HEART regularly welcomes interns who are interested in learning more about how to teach humane education. This fall, the Portland office welcomed Ange Suprowicz, a former music industry employee from Berlin. We sat down with Ange to hear more about her passion for humane education and her deep seated desire to launch her own humane education project when she returns to Europe.
What brought you to Portland? For quite some time, I’d been hearing only good things about the city, and I’d always planned to visit. What started as a two week visit has turned into me staying for at least a year or two – or three! I love the sense of community and awareness I’m feeling here. Portland is a big city with a small town feel, a wonderful dichotomy. Everyone is so friendly, open, and willing to help, and that’s lovely to see in a world where people are sadly becoming increasingly detached. The alternative education and vegan scene are both a big part of what brought me here.
What got you interested in humane education? I watched Zoe Weil’s TEDx talks Widening our Circle of Compassion and Creating Solutionaries, and what she spoke of in those talks really inspired and influenced me. I looked her up online and saw she’d founded the Institute for Humane Education – it was this that really got my ideas for my own project rolling, and humane education made me realise what I hope to achieve. I was working as a music journalist, and although that was fun, I knew deep down there had to be something more fulfilling and worthwhile that I could be doing with myself – Zoe’s talks and humane education enabled me to find my purpose and brought about a big change in my life.
What humane education experience have you gained by working with HEART? I’ve been able to raise awareness for humane education to the public through tabling and outreach events. I’ve also been able to spend some time with kids through different programs this fall, broadening their understanding of humane education and raising awareness on important animal welfare, human rights, and environmental issues through age-appropriate means. I also volunteered at Portland’s annual VegFest which was a really gratifying and rewarding experience. It was so wonderful to see so many compassionate, understanding, and cruelty-free beings in one room!
What are your plans for a career in humane education? I eventually plan to start my own social and cultural project, and humane education is a big part of it. There are several layers to the project; one of these layers focuses on giving children a space outside of their academic schooling to be creative through art-infused, nature-bound activities. Through various educational workshops and an on-site urban garden, children will have the opportunity to see plants, vegetables, and fruit grow from the ground up while understanding the importance of knowing where something originates from, how to eat healthily, and how to make consciously-aware decisions. The main thread running through the project is veganism and mindful living; everyone involved will be exposed to experiencing a plant-based diet and understanding how to live cruelty-free. I’ll be using what I learn from my experiences in humane education to facilitate the appropriate lessons and programs.
What are your hopes and dreams for humane education globally? Humane education has the power to make what’s going wrong with the world right again. Humane education seeks to treat everyone and everything in this world with compassion and respect, and it’s so important to bring this into the everyday classroom. Education is key here. Humane education doesn’t force ideals on anyone – programs are thoughtful and practical. The programs allow children to learn what they need to (math, science, geography), but the reference and example points are directly related to social and topical issues – this is the perfect model to get kids engaged in finding solutions to the problems we’re faced with. My own project aims to follow this type of teaching. I firmly believe that what needs to be done can be summed up in four words: think globally, act locally.
Ange has been a fantastic addition to the Portland office, and her ambition is a testament to the endless opportunities afforded by humane education. Whether you’re interested in volunteering, interning, or devoting yourself professionally to humane education, you can make a big difference. If you’d like to learn more about how to get involved, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.