Friday, March 15, 2013
Humane Educator's Toolbox: The New Heroes
The PBS series The New Heroes features changemakers who have stepped up and taken positive action to help those in need. Hosted by Robert Redford, the 4-hour series profiles 12 social entrepreneurs from around the world who are making a positive difference for others. Those featured include:
Albina Ruiz was devastated by the health and environmental problems caused by garbage in Peru. She decided to take action and is now working to revolutionize waste management, helping create jobs, promote sustainability and protect people and the planet.
Muhammad Yunus was teaching economics in Bangladesh when he became aware of the crushing poverty all around him. He started asking poor people what they needed, and ended up creating the Grameen Bank, which lends microcredit to the poor, asking for no collateral and inspiring and empowering thousands.
Kailash Satyarthi has dedicated his life to helping free the millions of people — many of them children — who have been forced into slavery. Satyarthi conducts raids to free slaves; has established an Ashram so that freed slaves have a place of safety to begin again; has worked to develop child-friendly villages that support, educate and nurture their children; and established the Rugmark system (now known as Goodweave), so that people can be assured of buying slave-free rugs.
Through the Delancey Street Foundation, Mimi Silbert has created a means for substance abusers, former felons, and other troubled people to turn their lives around through their own efforts. The foundation is funded in large part through the many businesses operated by residents in the program, who do good for the community while learning marketable and important living skills.
The companion website includes profiles of the featured changemakers, as well as lesson plans for teachers to use in their classrooms and tips for parents to help them raise caring, compassionate, committed citizens.
The New Heroes is required viewing for all our graduate and online course students.
The stories of these heroes serve as a model for how we can all become ordinary heroes, as well as a tool for inspiring humane educators and their students to find ways to engage in the heroic in their own lives.
It’s easy to become depressed and pessimistic about the state of the world, but seeing these heroes in action can uplift your spirits and infuse you with new hope, passion, and commitment. Be sure to check it out!
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