Blog

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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tree hugger

Becoming Humane Beings (lesson plans)

by Marsha Rakestraw Right at the start of the school year is a great time to encourage students to think about the world they live in, the choices they make, what a humane world looks like, and the power they have to help bring such a world to reality. What does it mean to become…

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class

5 Simple Tips for Creating a Compassionate Classroom

by Samantha Gentrup As teachers get ready for the school year, we have to decide what our classrooms will look like and what our rules and procedures will be. We essentially have to create our classroom culture. What can we do to make sure we build a classroom of kindness and compassion for all beings?…

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#FridayFeature: 3 Videos About Intersectionality

by Marsha Rakestraw Less than two months ago, Justine Damond was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer for an unknown reason. Her story has repeatedly made international headlines. Many people are now familiar with her name and her tragic story. Justine was a white woman. Many people also recognize these names: Eric Garner….

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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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5 Minute Changemaker: Say No to Plastic Straws

by Marsha Rakestraw Plastic straws are one of those little things we don’t think much about. We pop them in our to-go drinks. Restaurants often automatically include them with our beverages. They’re readily available at restaurants, bars, cafeterias, special events, and so on. But ask this turtle and all the other sea animals, and they’ll…

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