Thank you for this excellent interview with educational innovator, Zoe Weil. At a time when the social service structure here in Maine, and indeed across the United States, is being dismantled by well-meaning but poorly-informed individuals and equally ill-equipped legislators, the message of humane education has never been more sorely needed. It reaches far beyond the realm of education and deep into the field of social service, sowing the seeds of an expanded level of consciousness that incorporates justice, respect and compassion for all life -- people, animals and the environment – and giving hope to many who feel discouraged and disempowered by current trends and problems.
As clinical coordinator for a large social service agency, my primary role is to supervise, train and educate those teammates who perform in a direct care capacity. In this role, I have found IHE’s vision, philosophy, resources and clarity of purpose to be an invaluable asset when it comes to challenging all of us to remain committed to life-long learning, to break from the perception of discipline-specific and professional isolation, and to remind all concerned that we come into our respective fields with a unique set of skills with which to protect the environment, advocate for human and animal rights and defend the inherent value of all cultures.
From Zoe Weil’s TEDx talk (The World Becomes What You Teach) to the numerous free resources available on the IHE website, the Institute for Humane Education has helped keep the fires of passion, curiosity and reflection burning in me and dozens of other social workers, direct care staff, administrators and clinicians who spend their days “at the tip of the service spear” affecting the lives of hundreds of people with serious mental illness, intellectual disabilities and emotional trauma.
Thank you IHE from your brothers and sisters in the social service world who are also working every day for a just, compassionate and healthy world.
George Russell, LCSW, CSWM
I have been part of two seminar/online classes with IHE. I have learned so much about environmental issues, compassion for our planet and the creatures who live on it, respect for and tolerance of other points of view, the importance of critical thinking, and the joy of taking positive action for my beliefs. Zoe Weil, president of the group, has been an inspiration to so many people, living her life with truth and integrity, and she teaches her life lessons with respect and compassion. The IHE programs, whether they are for teachers or those who want only to learn more about themselves and their relationships with the world and each other, are beautifully crafted. They explore choices and offer their students new ways of looking at life's issues and their own experiences. I love, love, love this organization!