Inspiring News Stories
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Stories in Major Media



Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news stories reported in the major media. Links are provided to the original stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These inspiring news stories are listed with the stories most recently posted to the website listed first. You can explore the same list with the most inspiring stories listed first. See also a concise list providing headlines and links to a number of highly inspiring stories. May these articles inspire us to find ever more ways to love and support each other and all around us to be the very best we can be.


Note: This comprehensive list of inspiring news stories is usually updated once a week. See also a full index to revealing excerpts of key news articles on several dozen engaging topics.

Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi: an engineer of freedom
2014-10-21, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2014-12-15 14:30:55
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2014/1021/Nob...

Kailash Satyarthi has ... just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Satyarthi is a hero to many people. [He] has driven the global movement to end child labor. Because of his work, we now know there are 168 million child laborers worldwide. They used to be invisible. Kailash started risking his life for these children more than 30 years ago, when he broke into Indian factories to emancipate them. Early footage of him doing this “raid and rescue” work showed the world that child slavery exists. Along with his wife, Sumedha, he helped those he rescued to recover and find their place in the world, and he put their stories on the global stage, shaming lawmakers and companies into acknowledging the systemic exploitation of children for economic gain. GoodWeave [is] an organization that he created in 1994. At that time there were over 1 million children weaving carpets in South Asia alone. In exchange for proving that there were no children in their supply chains, carpet sellers could put the GoodWeave label on their products. Since 1995, more than 11 million carpets bearing the GoodWeave label have been sold worldwide, reducing child labor in the carpet industry by an estimated 75 percent. GoodWeave aims to emancipate the last 250,000 children working the carpet looms by 2020.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Engineer Reimagines Solar Energy With Stick-On Panels
2014-12-03, National Geographic
Posted: 2014-12-15 14:28:20
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/12/141203-xiaolin-zheng-emerging...

In Xiaolin Zheng's version of the future, installing solar panels could be as simple as applying a sticker. “In China, the rooftops of many buildings are packed with solar energy devices,” says Zheng. “One day my father mentioned how great it would be if a building’s entire surface could be used for solar power, not just the roof, but also walls and windows.” An invention from Zheng's research team at Stanford University might someday make that possible. They have created a type of solar cell that is thin, flexible, and adhesive—a solar sticker. “Our new technique lets us treat the solar cells like a pizza,” explains Zheng. “When you bake pizza, you use a metal pan that can tolerate high temperatures. But when it’s time to distribute the pizza economically, it’s placed in a paper box." Working with her students, Zheng set out to fabricate solar cells on a silicone or glass surface as usual, but she inserted a metallic layer between the cell and the surface. After some trial and error, the team was finally able to peel away the metallic layer from the surface. The result was ... skinny, bendable cells [that] can produce the same amount of electricity as rigid ones. According to Zheng. “The silicon wafers come through the process clean and shiny. So just like a pizza pan, they can be used again and again, which translates to savings.” And because the solar stickers are lighter than conventional panels, they will be easier and less expensive to install.

Note: Watch a video of this amazing process at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Responsible Banking Is Responsible Government
2012-12-27, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-12-15 14:25:53
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-alarcon/responsible-banking_b_1301026.html

Local governments, both big and small, are debating and approving "responsible banking ordinances" to hold banks accountable for how they treat people living in each city. The core tenet of each ordinance is simple: improve the availability of information that banks provide cities when we consider depositing taxpayer dollars and awarding contracts for new financial services. Responsible banking ordinances have recently been approved or are being considered in cities including New York, Seattle, Berkeley, Boston, Portland, Kansas City and San Francisco (responsible banking laws have been on the books in Cleveland and Philadelphia for years). The Los Angeles responsible banking ordinance will create a public, transparent process for gathering information about each bank's history of service in the community. The City of Los Angeles has a $30 billion banking portfolio, and the city's decision-makers are charged with selecting the financial institutions that will be allowed to profit from conducting transactions ... on behalf of our taxpayers. Progress toward banking responsibility is not coming without a fight. Big banks have been visiting city council offices [and have] argued that their investment divisions should not be held accountable. There is a good reason that responsible banking ordinances are being approved across the country -- banking responsibly is the fiscally responsible thing to do.

Note: The responsible banking ordinance movement has gained momentum since the above article was written about Los Angeles' inspiring success. In 2013, Minneapolis, MN became the 10th major US city to join this movement. In 2014, New York City beat the bankers in court to keep their ordinance alive. Want to see this model used by your city government?




Laws of Physics Can’t Trump the Bonds of Love
2012-12-24, New York Times
Posted: 2014-12-07 23:12:52
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com//2012/12/24/laws-of-physics-cant-trump-the-bond...

Jeffrey Wright is well known around his high school in Louisville, Ky., for his antics as a physics teacher. But it is a simple lecture — one without props or fireballs — that leaves the greatest impression on his students each year. The talk is about Mr. Wright’s son and the meaning of life, love and family. Each year, Mr. Wright gives a lecture on his experiences as a parent of a child with special needs. His son, Adam, now 12, has a rare disorder called Joubert syndrome, in which the part of the brain related to balance and movement fails to develop properly. Visually impaired and unable to control his movements, Adam breathes rapidly and doesn’t speak. Mr. Wright ... recalls the day Adam was born, and the sadness he felt when he learned of his condition. “The whole thing about where the universe came from? I didn’t care. I started asking myself, what was the point of it?” All that changed one day when Mr. Wright ... realized that his son could see and play — that the little boy had an inner life. He and his wife, Nancy, began teaching Adam simple sign language. One day, his son signed “I love you.” “There is something a lot greater than energy. There’s something a lot greater than entropy. What’s the greatest thing?” “Love,” his students whisper. “That’s what makes the ‘why’ we exist,” Mr. Wright tells the spellbound students.

Note: Watch this beautiful, 12-minute video on Mr. Wright's Law of Love. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Pledge 1% Program wants to help companies become more charitable
2014-12-02, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2014-12-07 23:09:30
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Pledge-1-Program-want-to-help-companie...

A campaign launching Tuesday aims to get growing businesses to do what San Francisco’s Salesforce.com did in its infancy 15 years ago: Promise to donate 1 percent of its equity, 1 percent of its employees’ time and 1 percent of the firm’s products to charity. Called the Pledge 1% Program — and led by Salesforce and others — it aims to get 500 other corporations to do the same over the next year. Those who have bought into the idea have seen other benefits. “It’s good for business, too,” said Bradley Heinz, program manager at Optimizely.org. The San Francisco company — which includes several top execs who used to work at Salesforce — is participating in the program. If a younger company can make philanthropy part of its DNA when it is smaller, it will become a way of life as it grows. It is somewhat easier to convince a young firm to volunteer time and offer its product at a deeply discounted rate. San Francisco’s income inequality divide — the fastest-growing in the country — is inspiring other growing companies to look at what they can do to help. Employees at Practice Fusion, a cloud medical records company in San Francisco, decided that they would take $50,000 that would have been used for their holiday gift and give it to the poor. “People were not that into the gifts and schwag,” said Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard. “They wanted to give back.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Pope Prays in Istanbul Mosque in New Outreach
2014-11-29, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-12-07 23:06:55
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/pope-visits-iconic-religious-sites-ist...

Pope Francis stood Saturday for two minutes of silent prayer facing east in one of Turkey's most important mosques, a powerful vision of Christian-Muslim understanding at a time when neighboring countries are experiencing violent Islamic assault on Christians and religious minorities. The Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi called it a moment of "silent adoration." It was a remarkably different atmosphere from Francis' first day in Turkey, when the simple and frugal pope was visibly uncomfortable with the pomp and protocol required of him for the state visit part of his trip. With President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's mega-palace, honor guard and horseback escort now behind him, Francis got down to the business of being pope, showing respect to Muslim leaders, celebrating Mass for Istanbul's tiny Catholic community and meeting with the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians. Francis' visit comes at an exceedingly tense time for Turkey, with Islamic State militants grabbing territory next door in Syria and Iraq and sending some 1.6 million refugees fleeing across the border. Some refugees were expected to attend Francis' final event on Sunday before he returns to Rome. Francis was following in the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI, who visited Turkey in 2006 amid heightened Christian-Muslim tensions over a now-infamous papal speech linking violence with the Prophet Mohammed.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




How 'magic mushroom' chemical could free the mind of depression, addictions
2014-09-17, CNN
Posted: 2014-12-07 23:04:25
http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/17/health/magic-mushroom-chemical-depression

"People try and run away from things and to forget, but with psychedelic drugs they're forced to confront and really look at themselves," explains Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, from Imperial College London. The drugs Carhart-Harris is referring to are hallucinogens such as magic mushrooms -- specifically the active chemical inside them, psilocybin. Carhart-Harris scanned the brains of 30 healthy volunteers after they had been injected with psilocybin and found the more primitive regions of the brain associated with emotional thinking became more active and the brain's "default mode network," associated with high-level thinking, self-consciousness and introspection, was disjointed and less active. "We know that a number of mental illnesses, such as OCD and depression, are associated with excessive connectivity of the brain, and the default mode network becomes over-connected," says David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology, who leads the Imperial College team. The over-connectivity Nutt describes causes depressed people to become locked into rumination and concentrate excessively on negative thoughts about themselves. Depression is estimated to affect more than 350 million people around the world. The current pharmaceutical approach to treatment is with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac. But SSRIs ... are generally prescribed for long periods of time to maintain their effect. Nutt thinks psilocybin could be a game-changer, used as part of a therapeutic package ... to treat people within just one or two doses of treatment.

Note: For more about the therapeutic uses of psychedelic drugs, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles from reliable sources.




Ferguson hug between protester and police officer goes viral
2014-11-30, CNN
Posted: 2014-12-01 02:04:29
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/ferguson-hug-between-protester-and-police-office-g...

In the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Americans have grown accustomed to images of police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. One such image is now going viral, but not for the reason one might think. The photo ... shows 12-year-old Devonte Hart and Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum embraced in a hug outside of a Ferguson rally on Tuesday. Hart’s mother ... explained that she and Hart went to downtown Portland “with the intention of spreading love and kindness.” Hart brandished a “Free Hugs” sign as he stood alone in front of a police barricade. His mother says he started to get emotional during the rally: “He wonders if someday when he no longer wears a ‘Free Hugs’ sign around his neck, when he’s a full-grown black male, if his life will be in danger for simply being.” That’s when Sgt. Barnum noticed Hart crying and called the boy over to him. Barnum ... asked why he was crying. Hart’s mother says his response was “about his concerns regarding the level of police brutality towards young black kids was met with an unexpected: “Yes. I know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Next, Sgt Barnum asked if he could have one of the “Free Hugs” advertised on his sign. Barnum [said] “it’s a blessing for me that I didn’t miss an opportunity to impact this child.” The image has now been shared widely across social media. Hart’s mother called the tearful hug “one of the most emotionally charged experiences I’ve had as a mother.”

Note: Read lots more on this inspiring incident and the challenging background of Devonte Hart. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




The Healing Power of Kindness
2014-11-16, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-12-01 02:01:29
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/project-compassion-stanford/the-healing-power-o...

An extensive scientific literature review sponsored by Dignity Health and conducted by the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University reveals a growing body of scientific evidence that indicates kindness holds the power to heal. This often overlooked, virtually cost-free remedy has a statistically significant impact on our physical health. For example, the positive effect of kindness is even greater than that of taking aspirin to reduce the risk of a heart attack or the influence of smoking on male mortality. The review shows that when patients are treated with kindness -- when there is an effort made to get to know them, empathize with them, communicate with them, listen to them and respond to their needs -- it can lead to: faster healing of wounds, reduced pain, reduced anxiety, reduced blood pressure, and shorter hospital stays. The research also shows that when doctors and nurses act compassionately, patients are more likely to be forthcoming in divulging medical information, which in turn leads to more accurate diagnoses. Patients aren't the only ones who see better results from kind treatment -- the doctors, nurses, and caregivers who provide the kind treatment benefit as well. This research review proves that in the context of health care and medicine, kindness should be viewed as an indispensable part of the healing process.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




The Right Way to Get Angry
2014-10-20, Greater Good
Posted: 2014-12-01 01:59:02
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_right_way_to_get_angry

Anger is best viewed as a tool that helps us read and respond to upsetting social situations. Feeling angry increases optimism, creativity, [and] effective performance. Research suggests that expressing anger can lead to more successful negotiations, in life or on the job. In fact, repressing anger can actually hurt you. Dr. Ernest Harburg and his team at the University of Michigan School of Public Health spent several decades tracking the same adults in a longitudinal study of anger. They found that men and women who hid the anger they felt in response to an unjust attack subsequently found themselves more likely to get bronchitis and heart attacks, and were more likely to die earlier than peers who let their anger be known when other people were annoying. When anger arises, we feel called upon to prevent or terminate immediate threats to our welfare, or to the well-being of those we care about. Altruism is often born from anger; when it comes to mobilizing other people and creating support for a cause, no emotion is stronger. It’s a mistake to presume that kindness, compassion, love, and fairness line up on one side of a continuum, and anger, rage, and dislike, on another side. Positivity alone is insufficient to the task of helping us navigate social interactions and relationships. A healthy society is not an anger-free society. The expression of authentic anger can be entirely appropriate with certain people in certain situations. The question is how you do that without letting it go too far.

Note: Read the entire article to learn simple, healthy anger management tricks. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Dutch Company Powers Streetlights With Living Plants; Will Your Cell Phone Be Next?
2014-11-21, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2014-12-01 01:56:27
http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/dutch-company-powers-streetlights-with-livi...

This month more than 300 LED lights were illuminated by the Dutch company Plant-e in a new energy project called “Starry Sky.” Although the bulbs were ordinary, the electricity running through them derived from a new process that harnesses the power of living plants. “Starry Sky” and a similar project an hour’s drive away, near Plant-e’s Wageningen headquarters, are the two first commercial installations of the company’s emerging technology ... fueled by the byproducts of living plants. Plant-e’s co-founder and CEO, Marjolein Helder, believes that this technology could be revolutionary. For decades, middle schoolers have been engineering clocks made from potatoes, which run on a similar principle. Plant-e’s technology is the first to produce electricity from plants without damaging them. Both projects that lit up the Netherlands this month involved native aquatic plants that were supplied by local greenhouses. The process involves plants growing in modules—two-square-foot plastic containers connected to other modules—where they undergo the process of photosynthesis and convert sunlight, air, and water into sugars. The plants use some of the sugars to grow, but they also discharge a lot of it back into the soil as waste. As the waste breaks down, it releases protons and electrons. Plant-e conducts electricity by placing electrodes into the soil.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Turning Education Upside Down
2013-10-09, New York Times Blog
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:59:58
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com//2013/10/09/turning-education-upside-down/

Three years ago, Clintondale High School, just north of Detroit, became a “flipped school” — one where students watch teachers’ lectures at home and do what we’d otherwise call “homework” in class. Teachers record video lessons, which students watch on their smartphones, home computers or at lunch in the school’s tech lab. In class, they do projects, exercises or lab experiments in small groups while the teacher circulates. In the fall of 2011, Clintondale flipped completely — every grade, every class. “On average we approximated a 30 percent failure rate,” said Green. “With flipping, it dropped to under 10 percent.” Graduation rates rose dramatically, and are now over 90 percent. College attendance went from 63 percent in 2010 to 80 percent in 2012. Flipping also changes the distribution of teacher time. In a traditional class, the teacher engages with the students who ask questions — but it’s those who don’t ask who tend to need the most attention. The biggest effect of flipping classrooms is on the students at the bottom. “It’s tough to fail a flipped class, because you’re doing the stuff in here,” said Rob Dameron, the head of the English department. “I used to have about a 30 percent failure rate in English. Now, out of 130 kids, I have three who are failing — mostly due to attendance problems.” Flipped classrooms require more creativity and energy from the teacher. “Lots of teachers who aren’t really good teachers are resistant to this — they like to build time into the day when kids are working to do their taxes or catch up on email.”.

Note: Watch a great five-minute video on this phenomenon. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Living Simply in a Dumpster
2014-09-11, The Atlantic
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:57:56
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/the-simple-life-in-a-dump...

Tucked behind the women’s residence halls in a back corner of Huston-Tillotson University’s campus in Austin, Texas, sits a green dumpster. Were it not for the sliding pitched roof and weather station perched on top, a reasonable person might dismiss the box as “just another dumpster”—providing this person did not encounter the dean of the University College Jeff Wilson living inside. Until this summer, the green dumpster was even less descript than it is now. There was no sliding roof; Wilson kept the rain out with a tarp. The goal was to establish a baseline experience of the dumpster without any accoutrements, before adding them incrementally. Not long ago, Wilson was nesting in a 2,500 square foot house. Now he says almost everything he owns is in his 36-square-foot dumpster, which is sanctioned and supported by the university as part of an ongoing sustainability-focused experiment called The Dumpster Project. “We could end up with a house under $10,000 that could be placed anywhere in the world,” Wilson said at the launch, “[fueled by] sunlight and surface water, and people could have a pretty good life.” Wilson, known around town as Professor Dumpster, recounted in another recent interview that he now owns four pairs of pants, four shirts, three pairs of shoes, three hats, and “eight or nine” bow ties. He keeps all of this in cubbies under a recently installed false floor.

Note: The article above includes many amazing photos of Wilson's unconventional home. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




These 14 Teenage Inventors Built a Glove That Translates Sign Language—and Other Tech Solutions
2014-11-11, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:55:39
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/these-14-teenage-inventors-made-a-glo...

These 16 individuals under 20 have all invented solutions that have somehow eluded those who can legally drink. Many of these kids were inspired by simple necessity. Others were driven by compassion. Some of them were just doing science fair projects. Eesha Khare: This 18-year-old from Saratoga, California, was still in high school when she invented a battery that can be charged in 20 seconds. It also lasts 10 times as long as a standard battery. Ryan Patterson: The inability to communicate with most hearing people makes life difficult for deaf persons. Knowing this, Colorado-born Ryan invented a glove that translates sign language. It’s simply a golf glove that uses sensors, a radio frequency transmitter, and a microcontroller to interpret hand movements. He was 17. Why didn’t anyone else think of this? Raquel Redshirt: Growing up in New Mexico’s Navajo Nation, Raquel experienced poverty so extreme that her family and neighbors often couldn’t afford electricity, making it near impossible to cook anything. So at 16, she discovered a way to make solar-powered ovens using the simple materials collected around the area. Working with old tires, aluminum foil, shredded paper, and dirt, she made these usually expensive ovens for the people in her community. Have you built any ovens for your neighbors lately?

Note: Why aren't some of these inventions being hailed and promoted widely in the media? Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Obama administration endorses treaty banning torture
2014-11-12, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:53:34
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-administration-en...

The Obama administration has formally endorsed provisions of an international treaty banning torture and cruel treatment of prisoners held by the United States. In a statement Wednesday to a U.N. treaty-monitoring committee in Geneva, Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski said, “We believe that torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment are forbidden in all places, at all times, with no exceptions.” State Department legal adviser Mary E. McLeod affirmed to the committee that the definition covers all areas under U.S. jurisdiction and territory. McLeod also reaffirmed that no statement made by a person as a result of torture is admissible in any legal proceeding. The ... issue is likely to reemerge in the United States with the release of a lengthy summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s classified report on the detention and interrogation program that was put in place following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The release has been held up in a dispute between the committee majority and the CIA over portions of the report the intelligence agency believes should remain secret. In her remarks to the committee, McLeod said that “in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, we regrettably did not always live up to our own values. As President Obama has acknowledged, we crossed the line and we take responsibility for that.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




A Father's Letter To His Five-Year-Old Daughter
2014-11-12, Daily Good
Posted: 2014-11-16 21:29:52
http://www.dailygood.org/story/855/a-father-s-letter-to-his-five-year-old-dau...

Tom Attwater is dying of a brain tumor, but he isn’t worried about his cancer. Instead, he is trying to save his 5 year-old daughter from her own. He has vowed to raise approximately $820,200.00 for her cancer treatment, even if he wouldn’t be around to see her go through it. Now Tom is almost half way to his fundraising target. Tragically his deadline is short as his latest scans show his brain tumour is growing. He says: “These days people make bucket lists, and the very top of mine – the one that matters most – is raising money to make sure Kelli gets the medical help she might need." Tom is dedicated to leaving a legacy behind for her, as well as this touching letter: Darling Kelli, I’m so sorry I will not get to see you grow up as I so want to. Please don’t blame people or the world for this. A lot of life is simply luck and mine is running out. I wish I had the words to make you feel better. I wish I didn’t have cancer and you didn’t have to see me in pain as you often do now. I wish so many things were different but they are not. Most dads and daughters have decades to chat around the kitchen table, their hands warmed by mugs of coffee, as the dad dishes out advice and their girls no doubt roll their eyes. We don’t have that time. But while your old dad is still around I thought I’d try to give you some life advice.

Note: Read the all of Tom Attwater's inspiring letter to his daughter in the article above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Quaker Project Offers Inmates Alternatives to Violent Actions
1996-08-11, New York Times
Posted: 2014-11-16 21:28:00
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/08/11/nyregion/quaker-project-offers-inmates-alte...

Alternatives to Violence Project is a conflict-resolution workshop for inmates with a history of violent behavior at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. It is a program started by the Quakers in 1975 and still has strong Quaker involvement from meetings around the county. Each month the program conducts workshops at the prison for some of the most violent offenders in the New York State prison system. "Quakers have been involved in prison ministry for a long time because the founders like George Fox were incarcerated for civil disobedience," said Fred Feucht, 65, a Quaker from the Purchase Meeting and an outside coordinator for the project at the prison. Although the program is steeped in the nonviolent beliefs of the Quakers, most of the volunteers are not Quakers and believe that people need to learn conflict-resolution skills to avoid violence. "We grew out of the Quakers but we reached outside for most of our leaders," Mr. Feucht said. "A lot of our inside leaders are Muslims." Inside, leaders are inmates who have completed the ... workshops and now work as volunteers to conduct and administer the program. Volunteers in the project advocate that violence is the basic cause for people being incarcerated. Many remain involved with the program outside prison, and a group of former project facilitators formed a support group called the Landing Strip. With tougher sentencing laws today, repeat violent offenders may never be freed. For many graduates of the program, it is seen as a last chance.

Note: For more on this excellent program which is powerfully changing lives, watch this inspiring video and see their website.




FBI: Violent crime drops, reaches 1970s level
2014-11-10, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2014-11-16 21:25:37
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-violent-crime-1970s-level-...

U.S. violent crimes including murders fell 4.4 percent in 2013 to their lowest number since the 1970s, continuing a decades-long downturn, the FBI said on Monday. The law enforcement agency's annual Crime in the United States report showed the country had an estimated 1.16 million violent crimes last year, the lowest number since 1.09 million were recorded in 1978. All types of violent crimes were lower, with murder and non-negligent manslaughter off 4.4 percent to 14,196, the lowest figure since 1968. Rape was down 6.3 percent and robbery fell 2.8 percent, the Federal Bureau of Investigation data showed. The violent crime rate last year was 367.9 for each 100,000 in population, down 5.1 percent from 2012. The rate has fallen every year since at least 1994, the earliest year for readily accessible FBI data, and the 2013 figure was about half the 1994 rate. Property crimes fell 4.1 percent ... the 11th straight yearly decline. In an analysis, the non-profit Pew Charitable Trusts said the drop in crime coincided with a decline in the prison population, with the number of U.S. prisoners down 6 percent in 2013 from its peak in 2008. Thirty-two of the 50 states have seen a drop in crime rates as the rate of imprisonment fell, Pew said. California notched the largest drop in imprisonment rate over the five-year period, at 15 percent, and crime was down 11 percent. The state has been under court order to reduce prison overcrowding, and voters last week approved an initiative that reduced sentences for some crimes.

Note: Why isn't this inspiring news being broadcast widely by the media? And why hasn't the FBI website updated their data on this since 2010? The police and media appear to consistently downplay the huge drop in violent crime since 1994. According to the FBI's own statistics, violent crime has currently dropped to 1/3 or less what it was in 1994. See the revealing FBI graphs and charts here, here, and here. Yet some of these charts have now been removed and mention of this huge decrease downplayed. The obvious reason is that a large decrease in crime might cause people to want to decrease police and FBI budgets. More here.




Indian Man, Jadav "Molai" Payeng, Single-Handedly Plants A 1,360 Acre Forest In Assam
2012-04-13, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-11-10 10:00:15
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/03/indian-man-jadav-molai-pa_n_1399930....

More than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began planting seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in India's Assam region. It was 1979 and floods had washed a great number of snakes onto the sandbar. When Payeng -- then only 16 -- found them, they had all died. "The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms," Payeng told the Times Of India. "It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. There was nobody to help me," he told the newspaper. Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to several thousands of varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife -- including birds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers. The forest, aptly called the "Molai woods" after its creator's nickname, was single-handedly planted and cultivated by one man -- Payeng, who is now 47. Today, Payeng still lives in the forest. He shares a small hut with his wife and three children. According to the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, it is perhaps the world’s biggest forest in the middle of a river. "We were surprised to find such a dense forest on the sandbar," Saikia told the Times Of India. "[Locals] wanted to cut down the forest, but Payeng ... treats the trees and animals like his own children. Seeing this, we, too, decided to pitch in," Saikia said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Man Receives Diploma 55 Years After Being Denied Graduation For Refusing To Accept Racism
2014-08-13, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-11-10 09:56:47
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/13/alva-earley-diploma_n_5672257.html

In 1959, Alva Earley ... attended a picnic at Lake Storey Park. Earley, who is black, went to the picnic with a group of friends. The group, which included other black and Hispanic people, decided to eat at a whites-only area of the park, despite having been told by a school counselor that doing so would result in serious repercussions. "We were just trying to send a message that we are people, too," Earley told NPR. "We just had lunch." After the gathering, Earley was notified by his school that he would not be allowed to graduate, nor would he receive his diploma. Last Friday, Earley, now 73, finally received that diploma. Though more than 50 years late, the graduation was made possible by a few of Earley's former high school classmates. Though the ceremony was a happy one, Earley says that he had been harboring pain over the incident. "The fact that I could not get a cap and gown on and march down the aisle with my classmates -- it meant the world to me. It hurt so bad," he told NPR. Because he was unable to receive a diploma, two colleges that had already accepted him withdrew their offers. He went to Knox College after a classmate persuaded his father and then-president of Knox College to allow Earley to enroll. Now, his other classmates are happy. "When people have been mistreated, we owe it to them to address the injustice," [said] former classmate Lowell Peterson. "This is just a little chance to make something right."

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