Mead 2001 Centennial Awards
1999 Award Winner
Educate the Children
Wins First Margaret Mead Centennial Award
Educate the Children, a Nepal-oriented organization with US headquarters in Ithaca, New York, has been selected as the first recipient of the Mead2001 Award, celebrating community-based creativity for a new century. This is the first of a series of semiannual Mead2001Awards leading up to the Centennial celebration in 2001 of anthropologist Margaret Meads birth. The Hartford Artisans' Center of Hartford, Connecticut, and the Institute for Social Inventions (the Fourth World Trust) of London, UK, each received Special Recognition awards.
The first winner of the Mead2001 Award, Educate the Children(ETC), was
funded by Pamela Carson in 1990 when she met three street children in Kathmandu who wanted more than anything to go to school. ETC focused initially on individual children, but has since expanded to include community development activities. The nonprofit group works in Kathmandu and rural Nepal to provide scholarships, improve public school facilities and establish kindergartens as well as carry out programs for women which incorporate literacy, health education, and income generation. Educate The Children is a grassroots nonprofit organization which is truly international: Its core is a network of volunteers who support all aspects of the organization's work and who come from the U.S., Canada, Germany, Nepal and Japan. A total of 20 staff members in Nepal and the U.S. carry out the day-to-day operations. The Nepal-based staff is all Nepali; they work with local communities to articulate the needs of children and women in those communities, while the U.S. staff lays the funding groundwork for meeting those needs. Risang Tamang, chair of a womens group in Managuan Village, says: I feel that ETC is my family because it sent me to school and my parents didnt. ETC spreads light to our village.
Hartford Artisans Center
The Hartford Artisans Center, recipient of Mead2001 Special Recognition, has made a difference in the lives of
ores of disabled and elderly Connecticut citizens, turning disability and disenfranchisement into productivity and a sense of community. The Center today serves as the studio for 42 artisans who create weavings and quilts that are sold through catalogs, stores, and boutiques across the country. As a collaboration of the Connecticut Institute for the Blind, Opus/Arts and the Aging, and the City of Hartford, the Hartford Artisans Center alters members self-perceptions and at the same time extends its influence as it breaks stereotypes for those who buy the beautiful creations of its artisans.
Institute for Social Inventions
The Institute for Social Inventions, also receiving Mead2001 Special Recognition, plays the role of philosophy teacher in the global classroom with its Global Ideas Bank by challenging the public to come up with new, imaginative and feasible ideas or projects for improving the quality of life and creating a more human-scale society. Since its founding in 1985, the ISI has conducted more than 3,600 social-invention workshops in schools, sparking young minds to invent and pursue projects to benefit their local communities. The Global Ideas Bank, the ISIs online international suggestion box, not only produces ideas whose viability is voted on on-line, but puts social innovators in touch with one another, creating a network for ideas exchange.
Peter Warshall, editor of Whole Earth magazine and co-chair of the Awards Committee of the Mead2001 Centennial Working Group, reflects: Margaret Mead praised groups that were inspirations, models and vehicles for learning from one another. She believed in the human capacity to change. Were sustaining her legacy by honoring these groups that reflect her spirit. Whole Earth, the continuing voice of the Whole Earth Catalog, has as its slogan Access to tools, ideas, and practices, making it an appropriate venue for sharing models for community activism.