Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

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Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

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Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

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Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]

 
Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]

 
Leilani Münter Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

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Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]

 
Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]

 
Liz Phair Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

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Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

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Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]

 
Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]

 
Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]

 
Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

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Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

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3 e

Marcia Alesan Dawkins Marcia Alesan Dawkins professor. empowerer. encouragement entrepreneur.

Marcia Alesan Dawkins is an intellectual entrepreneur from New York City. She has written two books, including Eminem: The Real Slim Shady, as well as articles for Huffington Post and Truthdig. [www.marciadawkins.com]

marcia_alesan_dawkins_feature

At the age of five, on the way to my grandmother’s house in Connecticut for Mother’s Day, I announced to my parents, “I want to be a teacher.” They looked at each other, and, being teachers themselves, couldn’t help but ask me why. I told them it was because I liked my teacher and I liked watching the way my parents and grandparents connected with their students when they took me to their own classes. I liked hearing about the cool things their students went on to do.

Looking back on it now, I guess that was my five-year-old way of telling my parents I’d inherited their genes for education, encouragement, and empowerment. For me, those three things are connected to each other and most meaningful in my life.

In college, I was asked to write my personal educator’s philosophy. My idea then, as now, was three-pronged:

1)        Education hinges as much on identification of important issues and ideas as it does on student interests and talents;

2)       identification leads to empowerment and a positive engagement with the world; and

3)        education and empowerment are impossible without encouragement.

Fast forward to 2012. As a young communications professor, author, multiracial geek, and politics and news junkie, education remains an epic high in my life, only now I realize why. It’s because of the competitive edge, the encouragement and empowerment I’ve received throughout my own experience. My parents and teachers made me believe that anything is possible.

That belief came with a realization. Many talented people suffer from a profound lack of encouragement that prevents them from feeling empowered and from seeking out the education that’s right for them. That’s why my goal is to encourage every learner and reader I encounter to participate directly in his or her own education and empowerment by stimulating his or her imagination, feelings, sense of fairness, and social responsibility. Working toward this goal allows me to fulfill my purpose by making learning a communal activity where, as the legendary educator James G. March described it so eloquently, “No one comes first; and no one stands alone.”

– Marcia Alesan Dawkins

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