A young person's hands cupping dirt with a green plant growing out of it

6 Resources for Finding Meaningful Solutions to Global Challenges

by Marsha Rakestraw It’s true that the world is facing numerous grave challenges. And we’re exposed to many of them during our 24/7 omnipresent news cycles. Occasionally we’ll also find some positive stories about people doing good. But usually these stories are focused on small acts of kindness or Band-Aid solutions. And while every compassionate…

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10 Tools to Help You Find More Ethical Products

by Marsha Rakestraw From the time we arise in the morning until we fall asleep, we participate in a continuous cycle of using stuff that affects ourselves, other people, animals, and the planet. And during holidays our consumption of stuff tends to jump. We do what we can to buy products that do more good…

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How Do Your Electronic Gadgets Rate on Their Environmental Impact?

by Marsha Rakestraw A friend of mine is a technology early adopter. He wants the latest version of his favorite gadgets, and sometimes he’ll buy two. He tries to resell or give away the older (or extra) models, but that’s still a lot of electronics to dispose of. And while more people are deciding to…

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ghost candy

4 Resources for Finding (Somewhat) Ethical Halloween Treats

by Marsha Rakestraw This year people in the U.S. plan to spend about $2.7 billion just on Halloween candy. And that’s a whole lot of opportunity to buy chocolate and other goodies that reflect our values of doing the most good and least harm for all. Unfortunately there’s no one-stop resource for finding Halloween candy…

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Getting the Child Slave Labor Out of Your Shopping Cart

by Marsha Rakestraw We hear about forced and child labor, reading about specific instances in the news, and we may wonder whether the sugar, cookies, or bananas we bought last week, or the cellphone we’re using, or the fireworks we enjoy are made with the hands of children or slaves; it can be hard to…

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Human Rights Graduate Program Institute for Humane Education

8 Resources for Teaching About Unconscious Bias

by Marsha Rakestraw We all have biases. We’ve heard many times that those biases are an evolutionary adaptation that helped us survive, but even after these thousands of years, we haven’t yet learned to recognize and overcome many of our unconscious (and conscious) biases related to race, gender, disability, age, geography, and even species. Research…

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Resources for Teaching and Learning About Intersectionality

by Marsha Rakestraw All of us have a variety of characteristics that contribute to who we are: our gender and ethnicity. Our income level and beliefs about religion/spirituality. Our sexual orientation and level of able-bodiedness. Our geographic location and age. And so much more. Each of these characteristics can influence both our level of privilege…

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Resources for Teaching About Charlottesville, White Supremacy, Racism, and Hate

by Marsha Rakestraw Over the weekend, hatred and violence descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, as white nationalists amassed  to “take America back,” and opponents gathered to protest white supremacy and oppression. On Friday night white supremacists marched on the University of Virginia campus, carrying torches, chanting, and surrounding a small group of counterprotesters. On Saturday, people…

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Resources for Teaching About Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice

by Marsha Rakestraw (Almost) every being on Earth shares a common need for clean air, water, and shelter. But we don’t share equitable access. For example: More than half of people who live close to hazardous waste are people of color. Black children are twice as likely to suffer from lead poisoning than are white…

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