2017 is behind us, but as we embark on a brand new year, we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn’t acknowledge and learn from the past year. The world has felt a lot of emotions, whether they were heartbreaking, or uplifting. Before we truly hop into 2018, let’s reflect upon, question, and learn how to improve the world that surrounds us.
Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Although this is not considered to be negative by many people, the new president began to represent views that were not empathic, kind, inclusive, thoughtful, or empowering towards countless individuals.
The Women’s March, the largest coordinated protest in U.S. history (Women’s March) took place, with people from all around the world coming together to fight for an equitable and tolerant world, where human rights are met. The march aimed to empower all humans of different faiths, ethnicities, ages, genders, and walks of life.
Over 80 bodies of African migrants were washed onto the shores of western Libya, on their way to Italy.
Humans discovered 7 Earth-sized planets, which raises the possibility of alien life and allows us to wonder, question, and learn more about existence.
The Arctic reports its lowest levels of winter ice ever, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, with 5.5 million square miles of ice recorded; one of the many indicators of global warming.
North Carolina repeals its law that would not allow for transgender people to use the bathroom according to the gender they identified as; a step in the direction of a more inclusive society for the LGBTQ+ community in America.
A bombing in Syria targeting evacuees killed 126 people, 70 of which were children.
Gift Ngoepe becomes the first black baseball player to play in Major League baseball, representing the black community in the sport; after playing with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in November 2017.
A suicide bombing occurs at Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert, killing 22 and injuring 59.
Brazil declared an end to the national Zika crisis, as cases begin to decrease in the region.
Donald Trump announces the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Ariana Grande spreads love and unity through her benefit concert after the bombing at her concert in Manchester, raising more than 2 million pounds for the families impacted by the attack.
US scientists calculate the total amount of plastic to be produced, at 8.3 million tonnes. This weight is equivalent to that of 1 billion elephants.
The ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is declared to be over by the World Health Organization.
The “Unite the Right” protest in Charlottesville occurs and turns violent when a car rams into protesters, leaving one killed and nineteen injured.
Kenya implements the world’s strictest ban on plastic bags, four years in jail and a $38,000 fine, in order to reduce plastic pollution.
Donald Trump announces the shutdown of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) agreement, putting many US citizens in potential danger of being removed from the country.
Saudi Arabia announces its repeal of the ban on women driving, allowing for more gender equality in the country.
A report published by “The Lancet” shows that pollution is linked to one in six deaths worldwide, or nine million in 2015.
The “Me Too” movement begins, as women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted in any way come together to speak out against the abuse.
Militant gunmen in Egypt attack a Sufi mosque, killing 305 people.
The first Barbie doll to wear a hijab is revealed in New York, modeled after fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.
Six wildfires spread throughout Southern California and cover an area larger than New York and Boston combined.
Same-sex marriage is legalized in Australia.
“Historical Events in 2017.” OnThisDay.com, OnThisDay, 2017, www.onthisday.com/events/date/2017.
Accessed 31 Dec. 2017.
“The March.” Women's March, www.womensmarch.com/march. Accessed 31 Dec. 2017.
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Going into 2018, we pledge to recognize our privilege, and strive to reflect on our triumphs and defeats in a productive manner. Our thoughts are with those impacted with brutality, pain, suffering, abuse, loss, and injustice in our world throughout the years. We hope that the leaders and citizens of countries affected will think, act and react with kindness, empathy and a sense of justice. We pledge to do the same when we are affected by events like these. We pledge to be mindful of events occurring, to be grateful for our safety, to share the stories of our fellow humans, and take action wherever we can to prevent further crises from occurring.