Group of student solutionaries working on a project

Introduction to Solutionary Thinking

This activity is a brief exploration of some of the skills and processes needed to explore problems of concern to students and develop meaningful solutions. Actually engaging in substantial solutionary work is beyond the scope of this activity. In this activity, students will practice critical, systems, strategic, and creative thinking skills in order to brainstorm…

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Resources for #WeNeedDiverseBooks

by Marsha Rakestraw When I was a child, I read a lot of books. A lot. And other than the occasional title, like The Snowy Day, the people in all those books looked like me. White. Able-bodied. Heterosexual. Despite our growing population of children of color in the US — who now outnumber white students…

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11 Children’s Books About Nonviolent Protest and Resistance

by Marsha Rakestraw Protests and nonviolent resistance are an integral part of human culture. On any given day, there are protests happening around the world. Protests have helped bring about civil and workers’ rights, environmental protection measures, and better treatment of nonhuman animals. And with so many protests in the news (and in the streets…

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Ending the Violence With Meaningful Solutions

I am a humane educator, a person dedicated to creating a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world through education. This past week’s killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers underscore the necessity of educating a generation of solutionaries who have the capacity and the will to prevent such violence from continuing…

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anti-bias teacher resources

Tips for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books

by Marsha Rakestraw Stories are a powerful tool. They teach us about the world and ourselves; they influence our values; and they help shape our worldview. With children’s books, we’re usually looking for a good story to share with our children. Less often are we paying much attention to the kinds of messages those stories…

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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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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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beauty in nature

Resources for Reexamining Columbus Day

by Marsha Rakestraw Today is Columbus Day in the U.S., and this year, as in generations before, elementary schools all across the country will teach another group of children that, “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” and discovered America. It is a fact that Columbus sailed to North America in 1492 and encountered Native…

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