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Facebook posted a video to playlist Community Voices.

“I called my sister Melody at about 3:00 in the morning. It was clear that she was in shock. There was no doubt about that. She had driven through flames, literally.”

In September 2020, the Beachie Creek and Riverside fires burned through the town of Niagara, Oregon. Lisa Barnhardt watched from Vermont as the town she grew up in, and where many family members still lived, burned.

Feeling helpless from over 3,000 miles away Lisa wasn’t sure what she could do to help. “It was being run over by a steamroller until I started thinking about what I could do instead of what I could not do.”

Lisa turned to Facebook App and created a Facebook Event to share resources and information amongst neighbors and towns devastated by the Beachie Creek and Riverside fires.

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Rising from the Ashes - Community Voices

“VR gives you the chance to step into someone else’s skin. As a white person, you can look down and see Black hands. As a man, you can be a woman. As a young person, you can be old. There’s nothing else in gaming that can create that kind of empathy.”

Derek H. makes VR games that both entertain and instruct. His VR experience I Am A Man uses the @Oculus headset to provide an immersive look at the Civil Rights Movement, giving his audience a first-person perspective of the 196...8 Memphis Sanitation Worker’s Strike and the events leading to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“For me, MLK Day is one of those days where I have to look in the mirror and ask myself those tough questions. Am I loving others? Am I doing work that is making a difference and improving lives? Am I speaking truth in the projects I create? And if my answer is yes, I know that I, along with so many others in this world, am in fact continuing the legacy of Dr. King.”

With the funding Derek won from the 2017 Oculus Launch Pad program, he started Logic Grip, a VR company that creates new hardware and produces Civil Rights content to educate future generations of changemakers.

Check out the amazing stories that Derek brings to life

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