Our Story

For more than 30 years, IHE’s president and co-founder, Zoe Weil, has empowered people of all ages to build a more just, healthy, and peaceful world. 

After many years of teaching young people about global ethical issues and inspiring them to become effective changemakers, Zoe and co-founder Rae Sikora launched the Center for Compassionate Living (CCL) in 1996 in Surry, ME. The organization was unique in bringing together human rights, environmental sustainability, and animal protection issues and educating about them in intersectional ways. CCL offered preparation and certification for people wishing to become humane educators, creating and building the field of comprehensive humane education.

CCL developed its groundbreaking Humane Education Certificate Program in 1997. Three years later, the organization affiliated with Cambridge College to offer the first M.Ed. program in humane education in the United States. That same year, CCL became the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) to better reflect its programs and focus.

From 2011-2019, IHE was affiliated with Valparaiso University and expanded its offerings to include an online M.Ed., M.A., M.A.L.S., and Graduate Certificate in Humane Education. In 2013, IHE and Valparaiso University partnered with Saybrook University to enable students who wished to pursue a Ph.D. through Saybrook to specialize in humane education.

Currently, IHE is affiliated with Antioch University and offers M.Ed., M.A. Graduate Certificate, and Ed.D. programs in humane education

In 2015, IHE began developing a solutionary process to help schools integrate solutionary learning and practices into existing curricula. Currently, IHE’s solutionary approach is being utilized by hundreds of teachers and is serving as the philosophy and framework for San Mateo County, CA, which serves 113,000 students in 23 school districts between San Francisco and Palo Alto. It is also being embedded in the K-12 social studies curriculum in the Oceanside, NY school district.

IHE has been offering  acclaimed workshops since its inception both in person and online; and continues to expand its award-winning online resource center.

“We look forward to the day when humane education is so deeply embedded in schooling and learning that it will simply be known as “education,” and schools will, as a matter of course, prepare students to be solutionaries who bring their knowledge and skills to bear to solve the challenges we face in ways that are good for all.” 

Zoe Weil