Things That Matter

Here’s How One 11-Year-Old El Paso Resident Is Trying to Bring Some Positive Light After A Horrible Mass Shooting

Ruben Martinez is an 11-year-old kid from El Paso, Texas and the shooting this past weekend impacted him like all Texans. He’s community was just attacked and his mother had to sit him down and explain what had happened. It was then that he knew he had to do something to help his community heal. His idea: the #ElPasoChallenge. Here’s what you need to know to participate.

On the morning of August 3, a white supremacist went to El Paso with the intention of shooting as many Mexicans as he could.

Credit: El Paso Police Department

Patrick Crusius, 21, entered a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas and opened fire on shoppers. He killed 22 people and injured 24 with an assault rifle. The violent attack left the Latino community in fear when it was revealed that Crusius had traveled to El Paso to exact his act of terror on the Latino community.

While the community was grieving, 11-year-old Ruben Martinez went to his room and brainstormed a way to bring the people of El Paso together.

Credit: @rgandarilla99 / Twitter

Martinez’s idea is a challenge to promote kindness. He wants El Pasoans to commit one act of kindness for each person who was killed during the tragic shooting. The #ElPasoChallenge is that simple. Just help other people in the name and memory of the people who were murdered by a domestic terrorist.

If you aren’t sure how you can join, Martinez has laid out a few ways to do good for people.

Credit: @rgandarilla99 / Twitter

Here is what Martinez wrote to start his mission to help his community heal.

“#elpasoCHALLENGE”

“Purpose: To honor the people who got killed in our city.”

“How: I’ll challenge each person in El Paso to do 20 good deeds for each other.”

“Examples: Mow someone’s lawn, visit a nursing home, pay for someone’s lunch or dinner, donate to families in need, write someone a letter and tell them how great they are, hold the door for everyone, comfort someone when they are sad or stressed, take flowers to someone in the hospital, leave a dollar on the vending machine for the next person, and any other random act of kindness.”

“How to convince everyone to join the #elpasoCHALLENGE: Hold up posters, pass out flyers, sent it to Facebook.”

“This will show the world that people from El Paso, TX are kind and care for each other.”

The call to action from a child is pulling all of the heartstrings.

Credit: @summerprj / Twitter

“He was having some trouble dealing with what happened,” Gandarilla told CNN. “I explained to him that we could not live in fear and that people in our community are caring and loving. I told him to try and think of something he could do to make El Paso a little better.”

Gandarilla also proudly shared that her son already started on his acts of kindness.

Credit: @GynarchyLove / Twitter

“Last night, he agree(d) to go out to do his first act of kindness,” Gandarilla told CNN. “He chose to go deliver dinner to our first responders.”

The #elpasoCHALLENGE is reaching far out of Texas with people across the country joining the challenge.

Credit: @stlagogo / Twitter

The challenge might have been intended for the El Paso community, but it seems people all over want to make a difference. Martinez’s sweet and well-meaning gesture is something more of us should be trying to do in this world.

Way to go, Ruben! Your plan to spread the #elpasoCHALLENGE is working.

Credit: @HackeMom / Twitter

Let us know if you are joining Martinez’s #elpasoCHALLENGE. This kind of action from young people is so important in today’s dark and scary world.

READ: After A Mass Shooting In El Paso, ‘Amor Eterno’ Becomes An Anthem Bringing Latinx Communities Together

George Floyd’s Daughter Opens Up About What She Knows About Her Father’s Death

Things That Matter

George Floyd’s Daughter Opens Up About What She Knows About Her Father’s Death

Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

George Floyd was killed by police on Memorial Day during an arrest in Minneapolis. Cities have experienced large-scale protests and unrest demanding justice for Floyd and his family. His 6-year-old daughter Gianna recently spoke with “Good Morning America” about her father and you will need some tissues.

“Dad changed the world.”

“Good Morning America” recently sat down with Gianna Floyd, George Floyd’s daughter, and her mother Roxie Washington. The two were asked about George and the man/father he was leading up to his death in police custody. Gianna remembered her dad as someone who was always there to play with her. Now, she remembers him for being a man who changed the world and becoming a name that everyone knows.

Washington had nothing but good things to say about Gianna’s father. George, according to Washington, was an exceptional father to Gianna and had moved to Minneapolis from Houston to better provide for his daughter. Washington first learned that George had been killed through a phone call from a friend. She found the video online and could only watch a small portion of it before crying.

Through tears, Washington explains that she hasn’t been able to tell Gianna the real way that George had died. It is too hard for her to explain George’s death and Washington wishes she would have been able to do something about it.

A fundraiser for Gianna is up on GoFundMe and has raised more than $1 million for the young girl.

There have been several fake GoFundMe pages crop up for Gianna but there is only one official one managed by Stewart Trial Attorneys. The legal team is not collecting any of the funds raised through GoFundMe. If you would like to donate to Gianna’s fund, you can click here.

Gianna’s own words about her father’s legacy are leaving an impression on everyone who hears her.

Four words with so much power have gone viral on social media. “Daddy changed the world,” Gianna says as she rides on George’s best friend’s shoulders. Gianna might not fully understand how her father has changed the world but it is clear that she knows that his life mattered and that his life has the chance to generate much-needed change in the U.S.

Stay strong, Gianna. Your father clearly loved you so much. His life is making a difference because your dad is going to change the world.

READ: Three Other Minneapolis Police Charged In George Floyd’s Murder, Chauvin’s Murder Charge Upgraded

Black Books To Read To Your Children Right Now

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Black Books To Read To Your Children Right Now

The Books Wars

Black children of today are being forced to face literally a world of uncertainty and so much pain. Still, that doesn’t mean that the world they look at is without its potentials and that their efforts won’t make an impact.

In light of recent events, we’ve gathered a list of children’s books to read to your children as a reminder that they are powerful and that Black lives really matter.

Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Amazon.com

This poetic and lyrical children’s book for Black readers is a reminder to dream big. Beautifully illustrated and perfect for out-loud reading, this book will instill pride in the radical and cultural identity of those who are Black.

Ages 3–10.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Amazon.com

Published in 1962, The Snowy Day is a children’s book that follows Peter, an African American boy, who takes a walk around his neighborhood after the season’s first snowfall. Written by Ezra Keats this book received the 1963 Caldecott Medal for its artwork and was the first picture book that featured an African American protagonist.

Ages 2 and up

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

Amazon.com

This book might be intended for children ages 3 to 7 but it’s an important one for children and people of all ages. Educational and inspiring this book is a dedication to forty Black women in American history. Flip through these pages and learn more about the activists like abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and poet Maya Angelou.

Ages 3 – 7

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Amazon.com

Teach your little one about self-love and Black beauty with this book about Zuri a girl who has hair with a mind of its own. Fortunately, her dad steps in to take up the phone and help her sort through her kinks, coils for a special event.

Ages 4 – 8

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o

Amazon.com

Written by Black actress Lupita Nyong’o, this whimsical book is a celebration of Black skin and beauty. Nyong’o’scharacter Sulwe has skin the color of midnight and yearns to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister but a magical journey in the night sky, fortunately, changes her opinion of everything.

Ages 4 – 8

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson

Amazon.com

Nelson’s children’s book takes flight with one of America’s best-known songs and follows a boy and his family as they live in and engage in the world we live in.

Ages 4–8.