Educating Solutionaries for Resilience and Joy

My friend, Kathleen Skerrett, the new Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Richmond, gave a speech at a university colloquy last month. For my blog post today, I wanted to share this moving, powerful, wise speech. Here's a brief excerpt:

"The generation we are teaching will reach maturity in a world that is deeply wounded and precarious. The apocalypse proceeds for the diversity of species at a terrible rate, and the waters rise to engulf the lands of the poorest of the poor. We do not know what the new normal will be for the world economy, or how economic collapse will deepen ecological degradation. We do not know how religious or political forces will respond to crises of sickness and scarcity; or how technology and communications will interact with basic human need. Yet the students in our classrooms today must meet these global contingencies tomorrow.

Any of us who saw Tyler Hicks’ photograph of a starving Somali child, published on the front page of the New York Times on August 2nd, stopped in our tracks. Many scholars here could provide commentary: images of severely emaciated African children have a history in American media. Yet the photograph nonetheless incites our visceral knowledge that a person can suffer the most hideous anguish. If there is any hope to foster communities of nurture and justice for the future, it will fall to the ingenuity and compassion of this generation we are teaching."
Read the complete speech.

It is tremendously hopeful to me that at the highest levels of academia, humane education’s vision is being both embraced and promulgated. Enjoy.

For a humane world,

Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education

Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education

My TEDx talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach"

Image courtesy of guillermo ossa.

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