You are receiving Ellie Krug's Monthly Newsletter, The Ripple 
Dear Friends:

I hope this finds you well and enjoying Spring! Warmer temps have arrived in Minnesota—enough so that I’ve already been on my bike several times in March; how quite wonderful!

Two weeks ago, I gave an online Transgender 101 presentation where therapists, educators, social workers, and other education-related folks were among the 150 in attendance. As I took questions, it was clear that many professionals working with youth want practical tools and advice on how to be welcoming to younger transgender and nonbinary humans.

If you work with youth and would like additional perspective in this area, I’m more than willing to talk with you one-on-one, pro bono. Simply email me ([email protected]) and we will set something up.

Separately, I launched this newsletter in July 2016 with less than 300 recipients. The recipient list now stands at 9242.

Every issue of The Ripple takes 15 to 20 hours to create. Some issues have thirty or forty links to stories that I think will interest readers; often, however, many of those links attract only a few clicks. This reinforces the obvious conclusion the everyone’s time is greatly limited and no matter how much someone might want to dive into what I have to offer, it’s just not possible to do that. 
Given this, as you will see, I’ve decided to streamline this newsletter.

Hopefully, you will find this leaner version of The Ripple to your liking (by all means, let me know what you think!). For me, it’s a bittersweet adjustment since there are so many things that I think are worth sharing. Trust me, it will take great self-restraint with this new format.

I hope you are well. Please know that I care about you. 

Helping "Mr. V"
Jose Villarruel—known as “Mr. V” to his students—was a longtime substitute teacher loved by his students in Fontana California. His tenure as a substitute teacher ended last May due to COVID--related restrictions in schools. At age 76, Mr. V retired and took his pension. However, that wasn’t enough to pay his debts, and soon Mr. V was living out of his car.

As this story reports, that’s when former student Steven Nava, age 21, came across Mr. V. When Steven was a student, Mr. V. had given him extra help on his studies. Now as Steven saw his former teacher whom he cherished struggle, he explained, “I was just devastated and gutted for the reality of the pandemic…and it’s sad to see one of your teachers go through that, so it only makes you want to help out more.”

This spurred Steven to first gift Mr. V $300, but then he started a GoFundMe to raise $30K to help Mr. V. As of March 20th, that effort had netted $23,975 from 655 donors. With that and other monies, Steven and several former students recently presented Mr. V with a check for $27,000 along with other gifts.

Mr. V’s reaction: “My initial thought was, ‘Am I dreaming?’ I still can’t get over this experience.”
In turn, this spurred Mr. V to want to pay the generosity forward. He said, “The greatest feeling that I have right now is like an obligation that I need to do a lot for the world…and I’m going to find a way to do that. “

Once again, we’re reminded of how human goodness ripples to others, and then onto even more humans. We can do this for each other. We must do this!
Inclusivity Tip of the Month
Ally vs. Allyship vs. Accomplice?
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For the next several weeks, the trial of Derek Chauvin, one of the police officers charged in the murder of George Floyd, will take place in downtown Minneapolis. No doubt the trial will cause many to have emotional reactions.

 In light of this, I want to talk about what it means to be supportive to someone from a marginalized community.

“Ally” is a status, a self-identification or declaration that someone is aligned with and supportive of individuals and groups from marginalized communities. Many of you reading this newsletter are an ally to me, Ellie Krug, a transgender woman, and to others who identify as trans or nonbinary or something else on the LGBTQ alphabet. (Thank you for that, by the way!)

“Allyship” is moving from status to action. That action can be in the form of speaking out/up for someone or by merely making the conscious decision to post a symbol or sign to let people from marginalized communities know that they are welcome (think a Black Lives Matter front yard placard or a rainbow flag for LGBTQ humans). Allyship can also involve marching or demonstrating.

“Accomplice” is the highest form of allyship; it’s working hand-in-hand with those from a marginalized community to deconstruct structural racism or transphobia. To be an accomplice could mean using one’s reputation or political capital to sponsor a marginalized person so that you can jointly engage in social justice work within an organization or community.

Regardless of what label you attach to yourself, it’s most important that you work to support those who historically (and present-day) have lacked an equal voice or power. Please keep this in mind as the Chauvin trial progresses; all of us will need to be mutually supportive as the testimony and verdict come in. Please don’t be afraid to ask, “How are you doing? Would you like to talk?” and then make the time to listen.

Those questions and your willingness to sit and listen may mean so very much to someone.
Click here and here for resources on how to be an accomplice. 
Sixty Second Roundups
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Here's the story of Jere'e Clark, the only person to stop for a ten-year -old-boy screaming for help after another boy accidentally shot himself with a parent’s gun…Watch here how people stop for and respond to for a young man with a sign, “This is my sign of depression”…And check out this story about an Indianapolis middle school principal who used imagination and compassion, rather than discipline, to help out a student with a bad haircut. Finally, this is how neighbors of an Asian family stepped up when they were harassed.
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Read this breathtaking NYT piece—as in, “I can’t breathe because of the appalling inhumanity"—about Georgetown University’s founding Jesuits having sold 272 enslaved humans in 1838 to raise money to pay the university's debts; thankfully, the Jesuits, owning up to the unspeakable injustice, have agreed to create a $100 million fund to help support the now-5000 descendants of those enslaved humans. Read about that here…And for those interested, here are my March columns: “Mrs. Becker,” that appeared in Minnesota Women’s Press and "Easy Prey" in Lavender Magazine. 
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With the 20+ states considering anti-transgender bills (!!) across the country, please take 3+ minutes to watch Brandon Boulware—Father of the Year—testify before the Missouri legislature in support of his teen transgender daughter. Note his words, “The one thing we cannot do is silence my child’s spirit.” For the love of God, leave trans kids alone!..But then there's hope, as in Elliot Page.
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This month's Relief has a nautical theme: watch as a sloth enjoys dipping its hand in a river, and then, make sure to watch this entire video of a coastal fisherman having fun with pelicans--you're in for a surprise!...On another note, my daughter Kate is a professional book reviewer; her book pick for this month is Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong. In light of the Atlanta tragedy, so very timely.
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I recently met Teresa Sande and was impressed by her wonderful common sense approach; she's the author of Find Your Fierce: Interrupt Imposter Syndrome and Own Your Own Success; check out her website...Some of you have recently given to Human Ripple Works, Inc., a nonprofit that others and I set up to train nonprofits and other organizations on human inclusivity. Thank you for that!! If you’d like to support this work, please click here on the HRW website.
The Ripple is a work in progress, so please, I welcome your suggestions and comments! Please share this newsletter with others, too!

Please consider reading my book, Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change; if possible, order it through your local bookstore. And, if your book club reads my book, I'm happy to come for the discussion via Zoom!

Thank you for helping to make the world a better place! I'm at your side, cheering you on, I promise! Please have compassion for yourself and for others.

Encouraging Open Hearts and Thriving Human Spirits 
Human Inspiration Works, LLC: We make "inclusion" an action word

Ellen (Ellie) Krug