Words and Violence Curriculum is a work in progress.
Want to Change the World? Make it a better place? For the Children? Want to do it in Michael’s name?
How can I help and what can I personally do to support the curriculum?
Start Michaeling! “Michaeling:” A philanthropic or humanitarian act which deliberately and consciously contributes to the elevation of the human condition, supports compassionate human evolution, advances human consciousness, promotes the stewardship and preservation of the planet and/or otherwise serves the mission of making the world a better place. The action is inspired by, on behalf of, or in memory of Michael Joseph Jackson 1958-2009)
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What is this about?
Voices Education Project in conjunction with One Wordsmith, Inner Michael and Michael Jackson admirers who are educators and education advocates inspired by Mr. Jackson and his message of “heal the world; save it for our children” have developed a curriculum in memory of Mr. Jackson and Lady Diana Spencer: the curriculum addresses the subjects of Violence toward others using the spoken and written word, and images. The project has materials for children of middle school, junior and senior high schools that highlight how words and images, when used irresponsibly can cause harm.
Mr. Jackson was the most famous person in the world. He was a beloved and talented entertainer who leveraged his fame, musical genius and talent to spread his humanitarian messages in lyrics and as an ambassador of change in order to make the world a better place for people and particularly children. Jackson is reported to have personally contributed to the support of 39 charities and reportedly donated $300 million dollars to charities and philanthropic organizations on behalf of children of the world.
Lady Diana Spencer of Wales was beloved the world over and regarded as the peoples’ “Queen of Hearts” who used her position and popularity for philanthropic causes many of which were for children. She was especially involved in the decommissioning of land mines around war torn areas of the world in order to prevent harm to children. Lady Diana was harmed by those who wielded words irresponsibly and she died in a car accident while being chased by reporters whose mission was to capture the images that would support their particular brand of “journalism.” While it’s true that the driver was impaired from consuming alcohol, he would not have been speeding if not chased by paparazzi. As Diana lay dying in the back seat, photographers continued to snap pictures of the people’s queen of hearts. She died after being transported to hospital.
Tortured by Words
Michael Jackson and Lady Diana were friends who often comforted each other when they suffered mightily from the irresponsible wielding of words. Both Michael Jackson and Lady Diana were very visible targets of the most laser focused unkindness, humiliation and violence using the medium of words that this world has ever witnessed.
Some believe that these two worldwide humanitarians were driven to far beyond distraction by the treatment they suffered at the hands of those who wielded words and images irresponsibly to humiliate, assasinate character, destroy reputations hold up to public ridicule the two most visible humanitarians this globe has ever seen. Those actions appear to have be motivated by a commerce driven simply, by money and greed. Their compassionate and humanitarian efforts were often overlooked and their humanity overshadowed by purposeful sensationalism in order to sell newspapers and magazines. They were pursued, stalked, hounded, and exposed to public expose` and ridicule by the power of words.
Since Mr. Jackson’s death, thousands if not more, have found themselves curious about the man himself and not the “personality” that was Michael Jackson or the caricature made of him by the tabloid press and picked up later by the mainstream media. Many have taken the time to explore his body of work, listen closely to his lyrics, watch his interviews, read his books and explore the real person behind the phenomenon of his mega stardom. What they have found is a portrait of a man that is much different than the one painted by the pop culture and celebrity enamored headlined frenzy that masqueraded as “news” and “information” and surrounded him in life.
They are sad and they feel cheated because they have discovered the real person behind the facade created for them by popular culture. They are sorry they were complicit in the consumption of sensationalized and false portrayals of who Jackson was and what he valued in his work. They found themselves confused about the opinions they formed so long ago in contrast to what they observed in surfing the Internet and learning about who Jackson really was and what he stood for. Some are angry, some are regretful, some are determined to ‘make it right’ in their own way and via their own contribution, because it is too late to ‘make it right’ to Michael. Their “Michaeling” is their apology.
The world was cheated when Diana and Michael were taken from us. They were global treasures who might have been celebrated for their monumental contributions to humanity rather than vilified by exaggerated, sensationalized and sometimes blatantly false or made-up stories about their personal lives. People are weary of this and see it as beneath us. They prefer to find reason to celebrate the genius of those who rise to visibility and not tear down and destroy their icons any longer.
If you feel the same way, you are cordially invited to lend your hands, hearts and actions to promote doing it another way– to begin a different narrative of humanity—one of compassion and appreciation for the children and for the future, beginning with simply: words. An examination of words and images and how we use them is a look in that mirror that Michael Jackson spoke of—to make a change.
For the Children
A global humanitarian organization and pedagogical institution champions the education of children:
Voices Education Project’s Vision: “Acknowledging that conflict is inevitable, we envision a world in which nations, communities, and individuals move beyond polarization and destruction, instead viewing 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 we strive to model pedagogical methods and social processes that challenge and enrich the arts, humanities and social science curricula.”
How does this work?
Anyone who has a suggestion or contribution to the project may contact Inner Michael at the Curriculum library to submit their ideas or materials. The librarian is Jenna and she can be reached at email@example.com You do not have to be an educator to submit materials or suggestions or to promote the curriculum. Everyone who values humane treatment of people and the responsible use of words and images is welcome to be involved.
How Can I Help; What Can I Do?
If you have experienced a time in your life when you were harmed by words and would like to tell your story, please contact us. Has a picture or image contributed to inhumanity? Tell us your thoughts.
What Other Ways Can I Be Involved?
You can spend some time thinking about words and images and violence; how words may be used as weapons. Think about how you would like to see this change. What can be done about it? What do you think is important to teach or tell children to prevent the practice of using words to harm? Ideas, suggestions, feedback and dialogue are welcome. Send your ideas to the library.
We also need newspaper and magazine articles that highlight stories or commentary on the harm committed by words. We are collecting materials that could be used in teaching. Are there activities you have experienced or would recommend that opened your eyes to the harm that can be done with words and images?
Periodically conference calls will be held to examine and discuss the project. You can participate in the calls and share your ideas and visions with us.
You can send experiential exercises, role playing and collaborative problem solving solutions that you encounter.
We also welcome new written case studies. If you have not ever done a case study—it is a very empowering experience. Putting your story on paper is powerful and its healing potential is not to be underestimated. Just do it; you will be surprised how just the act of putting it on paper will change you and empower you as an individual. An outline for how to do case studies may be found on this website under the Resources tab in “Making that Change.”
I’d Like More Guidance and Information; Where Do I Begin?
Begin by reading the Words and Violence curriculum at Voices Education Project. Send your questions or ideas to Inner Michael or to Voices Education Project.
The article that inspired the curriculum:
A New WMD Weapon of Mass Destruction
The Tribute to Michael Jackson:
Michael Jackson: Spiritual Messenger Hiding in Plain Sight
Jenna at Voices Education Words and Violence Curriculum Library