Actions shape our world. The decisions of goodwill and grace as well as malevolent choices affects all outcomes. In the same manner, action movies revolve around choices. The main character is often presented with an issue, and has to make a decision on which path to take towards a solution. Action movies are more than just mindless violence, most contain plots of moral dilemmas. Critically-acclaimed actor Liam Neeson is one of the most prominent action movie stars in Hollywood. However, to consider him just an action star in thoughtless films is egregious. His films directly reflect his feelings towards life and its’ machinations as well as his faith, “We really had to strip away the layers and really confront yourself in what your real beliefs are. I certainly did, didn't come away with any answers...I'm still questing, let's put it that way," he explained to CNN about his role in the film Silence. Neeson’s movies represent important themes such as tragedy, religion and most importantly life and death. Neeson's quiet dignity and grace enhances moviegoers’ experience in any film he stars in. Although he has lived a life full of major film and personal successes, we should note his accomplishments beyond the silver screen.

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At only 25 years old, NBA Point Guard Victor Oladipo has already experienced some of life’s twists and turns. Named the Sporting News Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year and National Co-Defensive Player of the Year while he played basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers, it was no surprise when Oladipo was drafted with the second overall pick in the NBA in 2013 by the Orlando Magic. He was even named NBA All-Rookie first team, an honor given to the top rookies of the season. But when he was traded just three years later to Oklahoma City Thunder after a severe concussion, doubt started to creep into his mind.

When he was traded a year later to the Indiana Pacers, he was fighting back depression. “Going through those first couple years in the league,” he told the IndyStar. “I realized that I needed to work on my body and my mind just as much as I work on my game,” admitting that doing so saved his career. “I realized that the game is 20% physical but it's literally 80% mental.” Today, Oladipo is considered one of the best guards in the Eastern Conference and is on the verge of making the All-Star team for the first time in his NBA career. In fact, he is the 7th ranked player in the entire NBA for most points scored in the fourth quarter. Despite a somewhat rocky start, Oladipo has fought and proved that he belongs in the NBA, a habit he learned early on in life.

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"Def Comedy Jam was the shit!"

A simple yet powerful statement from one of the all-time great comedians, Dave Chappelle. Even in saying that,  it still doesn't do the show that revolutionized urban comedy enough justice. Twenty-five years ago, the comedy game was changed forever. To the point where all roads of comedy as we know it today, run through Def Comedy Jam. The doors in comedy that were opened due to Def Comedy Jam led to so many people becoming household names, and that's continued to be the case a quarter century later.

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Serendipity.

Serendipity is defined as an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident or good fortune and luck. It is can be a chance meeting of love, wealth or opportunity. 21-year old model Slick Woods had a serendipitous meeting of her own at a Los Angeles bus stop in 2016 when she was discovered by British male model Ash Stymest. The meeting was completely random but it changed her life. "It was literally the luck of the Universe. My energy, my positive energy pulling things towards me. I'm on Law of Attraction. I just feel like I definitely did that for myself. When I was hungry, nobody fed me. I definitely just lucked up. I just do this to show people that luck is a real thing. It really is," Woods said in an Urban Outfitters blog interview.

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I really did not expect a sixteen year old girl to pop up when I googled #BreakingTheSterotype. She is a professional dancer, actress and an advocate for body positivity for all kinds of people. Amanda LaCount started dancing at the age of two, and acting locally at the age of five. Her upbeat spirit and dance moves have landed her in pop-star Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish” music video, on reality television shows like “Dancing With the Stars,” and “The Voice.” The young fiery girl is trained in a variety of dance styles like hip-hop, contemporary, ballet and even tap.

#BreakingTheSterotype is Amanda’s trending hashtag on social media. It was created due to the negativity the passionate dancer has received due to her body size. The hashtag encourages people to break the stereotype imposed on dancers by society. Just like models, most believe dancers should be thin and have a “cookie cutter” body type. Stereotypes take many forms, and mostly negative, but the teen’s hashtag is meant to break this concept in the dancing world. In an interview with Amy Poehler, creator of Amy’s Smart Girls, a platform for young women to live up to their true self, Amanda daringly replied when asked about her hashtag:

“Anyone can be a dancer if they are passionate about it and work hard. It doesn’t matter if you are tall or short, what color you are, what sexual orientation you are, male or female, age, height, thick or thin body type, hair color, how much money you have, if you are blind or deaf, paralyzed, or even if you can walk or not. Anyone can dance if they want to.”

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It's a proven fact that African-Americans experience disproportionate rates of marijuana-related arrests. The recent success of decriminalizing marijuana laws, has led to economic profit. In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs and it currently enjoys the lowest rate of drug overdoses in Western Europe according to the Washington Post. There are many benefits in the decriminalization of marijuana, such as a boost in the local and national economy. There is less of a strain on taxpayers if marijuana possessors are not jailed, and the industry also creates jobs. Last year, marijuana sales made $6.7 billion according to Bloomberg News.

However, the Washington Post reported that marijuana possession arrests were higher than any other violent crime arrest in 2016. This is where Hope Wiseman comes into the spotlight, she is a advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana and African-American rights. Wiseman will be the youngest African-American dispensary owner in the United States. Her goal is to aid African-Americans affected by the war on drugs through her company Compassionate Herbal Alternative. CHA is a medical cannabis company that includes Mary and Main, a Maryland-based cannabis store.

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