kids in classroom

5 Minute Changemaker: Speak the Good in Others

by Marsha Rakestraw My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Leddy, had us students do something that I have never forgotten. She called it a “car wash.” Every week one of us would be the “car,” and the other students would form two lines in front of the car. Zigzagging from one side to the other, the…

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Widening Our Circle of Compassion: An Interview With Animal Rights Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur

Jo-Anne McArthur’s love of animals began when she was a child. She says, “The neighbour had a backyard dog who didn’t live a very exciting life so I would take him for walks, despite his enormous size and my small stature.” In her 20’s, Jo-Anne realized that she could combine her empathy with her photography…

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glacier

5 Things (Social) Science Tells Us to Do When Talking About Climate Change

by Marsha Rakestraw Call it climate change, global warming, climate catastrophe, or the impending apocalypse, we’ve seen that it’s rampaging across our planet and affecting every being on earth. A 2020 poll from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication shows that nearly three quarters of Americans now believe global warming is happening, and 56% believe…

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hamburger

Moving Beyond “It’s a Personal Choice”

by Marsha  Rakestraw “It’s a personal choice.” If you’ve been a humane educator or changemaker for any length of time, you’ve probably heard those words frequently. You may even have said them yourself. We use them when we want to justify the choices we’re making and remove any sort of ethical consideration or right-or-wrong-ness from…

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book cover

Zoe Weil’s New Book Calls for An Education Revolution

How can we create a just, healthy, and humane world? What is the path to developing sustainable energy, food, transportation, production, and other systems? What’s the best strategy to end poverty and ensure that everyone has equal rights? How can we slow the rate of extinction and restore ecosystems? How can we learn to resolve…

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girl power

14 Picture Books About Women Changemakers

by Marsha Rakestraw There is no shortage of examples of how sexism continues to pervade our society. One recent example is this video of women actors reading casting call character descriptions (most of which are pretty demeaning) for female characters. Numerous studies show how much gender imbalance continues to exist in business, politics, pop culture,…

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What Solutionary Learning Can Look Like: 4 Stories

Transforming our educational system won’t be easy, but I believe that it is the most important and strategic path toward creating more just, peaceful, and sustainable societies populated by healthy, happy, successful people. Because the world inevitably becomes what we teach, it’s up to each of us – whether we are teachers, school administrators, parents,…

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Why You Should Use These Images to Inspire Climate Change Action

by Marsha Rakestraw While images of polar bears clinging to bits of ice or of widespread deforestation might motivate those of us who are biophiliacs, many people find them uninspiring. Images can influence and galvanize us, but it matters what those images depict. When it comes to climate action, photos of polar bears and protesters…

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karen patterson

I Am a Humane Educator: Karen Patterson

IHE M.Ed. graduate Karen Patterson works as the director of humane education for the Humane Society of Huron Valley in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she built their humane education program from scratch. Karen spent 10 years as an elementary classroom teacher, where she incorporated humane education into her classroom lessons and activities. She and her…

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IHE graduate Kelle Kersten

I Am a Humane Educator: Kelle Kersten

IHE M.Ed. grad Kelle Kersten has more than 20 years experience as an organic farmer/gardener. Currently Kelle lives and gardens veganically with her husband at their vegan homestead, Ahimsa Village, in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. She offers paid and work shares for friends to share in the bounty of her gardens. Kelle says, “I…

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