It’s a sad day in the jungle. Scientists have recently reported that giraffes are now facing extinction. The tallest land animal was officially classified as “vulnerable” after its population rapidly declined 40 percent in only 30 years worldwide.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature reported that in 1985 there were 151,000-163,000 giraffes but by 2015 that number had dropped down to 97,562.

Scientists have blamed the giraffe extinction on “habitat loss” and explained that more and more people are moving in and developing on giraffe living areas. Researchers are also claiming that these circumstances are only “worsened by poaching and disease.”

The decline is so steep it’s a little alarming that there hasn’t been greater notice taken in giraffe extinction before now but apparently, the African mammal has historically been overrepresented in zoos worldwide and has now caused what scientists are dubbing a “silent extinction.” Discuss

Humble Beast Records has released a video of a conversation between artists Propaganda and Sho Baraka from the “Spotlight Tour.” During the nationwide tour, the duo engaged in compelling conversations about pressing social issues and the Church’s reaction to them.

From Humble Beast:

Each night we hope[d] to dive deep into the topics of compassion, unity, ethics, race, faith, and the church. Our hope is that by bringing these conversations to the forefront each night, we can move past the Twitter rants & Facebook debates to a place where people are no longer disillusioned, but inspired & equipped to step back into their communities with fresh eyes, compassion in their hearts, good news on their lips - ready to live as lights in a dark world.

If you have 20 minutes, it’s definitely worth the watch. Discuss

Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women—they aren’t even allowed to drive.

But a billionaire Saudi prince is pushing to lift the ban because, he says, it exceeds the limits of religion.

Alwaleed bin Talal took to Twitter:

Talal is an “unusually outspoken member of the Saudi royal family,” says the Guardian, but he doesn’t have any official political powers.

The link in Talal's tweet goes to a statement that outlines reasons Saudis should lift the ban on women’s driving. Among the reasons, Talal claims that the ban goes further than precepts of Islam allow. The statement says:

Preventing a woman from driving a car is today an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity. They are all unjust acts by a traditional society, far more restrictive than what is lawfully allowed by the precepts of religion.

The likelihood of this idea gaining traction appears to be slim, but it’s a start. Discuss

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins will don some unique footwear when his team faces off with the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday. Cousins took to Instagram to show off his “Until All Are Free” anti-human trafficking cleats, that show his support for the organization International Justice Mission (IJM).

For one week only, the NFL—who is notoriously strict with their uniform policies—is allowing players to wear pre-approved “Cause Cleats,” that show their support for important social and humanitarian causes.

Cousins has long been an advocate for fighting modern day slavery. Last year, in an op-ed for RELEVANT, he explained,

When I was in high school, my Dad, a pastor, asked me to come to church with him on a Wednesday night. Now, our family went to church every Sunday, but it was unusual for my Dad to ask me to attend the mid-week service. But tonight was different as my dad wanted me to hear the speaker that evening, a man named Gary Haugen …

With clarity and conviction, Gary, the founder and CEO of International Justice Mission, explained that there are tens of millions of slaves in the world today.

Fast forward to 2012. Out of the blue, a Redskins teammate invited me to a benefit dinner for IJM … My wife, Julie, and I were excited to attend and listened as the speaker, Saju Mathew, told the story of Chinnayan … Chinnayan and his wife, pregnant at the time, worked grueling days under the hot Indian sun, crushing rocks into gravel using heavy, rusty tools. Escape was not an option for Chinnayan. Others who had tried were caught, tied to a pole, and beaten mercilessly …

I also wondered if God could use my platform in professional football to do something, anything, to serve the countless other Chinnayan’s in this world.

Last season, after a video of Cousins yelling “‘You like that!” following a big win went viral, Cousins sold T-shirts with the phrase that benefitted IJM.


More than 26 million orphans live in West and Central Africa, according to the United Nations.

A huge factor to this number is the cycle of violence and poverty facing Congo, where more than 4 million children have lost at least one parent.

This breakdown in security and family longevity means children have been forced to look after themselves and their younger siblings leaving them vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers or armed rebel forces.

Organizations across the region are working to bring healing and provisions to the lives affected by the brutalities of civil wars and exploitation. Yet, a generation is growing up as the silent victims of decades of violence, left to grapple with how to build a future out of tragedy with the traumas they've endured. Discuss