Writer Svetlana Alexievich answers questions during a press conference in Minsk, Belarus, on Oct. 8, following the announcement of her Nobel Prize. Alexievich writes about hard truths, making Russian authorities uncomfortable. She says she wants her country to be better — instead of comfortable with where it is. Sergei Gapon/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Mamie Parker, a fish and wildlife biologist with a doctorate in ecology, remembers a janitor at work once telling her: "No African-American woman has been in here except to clean this office." Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

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A Los Angeles Police Department car follows protesters as they march near the city's 77th Street police station last August. It was a protest of the fatal LAPD shooting of Ezell Ford. Mark J. Terrill/AP hide caption

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U.S. Sen. Tim Scott bows his head in prayer during a prayer vigil held at Morris Brown AME Church on Thursday, June 18, 2015 in Charleston, S.C. The service honored victims of Wednesday's shooting at Emanuel AME Church. Grace Beahm/AP hide caption

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Murals on display across the street from the Red Bull House of Art gallery in Detroit, Mich. After the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Detroit hopes outsiders will focus on the city's potential, not the history of conflict and crisis that has cut its population in half since 1960. Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Six months after declaring bankruptcy was over, can Detroit celebrate? Paul Sancya/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

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Michel Martin's father was a New York City firefighter in 1968, when race riots erupted in neighborhoods across the city and country. His memorial card sits on his dented helmet from those years. Emily Jan/NPR hide caption

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New Orleans educator Jonathan Johnson is founder and CEO of the Rooted School. Jonathan Johnson hide caption

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