"I knew that I had to not only get back into skating, but create the representation that wasn't there." Andy D., Founder of Chub Rollz

When Andy took up skating again in his late 30’s as a plus sized, Black, trans man, he couldn’t find a community where he felt like he fit in. So he and his co-organizer Jenn turned to Instagram and started Chub Rollz. It's there that they - and thousands of others - found the community and courage to try something new together.

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Pride Month is a time to celebrate the forward momentum generated by the LGBTQ+ community and its allies toward a more inclusive and equitable world. It’s about looking back at the history and activism that brought us to this moment, while celebrating what it means to be the loudest, truest, most authentic version of yourself. What does Pride Month mean to you? #pride

Collage by Alison Gore

It’s Pride Month and we’re celebrating the power, strength and resiliency of the LGBTQ+ community. All month long, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite stories from across Facebook and Instagram that embody the spirit of Pride, and encourage all of you to tag us in any celebrations of your own.

We’ll also be telling stories about members of the queer community who are using their authentic voices and platforms to share vital resources, start important conversations and uplift one another.

Join us as we move forward with Pride.

Collage by Alison Gore

On Memorial Day, we honor those who have died while serving the United States military. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) provides a mentorship program for children of these men and women. See how mentors like former Marine Kevin P. are using Messenger Kids to create important life-long friendships with these families.

“The whole idea that we had TAPS and we had the military grief community, otherwise we would have been lost without them.” - Robyn T., a Military Loss Survivor

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“Our little community that we're building on Brown Girl Mag is a place for you to learn about us, about our heritage, our culture, our hundreds of different identities that we have as South Asians. It's a place for you to recognize that we are more than what you may see on TV.” — Trisha Sakhuja-Walia

Brown Girl Magazine provides an open space for the South Asian community to discuss and celebrate their multicultural backgrounds, including answering the often-asked: “Where are you from?” A loaded question that can sometimes suggest ‘you don’t belong here.’ For #APAHM, the community is taking back the narrative and using this question as an opportunity to answer with who they are.

Onsan Vakum Plastik San. Tic. Ltd. Şti.

“It’s Been a Year of Service” Portrait of Sebastian Paz by Rodney Lucas.

This Mental Health Awareness Month we’re telling the story of people who pushed through with the help of a check-in.

Sebastian Paz is a man with many sides—father, husband, ER nurse, veteran, missionary, trainer—all of which are unified by a drive to serve others. After 8 years in the military and 3 years as an ER nurse, he thought he had faced his toughest challenges. Then the pandemic hit.

“There was no stopping, no break, no time to really process and, you know, take care of me,” he says, “It was a heavy load.”

Family was the first line of support. But when exposure made it necessary for Sebastian to quarantine, it was check-ins from fellow vet Paul that got him through. The “You good man?” Instagram DMs and video chats became the rhythm Sebastian would rely on during the months that followed. “Those that appear to be the strongest are not always as strong as they seem,” he says.

Tough as the past year was, Sebastian looks on it primarily as a year of meaningful service. “I've always found purpose and meaning in being involved in something that is helping people and making a difference. Like, I’m on this mission to to serve and to love others because, you know, I was served by others first.”

This Mental Health Awareness Month, we recognize that we’re all going through it. But we don’t have to go through it alone. For veteran and ER nurse Sebastian Paz, regular check-ins from a buddy helped him keep it together during 15 months straight on the front lines.

“I've just always found purpose and meaning in being involved in something that is helping people and making a difference,” Sebastian says. But week after week spent battling a global pandemic took its toll. Unable to be with his family for several weeks due to exposure, Sebastian bottomed out. Friend and fellow vet Paul helped him build back up. “He’s just been really, really clutch.”

“We DM each other on Instagram, we video chat, we respond to each other's stories,”says Sebastian. He credits this connection for helping not lose himself in a year of service to others. “Sometimes you have to get through to make sure that people aren’t overwhelmed and think there is no exit or no way out,” he believes, “It's the water that gets through the cracks.”

Envisioned by Rodney Lucas, music “It’s Been a Year” by Tom Rosenthal.

CEO and co-founder of Brown Girl Magazine, Trisha Sakhuja-Walia has created a community that allows South Asians to be themselves and discuss their identity. Her community spans across the globe and through her platform, she’s writing her history by encouraging others to speak theirs.

“We want to reach all of the people who maybe can’t get out of bed and maybe feel alone; we want them to be able to open their computer and find a sense of community.” Chelsie H., founder of the Rollettes

Chelsie has always loved to dance. When a car accident paralyzed her from the waist down at age 17, a wheelchair didn't stop her from pursuing her passion. She started the Rollettes, a wheelchair dance company with the goal of connecting and empowering women with disabilities around the world through dance. When COVID-19 forced everyone to socially distance, they kept their community thriving on Instagram through virtual dance classes and spreading their message of strength when we needed it most.

Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, where we raise awareness of the 1B people in the world with disabilities and the need to make digital products accessible to all. #GAAD

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Yin and Moonlynn found a community of chefs, restaurateurs, and artists on Facebook App and Instagram who not only felt impassioned to provide, but to also go above and beyond in showing that this is more than a meal. It’s the sentiment of providing comfort for the previous generation and inspiring the next. This #APAHM, we’re inspired by the Heart of Dinner community and the meaningful ways they care for their community.

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