Activist Spotlight: Coretta Scott King

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Coretta Scott King, the wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was a civil rights leader and activist for decades. From her earliest work at her husband’s side to her recent activism, King proved a leading light in the fight to create a better, fairer world.

Childhood and Education

Born in Marion, Alabama, Coretta Scott followed her stellar high school career with multiple college degrees. She studied education and music at Antioch College in Ohio before moving on to the New England Conservatory of Music to study choir singing. While in Boston, she met a young theology student and quickly fell in love. In 1953, she married Martin Luther King Jr., and a year later, the young couple moved to Montgomery, Alabama.

Life with Dr. King

While her husband rose from a simple pastor to a central leader of the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement, Coretta Scott King contributed to the movement while raising their four children. She became a prolific public speaker and key organizer, arranging freedom concerts and other events. Trips to Mexico and India furthered her commitment to ending inequality, a goal she would maintain long after her husband’s tragic murder in 1968

Later Activism

Following her husband’s death, King got busy cementing his legacy and continuing his work. She founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center For Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia, an institution that pushes for social progress and nonviolent methodologies. As President of the Center, she advocated the creation of a national holiday to commemorate her husband and his legacy of peaceful resistance.

King engaged in a number of projects as an activist, from coalition building to public speaking at rallies. While remaining active in her own country, she also turned her attention abroad. From Europe to Africa, Latin America to Asia, she contributed where she could to the causes of equality, opportunity, and freedom.

Coretta Scott King died in 2006, leaving an impressive legacy and a monumental impact on the world. She was buried beside her husband, and their graves will remain a landmark representing nonviolent resistance to oppression. Having accomplished so much in a single lifetime, there can be no denying that King deserves her place in history.            

Caring for Your Pets During Winter Months

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As wintertime approaches, many pet owners settle around the fireplace with their beloved companions. It’s a time of giving, and as such, your furry friend deserves warm care to combat the freezing temperatures.

But not all that snows is sparkling. Gather around, pet owners, and be aware of these risks that cold weather poses to your pooch.

Get a preventative care exam. Not only are animals prone to sickness during winter, but colder climates may also exacerbate certain medical conditions. Annual wellness visits are recommended for most adult pets, so if you haven’t had your pet checked out this year, then you should do so before the frosty weather arrives.

Stay indoors. Owing to their fur, dogs and cats are more able to withstand cold temperatures than humans, right? Wrong. Extreme cold renders your four-legged friend susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. While particular dog breeds thrive in cold weather, no pet should be left outdoors for extended periods of time in freezing temperatures.

Beware of heaters. Yes, there is such a thing as too close for comfort. Your pet might seek warmth from a heating source, but keep a close eye on them; they are at risk of overheating, burning themselves, and inhaling toxic chemicals. Some recommended safety precautions are baseboard radiator covers, heater timers, and, most simply, supervision.

Dress warmly. An often overlooked way of keeping your pet warm is a bit of dress-up. Dog owners have various protective clothing items, including coats, sweaters, and booties, to choose from, but be mindful of where your pet sports its gear. These clothing items should only be worn outside, as wearing such inside can lead to overheating. Also, consider the breed and size of your dog. Clothing is more appropriate for smaller dogs with short hair than it is for larger, densely coated canines.
Feed well, not willy-nilly. Although pets can benefit from an extra layer during the winter, it’s important to know what should constitute said layer. Extra hair, not extra fat, is optimal for your pet’s happiness and health. Instead of overfeeding, focus on increasing specific aspects of your pet’s diet, such as Omega 3’s and 6’s for dogs, and adequately hydrating them.        

Activist Spotlight: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

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Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, champion of labor and advocate for women’s rights, was born in August of 1890 in Concord, New Hampshire. She came from a family of activists and Irish nationalists. 

From an early age, Flynn dedicated herself to the socialist movement. She saw the Irish suffer from discriminatory practices and felt the socialist views were more in line with creating fairness and equity toward the common man. Elizabeth’s journey started when, at the age of fifteen, she gave a speech on socialism. That speech propelled her into a lifelong journey advocating for the average worker.

In 1920 Flynn took part in founding the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). By being part of the Union, she was able to assist in the legal defense of immigrants. These immigrants were on trial because of their strong support for socialism and communism. This was during the Red Scare, where communist ideology was perceived as traitorous to this country. 

Because of her support, she became the target of scrutiny and was later arrested and served two years in prison. The ACLU met and decided that Flynn’s views were controversial at best and treasonous at worst. In either case, they chose to expel her as a member; she was posthumously reinstated.

Flynn, like her mother, was a supporter of women’s rights. As World War II got in the way, Flynn sought wage equity and child care for working women. She believed in a woman’s right to use birth control and the right to vote and make changes to the laws.

Elizabeth married John Archibald Jones. He was an activist and part of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a Chicago labor union. Their relationship was unsuccessful and subsequently ended in divorce. They had two children, but one died. Although things were difficult in her personal life, Flynn immersed herself into her causes to ultimately create a strong legacy.

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn died in September of 1964. She was in Russia at the time of her death, and because of her notoriety around socialism and communism, they gave her a ceremonious burial. Flynn was a member of the ACLU, head of the Communist Party, and supporter of women’s suffrage.

3 Reasons to Fight For a Global Wildlife Trade Ban

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The global wildlife trade is a vast, multibillion-dollar industry, which has led to millions of animals being captured, killed, and trafficked every year. This awful practice places a great deal of pressure on thousands of species and is one of the leading factors endangering global animal populations. Here are three important reasons to fight for a ban on international wildlife trade.

1. Disease control

Animal-borne illnesses, also known as zoonotic infections, have caused numerous epidemics over the last few years. Swine flu, Zika virus, Ebola, and Covid-19 are some of the latest pathogens spread from animals to humans. Banning the global wildlife trade reduces people’s chances of coming across infectious animals, which can significantly mitigate the risks of spreading novel diseases. Such a ban has the potential to save thousands, if not millions, of lives.

2. Protecting native ecosystems

People have harmed many ecosystems by transferring foreign species to and from various environments. The boom of Burmese pythons that took place in Florida is a notable example of this. Traders would bring them to the United States to sell to people who would like to have them as pets. Sadly, irresponsible pet owners would abandon them in the wild once they grew too large. The conditions in Florida have allowed this species to outcompete and decimate native animal populations. The introduction of these and other invasive species into the region has done significant damage to Florida’s native fauna. Ending the wildlife trade will allow these biomes to heal.

3. Preventing the extinction of the world’s wildlife

Man has killed and exploited animals in the name of profit for centuries. Due to human influence, particularly the wildlife trade, hundreds of animal species have gone extinct or become critically endangered. This systematized brutality has been responsible for the loss of an astounding amount of biodiversity. Continuing this practice will have a disastrous impact on the environment and people who depend on it for continued survival.

Animal trafficking poses multiple substantial threats to the lives of human and non-human animals. Humankind has a tremendous capacity to damage the natural world, but people are just as capable of working to protect it. Placing a ban on the global wildlife trade is one of the biggest steps society can take in undoing some of the immense destruction humanity has inflicted on the biosphere.

Preparing Your Home for a Pet

Animal Rights, Suzanne Grandt

Are you thinking of adopting a pet? They are a source of endless love and can bring cheer to any home. Some things should be taken into account, however, before you bring a pet into your house.

Space

How big is your house? It’s important to choose the right animal for the size of your home. A Mastiff won’t be happy in a tiny apartment. There are plenty of little dog breeds to choose from if your apartment is small. Or, if your residence doesn’t allow for animals that surpass a certain weight or size limit, you may want to opt for a cat, bird, or fish. 

Finances

Do you have the money to feed and take care of a dog or cat? Remember, they’ll need visits to the veterinarian as well as plenty of toys and treats. When considering a new pet, keep in mind that you’ll have to rearrange your budget for it.

Allergies

If anyone in your family has an allergy to dogs or cats, you might want to look for a hairless breed. That way no one will have to suffer because of their furry friend. We want everybody to be comfortable in their home.

Clutter

Do you have a cluttered home? Animals, when bored, are notorious for chewing on shoes and books left on the ground. If you want to keep your items safe from your pet, make sure they’re organized and out of reach before you bring your new friend home.

Read the full article at SuzanneGrandt.org.