The 2015/16 Samantha Smith Challenge
Operation Breaking Stereotypes (OBS) is a non-profit, service-based organization working with schools in Maine, Boston, and New York City to help students address ethnic, socio-economic, gender, and racial stereotypes through writing, reading, music, photography, and personal connections. Since its founding in 2002, OBS has worked with more than 1000 Maine, Boston, and New York City middle and high school students, facilitating exchanges between diverse groups of learners. AWTT and OBS collaborate closely on classroom and curriculum work and teacher trainings in Maine and New England.
Americans Who Tell the Truth, Rethinking Schools and the Zinn Education Project are working together to create a colloboration to emphasize their shared interest in education and social justice. We expect this to be helpful to teachers who use these projects in their classrooms.
As a first step, Americans Who Tell the Truth will work with Rethinking Schools and the Zinn Education Project to identify specific teaching resources that are directly connected to portraits in the Americans Who Tell the Truth series. Links to the materials will be posted on the corresponding portrait/ biography page. This will allow teachers to make use of the Americans Who Tell the Truth website to identify Rethinking Schools and Zinn Education Project activities more readily, in addition to our existing curriculum.
YES! publishes the AWTT portraits when the portrait subjects are featured in the magazine. YES! also features AWTT products, the children´s book based on the series and articles by Robert Shetterly. Currently, YES! and AWTT are partnering on an Exemplary Essay project that asks students to write about a portrait and the issues related to it. Essays will then be shared with AWTT, the portrait subject who inspired the student. One essay will be chosen for publication on the YES! and AWTT websites.
Early on in the project, Rob Shetterly painted Lily Yeh, founder of Barefoot Artists. Since that time AWTT has worked on projects with Barefoot Artists relating to the empowerment work that organization does in Rwanda. Rob traveled with Lily to work with children in a Rwandan village to create an artistic vision of their hopes for the future; AWTT educator and board member, Michele Hemenway worked with Lily to create an art “pen pal’ exchange program and exhibit between US and Rwandan students.
AWTT & VFP support each other's goals in terms of peace education and activism, and work together when we can. Each year, Robert Shetterly speaks at Veterans for Peace gatherings and uses AWTT merchandise to support the VFP mission.
Thousands of teachers around the world use My Hero in the classroom. AWTT offers an online gallery on My Hero as well as related lesson plans. Students can design exhibits related to themes, research the portraits and related issues, and share their own work and observations on the My Hero website.
Voices envisions a world in which nations, communities, and individuals move beyond polarization and destruction, and view conflict as an opportunity to create understanding, empathy and positive change. Through education, the arts, and self-expression, Voices aims to transform how we respond to, engage in, and recover from conflict. By working directly with instructors and students they strive to model pedagogical methods and social processes that challenge and enrich arts, humanities and social science curricula. An on-line exhibit of the AWT portraits is on the Voices website along with quotes, biographical statements and curricula.
The Institute for Humane Education works to create a more just, peaceful and sustainable world through education. Their mission is closely aligned with AWTT and the two organizations collaborate through speaking engagements, sharing resources, and AWTT and Rob are both part of IHE's graduate and residency curricula. Rob recently painted a portrait of IHE president and co-founder Zoe Weil. Here's a link to Zoe's TEDx talk.