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Connected Roots

Connected Roots

By Humane Education Coalition
The Humane Education Coalition's podcast, Connected Roots, is an acclaimed venue for humane news, insights, education tips, resources, and more. Connected Roots features inspiring interviews and stories from experts in the field of humane education.
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Advisor Spotlight - Dr. Cini Bretzlaff-Holstein
Cini Bretzlaff-Holstein, DSW, LSW, FOCAE is the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program Director, Social Work Department Chair, and an Associate Professor of Social Work at Trinity Christian College. Cini focused her doctoral research on the similarities and differences between social work education and humane education and how humane education might build a bridge for social work education in its journey toward a more ecocentric lens in which the human world, the natural world, and the non-human animal world are interconnected and interdependent. Cini also serves as an Advisor to the Coalition and is involved in many of our projects, including our forthcoming accreditation program. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn about the intersections between social work and humane education, creative ways to work together, and helpful resources to dive deeper into these two disciplines.
March 31, 2020
Outdoor Classrooms
It was a pleasure to speak with Victoria Hackett, MEd, the founder of, a virtual classroom for natural teachers who want to reconnect children with nature. Outdoor Classrooms offers online Master Classes, onsite trainings, retreats, and more. Their mission is to inspire teachers and parents to create one-of-a-kind outdoor classrooms and nature-based curriculum on a shoe-string budget. Victoria joins us on Connected Roots to share helpful tips for developing outdoor learning spaces, ways to build relationships with teachers and schools, and much more.
February 29, 2020
Food for Thought - A Program of Animal Place
Liz Walch is the Program Manager for Food for Thought, a program of Animal Place. Food for Thought helps animal and environmental nonprofits adopt animal- and earth-friendly menu policies for fundraising and sponsored events. The Food for Thought campaign can help align your organization’s menu with its mission by adopting a formal policy regarding the types of food it serves... or doesn’t serve! Liz joins us on Connected Roots to share Food for Thought's fascinating background, how humane education impacts their work, and the many resources they offer to help organizations and advocates create a more humane, peaceful, and sustainable world.
December 21, 2019
Zoe Weil - Institute for Humane Education
It was a privilege to speak with Zoe Weil, president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) and author of seven acclaimed books about humane education. At IHE, Zoe created the first humane education graduate programs linking human rights, environmental preservation, and animal protection and preparing teachers to educate a generation of solutionaries. Zoe is considered a pioneer in the comprehensive humane education movement that works to create a peaceful, healthy, and just world for all people, animals, and the environment through education. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn about IHE's history, Zoe's transformational books, and how the term "solutionary" is shaping the future of humane education.
October 23, 2019
Who Chains You Books
Tamira Thayne is an author, animal activist, and the founder of Who Chains You Books. Who Chains You publishes books that educate, entertain, and share the plights of the animals we serve and those who rescue them. With dozens of books published since 2016, Who Chains You celebrates the connection between humans and our non-human friends. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn about Who Chains You's books, their plans for the future, and why humane education is important to Tamira.
August 28, 2019
Canine Commandos
Virginia Hamilton is an award-winning classroom teacher, Certified Humane Education Specialist, and founder of Canine Commandos in Brevard County, Florida. Canine Commandos teaches basic obedience to shelter dogs, improving adoption rates while providing students with memorable, hands-on life skills experiences. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn how Canine Commandos is making an impact for students and animals in Florida. You'll also discover how Virginia has developed meaningful relationships with community partners and hear her guidance for educators who would like to do something similar in their school districts.
June 20, 2019
Association of Professional Humane Educators (APHE)
It was wonderful to chat with Dezarae Jones-Hartwig, board member at the Association of Professional Humane Educators (APHE). APHE is a membership organization that promotes humane education and provides professional development, resources, and networking for those who foster empathy toward people, animals, and the environment. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn about APHE's rich history, annual conference, and the many unique benefits of membership.
April 22, 2019
Days End Farm Horse Rescue
Nicky Wetzelberger is Community Outreach Director at Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR). For 30 years, DEFHR has been making a difference for horses throughout Maryland in the United States. Their mission is not only to rescue and rehabilitate suffering horses, but to prevent abuse and neglect through education and community outreach. DEFHR offers a wide variety of educational programs and internships, providing opportunities for experiential learning. DEFHR also shares online resources for learning about equine welfare, rescue, and rehabilitation. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn about DEFHR's history, unique education programs, and inspirational stories of success with both humans and horses.
March 26, 2019
Marc Bekoff, PhD - Author, Scholar, & Educator
It was an absolute pleasure to speak with Dr. Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder and author of many essential books on animal behavior and our relationships with animals. Marc is not only a trusted voice for non-human animals, he is also a steadfast supporter of humane education. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn more about compassionate conservation, Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program, and Marc's perspective on humane education. You'll also hear some helpful tips from Marc's latest books, Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do, and Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide to Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible (with Jessica Pierce).
February 22, 2019
EPIC Outreach
It was a privilege to talk with Jessie Miller, the founder of EPIC Outreach and author of two humane-themed children's picture books. EPIC Outreach is a nonprofit organization with a mission to create a kinder world for people, animals, and the planet by inspiring compassion for all things. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, EPIC Outreach offers humane education and other outreach services to make a difference for animals and people in need. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn how EPIC Outreach is positively impacting people and animals in their community. You'll also learn about Jessie's books, Chance: Wings of Hope and Winnie: A Wet and Windy Adventure.
November 30, 2018
Lisbet Chiriboga is Program Strategist for TeachKind. As the humane education division of PETA, TeachKind helps schools and educators promote kindness and compassion for animals through free lesson plans, classroom presentations, materials, advice, online resources, and more. TeachKind believes teaching kids to have empathy for all beings is a big step toward building a better, more compassionate world. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots for helpful advice, resources, and inspiring stories of humane education in action. You'll also learn how TeachKind cultivates relationships with teachers and reaches many thousands of learners annually.
November 9, 2018
Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
It was wonderful to talk with AJ Chlebnik, Education Programs Manager at PAWS near Seattle, Washington. PAWS is a champion for animals - rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, sheltering and adopting homeless cats and dogs, and educating people to make a better world for animals and people. PAWS envisions a world where all people recognize the intrinsic value of animals and consistently make choices that demonstrate compassion and respect. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn about PAWS' remarkable education programs and what makes them so effective.
October 26, 2018
Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC)
Katie Cantrell is Founder and Executive Director of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC). The mission of FFAC is empowering people to help save animals, the environment, and our own health through our daily food choices. From social justice to public health to sustainability, factory farming is one of the most serious issues facing the planet. By educating young people and stakeholder audiences about the realities of factory farming, FFAC works to build both a consumer base for a sustainable, compassionate food system and an informed citizenry that supports cultural and legislative change. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn about FFAC’s transformative presentations, and discover relationship cultivation strategies to strengthen and grow your own education program.
October 12, 2018
Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART)
Kim Korona joins us on Connected Roots to share her experiences at HEART - Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers. HEART’s mission is to develop a generation of compassionate youth who create positive change for animals, people, and the natural world. They offer in-school programs, teacher trainings, consulting, and a wide range of humane education resources for educators. Listen to this episode to learn about all of HEART's resources, valuable advice for educators, heartwarming stories of humane education in action, and HEART's recent selection for the Excellence in Humane Education Award.
September 24, 2018
EOTO World
Elischia Fludd is Founder and Executive Director of EOTO World. EOTO World is a volunteer-driven e-organization that provides activist resources, peace-building education, and skill building sessions for global youth ages 18-35 who are interested in the international agendas to eradicate poverty and empower a culture of peace. EOTO World seeks to normalize quality of life inspired by a culture of peace, human rights, and economic sufficiency. In this episode of Connected Roots, you'll learn about the impact of EOTO World's global efforts, hear a great story about their empowering programs, and find out how you can get involved with the organization's exciting partnership in the UN SDGs Action Campaign.
September 14, 2018
Diane Rose-Solomon - Author, Pets People Planet Connection
It was a pleasure to speak with Diane Rose-Solomon, founder of Pets People Planet Connection and author of several humane education books. Using her books as a tool, Diane helps educators and parents teach children about compassion, responsibility, and kindness. Diane's vision is to connect people, animals, and community all over the world to foster a Pets People Planet Connection. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn more about Diane's inspiring work in humane education, including the many education resources available through her Team Kindness program.
August 27, 2018
Nicole Forsyth is President and CEO of RedRover. The mission of RedRover is to bring animals out of crisis and strengthen the bond between people and animals through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance, and education. Using innovative solutions to prevent animal cruelty and neglect, RedRover is educating youth and building a more compassionate future through the power of empathy, resilience, and the human-animal bond. In this episode of Connected Roots, you'll learn about RedRover Readers, the new Empathy App, and the recent addition of Kind News Magazine to RedRover's remarkable collection of programs and resources.
August 13, 2018
It was a privilege to talk with Shilpa Jain, Executive Director of YES! This social-profit organization connects, inspires and collaborates with changemakers to join forces for thriving, just, and regenerative ways of life for all. YES! helps young leaders to create deepened alignment between their core values, their lives, relationships, and social impact. Through events, Jams, a robust website, and a support network for young leaders from more than 65 nations, YES! is helping a generation to bring visionary leadership to the transformation of our world. Listen to our latest episode of Connected Roots to learn more about this inspiring organization's history, transformative programs, and beneficial resources.
July 30, 2018
Kristina Hulvershorn - Author, Peace Learning Center, HEART
Kristina Hulvershorn is a teacher, humane educator, and author of the recently released children’s book, "Secret of the Troublemakers." Kristina is the Indianapolis Program Manager at HEART (Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers), and the Director of Humane and Restorative Programs at Peace Learning Center. Peace Learning Center educates, inspires and, empowers people to live peacefully. Their vision is to build a community of peace where respect is primary and justice is real. They work directly with schools, community nonprofits, businesses, juvenile correctional facilities, and faith groups to facilitate peace education sessions. HEART’s mission is to develop a generation of compassionate youth who create positive change for animals, people, and the natural world. HEART’s services are specially designed to provide a combined focus on human rights, animal protection, and environmental preservation. They are the only full- service provider of humane education in the New York City, Chicago, Indianapolis and Portland areas, and they offer our services at no cost to public schools and non-profit agencies. It was our pleasure to spend some time with Kristina to learn more about her important work and discuss her new book. Listen to our episode to hear how Kristina is making a difference in our world, and how her book is redefining the term, "troublemaker."
July 16, 2018
The Gryphon Press
We're delighted that Emilie and Dana Buchwald of The Gryphon Press could join us on Connected Roots. The mission of The Gryphon Press is to publish beautifully illustrated children's picture books about the vital issues that animals - domestic, wild, and farmed - face, and to present those issues in such a way that children gain insights into and develop empathy for every animal life. The Gryphon Press titles showcase a range of important issues and ideas in humane education, including responsible pet guardianship, animal abuse and neglect, empathy development, and adoption and fostering. Additionally, many of their titles feature free, downloadable teaching guides. Learn more about The Gryphon Press and how their books have changed the landscape for humane education and empathy development in young people around the world.
July 2, 2018
Academy of Prosocial Learning (APL)
On our very first episode, we welcome Dr. Stephanie Itle-Clark, President and Chief Academic Officer of the Academy of Prosocial Learning (APL). APL is a hub for education professionals looking to bring student-centered learning, social and emotional growth, and critical thinking into their work. APL offers the premier humane education credentialing program, the only national registry of humane education specialists, and helps clients achieve their goals by providing professional development, curriculum frameworks, and guidance they need in order to be successful. Stephanie joins us on Connected Roots to share why humane education is so important, how APL is contributing to professionalizing humane education, and to provide some valuable resources for those working in the field.
June 18, 2018