Too often, we overlook the everyday ways we can improve the world around us. We often do not act in accordance with our beliefs because much of the dialog about real change implies that these changes must happen starting from the top, or at a level beyond the individual’s scope. A new initiative in HEART Indianapolis seeks to give participants an inviting space to learn meaningful ways that they can use their own lives to help other humans, animals, and our environment. It is called Be the Change Workshop and is the first interactive humane education exhibition of its kind.
Be the Change Workshop will be housed in Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Indiana and will have activities for participants young and old to grapple with some of our planet’s most persistent problems. There will be opportunities for groups to have structured humane education field trips as well as opportunities for individuals to come in, be inspired, and emerge ready to “be the change you wish to see in the world” (as Gandhi challenged us to do!)
There will be a number of interactive ways that we can delve deeper into the impact of everyday choices from littering, to spaying and neutering, to food choices, and transportation. One exhibit will ask participants to pick up a small toy dog and to think about a dog they have known or loved. Participants are then asked to guess how many homeless dogs can be born because one unspayed dog, and her offspring, continue to reproduce. Underneath a curtain, 511 small toy dogs are revealed to illustrate the importance of spaying and neutering in a way that statistics alone cannot convey. 511 lives, 511 homeless creatures, 511 animals likely to live a life of suffering and hardship. As participants touch, think, see, and feel, they can relate, in a new way, to statistics and issues. By allowing visitors to connect their senses, emotions, creativity, and personal realities with pressing world problems, we create a deeper connection and a stronger resolution to create positive change in our local and global communities.
This project is generously funded by the ASPCA, HEART, Peace Learning Center, and the Institute for Humane Education.
The site of Be the Change Workshop, Peace Learning Center in Eagle Creek State Park.
Youth and Adult volunteers helped us paint our basement in preparation for Be the Change Workshop! They used all zero-VOC paint and did a beautiful job!
The view of Eagle Creek Reservoir from inside the Be the Change Workshop!