We Must Develop Truly Solutionary Solutions

If you conduct a web search for “kid heroes” you’ll discover wonderful children doing great things. It is inspiring to read their stories, learn about their generosity, and know that kindness and compassion flourish. Yet you’ll likely discover that many of these children are involved in efforts that do not seek to change the systems…

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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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father and son playing with dollhouse

11 Children’s Picture Books That Shatter Gender Stereotypes

by Marsha Rakestraw Just as we like to pretend that we live in a post-racial society, many of us want to avoid talking about sexism, stereotypes, and gender inequities. After all, women are CEOs and scientists and MMA fighters. And men can (sometimes) express their feelings (in certain cases), and can be stay-at-home dads and…

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civil rights march

Resources for Integrating Social Justice Into Your Classroom

by Marsha Rakestraw As we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., and his legacy, today, it’s important to remember that, with global challenges growing and violence, injustice, cruelty and destruction flourishing, it’s vital that we address issues of social justice (human rights, environmental preservation, animal protection, media, culture, and changemaking) with students — to help them…

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A group of protestors with two talking on megaphones

Don’t Fall Into the Changemaker Trap That Makes People Resist Positive Change

by Marsha Rakestraw Awhile back I had dinner with some new non-vegan friends and colleagues. I was the only vegan there, and it came out that they’d been a bit concerned that I’d pull out my “vegan police” badge and start lecturing them about their food choices. When I told the person next to me…

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war & peace

Children’s Picture Books About War and Peace

by Marsha Rakestraw Some children have known war their entire lives. As journalist and peace teacher, Colman McCarthy says, “Why are we violent, but not illiterate? Because we are taught to read.” We teach children science, math and competition, but not peace. We offer them lessons on good character and anti-bullying, but often don’t model…

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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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