holiday gifts

Tips for Happier, More Humane Gift-Giving

by Marsha Rakestraw This time of year the news is full of headlines about online sales, various shopping frenzies (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.), and an even earlier start on holiday buying. Juxtaposed with the high-energy holiday consumer craze are stories giving us tips for reducing our holiday stress and finding ways to make the…

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people forming a peace sign on the beach

Resources for Teaching and Learning About War and Peace

by Marsha Rakestraw War and peace have long accompanied human civilization. And while, as some argue, we may be living in less violent times overall, the news is largely saturated with stories of violence and war. And as much as we say that we want peace, when mass violence occurs — such as it has…

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dreamcatcher

Resources for Exploring Issues About Native Americans and Other Indigenous Peoples

by Marsha Rakestraw All you have to do is glance at the media to know that racism, stereotypes, and bias are alive and well in the U.S. And, while many ethnic groups endure these prejudices and indignities, there’s a special category of oppression for Native peoples of North America. This continent belonged to hundreds of…

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social media

Empower Don’t Paralyze: 6 Tips for Sharing About Global Ethical Issues

by Marsha Rakestraw As I scroll down my Facebook wall, I skim across a horrific image of cruelty that someone has posted, with a caption that merely says “This has to stop!” and no other information. The image is so traumatizing that I quickly skip by it, and even consider hiding that person’s posts from…

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I Am a Humane Educator: Rosana Ng

IHE M.Ed. graduate Rosana Ng was born and raised in Hong Kong and lived for several years in Toronto, Canada. She spent many years in the clothing business, traveling extensively. For her, life was about moving ahead. When Rosana found humane education, she “made a 180-degree turn in life.” Rosana now lives with four dogs…

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dictionary

The Trouble With “It”

by Shannon Finch I’d like to discuss a small word with a big problem: “it.” First, a little grammar review for you. “It” is a pronoun, like he or she, that takes the place of a noun. An antecedent, such as “the butterfly,” “the child,” or “the tree,” comes first so that readers know what…

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4 Video Resources for Exploring Race, Racism, Stereotypes, and Microaggressions

by Marsha Rakestraw Talking about race, racism, and institutional oppression can be challenging, especially when many white people are feeling defensive, uncomfortable, and confused. Videos, including those using humor, can be a great tool for introducing tough-to-talk-about conversations, and a meaningful catalyst for exploring what can be subtle, complex issues. Here are four resources that…

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gardening

12 Children’s Picture Books About the Power of Gardens

by Marsha Rakestraw “The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden.” ~ Thomas More Gardens are full of life, diversity, and wonder. They feed us physically and emotionally. They can be made of plants, rocks, or other materials. And their seeds can blossom into food, or memory, or hope. Gardens of all sorts…

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pollinator garden

Northwoods Elementary Students Become Solutionaries for a Better World

by Elizabeth O. Crawford, Ph.D. “Do you think our garden will help bees pollinate fruits and vegetables?” a second grader from Northwoods Elementary (Jacksonville, NC) asked excitedly. On Friday, May 15, Northwoods broke ground on its first pollinator garden, the culminating event of a semester-long humane education project with the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s…

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ruby

12 Children’s Picture Books About Access to Education

by Marsha Rakestraw Both the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child explicitly mention the right to an education. Achieving universal primary education is one of the Millennium Development Goals. Leaders and citizens alike recognize the importance of education, yet millions of children still lack access to education…

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