kidjo
• Show Me Love – Alicia Keys feat. Miguel
• Joke Ting* – GoldLink feat. Ari PenSmith
• Old Town Road (Remix)* – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
• cold/mess by Prateek Kuhad
• Suge – DaBaby
• Hello Sunshine – Bruce Springsteen
• In My Room – Frank Ocean
• Iron Man* – Rema
• The London – Young Thug feat. J. Cole and Travis Scott
• Raleighwood Hills – lesthegenius feat. Sonny Miles and Jaxson Free
• Pure Water – Mustard feat. Migos
• 3 Nights – Dominic Fike
• The Fact of Love – Joe Henry
• Con Altura* – Rosalía
• I Want You Around – Snoh Aalegra
• On Chill – Wale feat. Jeremih
• Mood 4 Eva* – Beyoncé


Next up are my favorite movies and TV shows of 2019. This year’s list includes everything from explorations of class dynamics and relationships, to an inspired reboot of a classic graphic novel, to a portal back to one of the most special places in history — an Aretha Franklin concert. Of course, there’s also American Factory, a film from our own production company, Higher Ground, that was recently shortlisted for an Oscar. It’s our first offering in partnership with Netflix, and I’m excited about the other projects we’ve got in the works. Here’s the full list:

• American Factory
• Amazing Grace
• Apollo 11
• Ash Is Purest White
• Atlantics
• Birds of Passage
• Booksmart
• Diane
• The Farewell
• Ford v Ferrari
• The Irishman
• Just Mercy
• The Last Black Man in San Francisco
• Little Women
• Marriage Story
• Parasite
• The Souvenir
• Transit

And a quick list of TV shows that I considered as powerful as movies:
• Fleabag: Season 2
• Unbelievable
• Watchmen

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🇨🇦Welcome to the Rock, Barack🇺🇸

Barack Obama and Zita Cobb sit on chairs handmade in Fogo, Cobb’s hometown. (Submitted by David Howells)

Welcome to the Rock, Barack: Thousands fill Mile One for evening with Obama

Barack Obama interviewed by Fogo Island entrepreneur Zita Cobb on stage

Thousands of people filled Mile One Centre in St. John’s on Tuesday night to hear the 44th Barack2019president of the United States speak about climate change, misinformation — and hope.

Barack Obama sat on stage for about an hour, answering questions from Zita Cobb, the social entrepreneur behind the Fogo Island Inn, a luxury hotel in her hometown.

Sitting in chairs handmade on Fogo Island, Cobb welcomed Obama, who hails from Hawaii, and called him a “fellow islander.”

“The performance was spectacular. Barack Obama was everything you’d imagine him to be,” said attendee Kathy Hodgkinson on the steps of Mile One.

“He was measured and intelligent and thoughtful, and it was a privilege to be here tonight to listen to him.”

Local talent sets stage

The evening opened with music from Alan Doyle, Tim Baker, and the Shallaway Youth Choir.  The St. John’s Board of Trade, which hosted the event, said it didn’t sell out, but more than 5,000 people attended.

The board wouldn’t say how much it cost to organize the event. Tickets cost $100 to $325 while meet-and-greet packages, which included several tickets and photos with Obama, went for as much as $10,000.

Message of hope

The conversation between innkeeper and world leader focused largely on community, climate change, and democracy. 

Obama said people should not feel hopeless about climate change; the world will look different but there are ways to grapple with the differences, he said.

He argued for “responsible capitalism” as part of the solution to job insecurity, which, he contended, leads to nationalism.

Radical movements are growing fast, he warned, because of the proliferation of misinformation on social media networks, and he called on his audience to think critically about where they get their information. 

True to style, Obama’s message was a hopeful acknowledgement of the world’s problems and an offer of solutions. 

It resonated deeply with Memorial University student Mehzabin Chowdhury, 19.

“For students like us, coming all the way from Bangladesh, it was a life-changing opportunity,” she said.

“He’s a great leader. I’ve always looked up to him.”


🇺🇸 October 12 – The Legacy of Matthew Shepard

Shepard’s murder was not just tragic, but horrific. After leaving a bar with two men, he was kidnapped, robbed, brutally beaten and tied to a fence, where he was left overnight to die.

Twenty-one years ago at 12:53 a.m. in Fort Collins, CO, Matthew Shepard died with his family by his side. Five days prior, he had been brutally attacked and left for dead in Laramie, WY, becoming the victim of one of the most notorious anti-gay hate crimes in this nation’s history.

Since that day, his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard have led countless LGBTQ+ and allied advocates through difficult, impactful, and we hope lasting, change in Matt’s memory. But to quote Judy, “we aren’t doing it for him. We can’t help Matt anymore. But we all can and should help those who came after him.”

So, reflecting on this profound moment that changed the way we talk about and deal with hate in America, the Matthew Shepard Foundation challenges you today not to look backward in regret, but instead to honor Matt’s legacy by taking action toward a better future.

Matthew’s Parents Judy & Denis Shepard

October 28th will mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The legislation, fought for tirelessly by his parents and a sweeping coalition of civil rights advocates, finally brought LGBTQ+ Americans under the protection of federal hate crimes law. Matt’s and Mr. Byrd’s namesake statute also extended recognition to victims of bias crimes based on gender identity and disability, and provided vital aid and training for law enforcement nationwide.

The Shepard-Byrd Act was a historic victory, but I don’t have to tell you that discrimination, violence and bigotry are rising again, threatening our efforts to erase hate and replace it with understanding and compassion. Sadly, the Foundation’s mission is more important than ever before.

Matt’s case gained international prominence and inspired millions of people to act. But in our work, we also remember and advocate for those too-numerous victims whose names have not risen to the world’s attention. In honor of them all, we name just a few whose lives also demand justice. Billy Jack Gaither. Sean Kennedy. Angie Zapata. James Anderson. Remember them and share in our work to prevent these tragedies from ever happening again.

Because although two decades have passed, we know that all of these stories hold the power to inspire, to bring diverse groups together, and change hearts and minds. We ask you to stand with the Matthew Shepard Foundation and take action today:

Get Educated – Learn more about the alarming increase of hate in this country and how you can be part of the solution.

Register to Vote – Our voice is the most powerful tool to erase hate. Make your voice heard and vote in 2020!

Contribute to the Matthew Shepard Foundation – Your donation directly impacts our programmatic efforts to erase hate, including hate crimes training, advocacy, education and legacy support.

Amplify the story of Matt, embody his vigor for civil rights, and share his passion to foster a more caring and just world.

With Hope,

Jason Marsden, Matthew Shepard Foundation Executive Director

This video was produced for the American Giving Awards presented by Chase. The Matthew Shepard Foundation competed for a share of $2 million in grants. The Foundation ended up receiving $250,000 thanks to our many supporters. For more information on the Foundation visit http://www.MatthewShepard.org and http://www.MatthewsPlace.com

Memorializing Matthew Shepard

Matthew Shepard Biography

The Matthew Shepard Foundation (B.P Blog Post)

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🇺🇸 Michelle Obama “Girls Opportunity Alliance”


Happy International Day of the Girl, everyone! 
A year ago today, the Obama Foundation launched the Girls Opportunity Alliance to empower adolescent girls through education.

Welcome to the Global Girls Alliance 

Michelle Obama meets with Girls Opportunity Alliance leaders – Nov 15, 2019

Obama Foundation – Right now, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. We all have a responsibility to change that. On International Day of the Girl, the Obama Foundation launched the Global Girls Alliance—a program which seeks to empower adolescent girls around the world through education, allowing them to achieve their full potential and to transform their families, communities, and countries. Join the alliance—because the future of our world is only as bright as our girls. http://www.GlobalGirlsAlliance.org

This cause is close to my heart. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many unnamed (1)inspiring girls from all around the world. From Cambodia and Japan to Morocco and Liberia, I’ve seen the promise unique to each one of them—and the resolve they have inside to get their education. Theirs are the stories and the smiling faces that have inspired me to keep doing everything I can to lift up these young women so they can fulfill their boundless potential.
Right now, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. These girls are bright and hardworking, and when they have the chance to fulfill their potential with an education, they can transform families, communities, and even entire countries.
We know that when we give these girls a chance to learn, they will seize it. That’s why we’ve been working to lift up the grassroots leaders and organizations around the world who empower girls every single day. 

Obama Foundation – Mrs. Obama is committed to helping girls around the world get access to the education they deserve. That’s why at the 2019 Leaders: Africa convening, she’s calling on the 200 emerging leaders from across the African continent to continue their important work to empower their communities and to support access to girls’ education in Africa and around the world. You can learn more about the Leaders: Africa program and the Girls Opportunity Alliance at obama.org

Watch a special announcement from Michelle Obama about the Girls Opportunity Alliance for the Day of the Girl.

Today, on the Day of the Girl, I’m thrilled to share the news that in December, I’ll be traveling to Asia to meet with some of these girls and the organizations that support them. I’ll be going to Vietnam, where the Girls Opportunity Alliance is collaborating with Room to Read to shine a light on important efforts to empower girls. Together, we hope to equip more girls with the critical skills they need to become leaders of their own lives. I can’t wait to share these incredible stories with you, and I’m excited that the Girls Opportunity Alliance will be teaming up with the Today Show and YouTube Originals to introduce you to the girls we meet along the way.
On the Day of the Girl and beyond, I hope that all of you will find a way to support education for adolescent girls around the world. You don’t have to fly to Vietnam—you can host a bake sale, organize a project with your friends, get your office involved, and so much more. 
Check out the projects on the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund and let us know how you’re taking action—because the future of our world is only as bright as our girls. 


Obama Foundation – To celebrate girls around the world, former First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Global Girls Alliance to empower adolescent girls through education on International Day of the Girl. From a roundtable discussion to her appearance on the TODAY Show, relive the inspiring two-day launch.

Michelle Obama Celebrates International Day of the Girl – Oct 11, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama is grooving to the tunes of Beyonce, Demi Lovato and Esperanza Spalding as she celebrates the International Day of the Girl. The first lady tweeted Sunday a link to her “girl power” music playlist on the streaming music platform Spotify. Mrs. Obama is promoting her “Let Girls Learn” campaign, which aims to expand access to education for more than 62 million girls around the world— some in developing countries— and encourages American girls to take advantage of their opportunities.

Watch Michelle Obama speak on International Women’s Day – Mar 8, 2016

Donate to organizations bringing opportunity to girls around the world:


What’s your journey of becoming? This gorgeous journal features an intimate and inspiring introduction by Michelle Obama and thought-provoking questions and prompts to help you discover—and rediscover—your story.



IN A LIFE filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

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🇬🇧WE Day 💙United Kingdom💙


Join us LIVE for WE Day UK 2020!

WE Day UK – 2020 – Streamed live on Mar 4, 2020

WE – Streamed live on Mar 6, 2019

Watch from The SSE Arena, Wembley, for WE Day UK, an unparalleled event bringing together A-list celebrities, inspiring speakers and world leaders, mixed with uplifting stories of change from real people.

The Royal Family – Published on Mar 6, 2019

His Royal Highness speaks to a Wembley Stadium full of young people about the issues of mental health and climate change.

Jack & Jack – “Rise” (Live from WE Day UK) – Mar 7, 2018

HRVY – “Personal” (Live from WE Day UK 2018) – Mar 7, 2018


Jessie J – ‘Price Tag’ (Live from WE Day UK 2017) – Mar 2, 2017

Liam Payne – “Polaroid” (Live from WE Day UK) – Mar 6, 2019

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🇨🇦 WE DAY 💙 United Nations 🇺🇳

We day UN header2Watch as Princess Beatrice speaks live from WE Day UN in Brooklyn, NY. Filmed live on September 26, 2018 from Barclays Center.

Kendrick Sampson – “I am a fighter for human rights” – WE Day UN  – Published on Sep 26, 2018

Follow the motorcycle mobilizer – Track Your Impact

Chickens for Change. – Track Your Impact

From subsistence to sustenance. – Track Your Impact

WE Movement – Year of Impacts 2018

– United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres answers questions on gender equality, #ClimateAction, the power of youth and more with UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador Aidan Gallagher at the #UNGA.

Thousands of committed and enthusiastic volunteers help make every WE Day possible and dedicate their time and energy as we celebrate the community of change-makers!

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