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Inspirational Baltimore Teens Healing Divisions

Check out this video of a group called The Inner Harbor Project that has teens working with the police in the city of Baltimore to heal divisions.  The group’s mission statement is:

“The Inner Harbor Project is a model for social change that identifies teenagers who are leaders among their peers, equips them with research and professional skills, and organizes them to come up with solutions to issues that divide our society on the basis of race, class and culture.”

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Vital Village: Helping Teachers Find New Solutions to Children Impacted by Trauma

Jeff Cipiriani, a Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow and a 2nd grade teacher at the Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Boston, discusses how Vital Village, a network of residents and organizations started out of Boston Medical Center and Boston University is helping him to address students who have been impacted by trauma in his classroom by having them talk about how they feel rather than punish them.  Check out the article here.

Here’s a video of Vital Village’s work from their 2014 Leadership Summit:

Flashback to ’02 – Halle Berry is first Black woman to win Academy Award

With the Academy Awards coming up, let’s take a look at the significance of Halle Berry’s being the first Black woman to win an Academy Award in 2002, her actual speech and where we stand now in terms of diversity in the Academy Awards.

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Here’s a transcript of her part of her speech:

“Oh my God. Oh my God. I’m sorry. This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for the women that stand beside me, Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox. And it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened. Thank you. I’m so honored. I’m so honored. And I thank the Academy for choosing me to be the vessel for which His blessing might flow.”

Snow Days: Parents Feel Different Than Teachers!

Here’s a lighthearted post by a couple from North Carolina on how parents feel about snow days as opposed to teachers:

A Father’s Day Reunion Story

Here’s a story of redemption: a father and pastor who gave up his daughter for adoption because he knew he wasn’t ready to be a father and a daughter who began looking online for her biological father are reunited.

Update: Taylor Swift gives big gift to school for hearing impaired who fought back against prank

Here’s an update on a post from awhile ago: How does one teen respond to cyber bullies who prank a school for the hearing impaired? The Horace Mann School for the Deaf, sadly, did not win the competition and was eventually disqualified, but Taylor Swift stepped up, donating $10,000 to the school and giving away free tickets to her next concert to students there.  Actually, thanks to her advocacy, four other sponsors also donated $40,000 to the school including $10,000 for musical instruments!

Check out the article here with all the details and how the principal responded.  Go Taylor Swift!

Or check out this video which gives a synopsis of it all:

The Power of Writing to Heal – stories from teens

A writing project at Scriber Lake High School in Edmonds, Washington shows the power of writing and telling our stories to heal.  Check out this article for a video interview of a few of the teens.  The teens with the help of their teacher and an author/mentor published their book We are Absolutely Not Okay and also started a website.

In addition, check out a story blog called Writers on the Inside written by youth offenders at a Juvenile Detention Center in the South.

In Somerville, Massachusetts, urban teens are also publishing their own books with a fantastic organization called Books for Hope.