Focus on Human Rights & Dignity

by | Sep 2, 2022 | ShiftHappens

This week, we continue looking in-depth at stories and projects within each of our focus areas. Through our Human Rights & Dignity panel, over the last ten years the community has supported 486 grassroots projects in 84 countries. These projects vary widely, but each share a desire to tell a sacred aspect of the ongoing quest for equity, inclusion and belonging. Here are a few that have especially stood out:

Peter J. Harris, “See You” & The Black Man of Happiness Project

“What is a happy Black man?” 

This one question inspired Peter J. Harris to embark on a creative, intellectual and artistic exploration that led to the development of The Black Man of Happiness project. Looking through the lens of happiness, Mr. Harris explores African American life and history from a refreshing, life-affirming new angle. Working with Research Librarian Helen Cate and designer Julie Ray, Peter uplifts historical images of Black men emanating a sense of joy. To experience these narrative-changing images of happiness, visit

Kahlid el-Hakim, The Black History 101 Museum

Often referred to as the “Schomburg of the Hip-Hop generation” due to his passionate commitment to carry on the rich tradition of the Black Museum Movement, Dr. el-Hakim created the award-winning Black History 101 Mobile Museum. This collection has traveled to over 40 states and features over 10,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia dating from the trans-Atlantic slave trade era to hip-hop culture. “Ourstory” has been shared in over 500 institutions reaching tens of thousands of visitors in diverse spaces including colleges, K-12 schools, corporations, conferences, libraries, museums, festivals, religious institutions, and cultural events. To learn more, visit

Shoshana Akabas & The New Neighbors Partnership

Shoshana Akabas’ New Neighbors Partnership (NNP) in NYC connects newly-arrived refugee families with local “partner” families who have slightly older kids. Each local family sends or delivers 2-3 pieces of hand-me-down clothing packages per year to its partner family. For these families, this is far more than a blind donation exchange, it is building supportive, ongoing  family-to-family relationships. In an effort to help more refugees, Shoshana hired a translator to translate materials to Pashto, Farsi, Dari, and Urdu, formed new partnerships with local companies and created new relationships with other resettlement organizations. Today over 250 refugee children in NYC from over 30 countries have been served with over $125,000 worth of gifted clothing and supplies. To learn more visit

Abdel Mandili and The People’s Planet Project

“How could we as creatives and filmmakers help you?” 

This was the question that Abdel Mandili, a filmmaker from the Netherlands, posed to Indigenous people around the globe. Overwhelmingly, they responded, “We need your equipment and skills.” That moment inspired the creation of People’s Planet Project, an organization that promotes social activism through the use of storytelling and GeoStory Camps, a program that seeks to fight deforestation by uplifting Indigenous voices. While following a structured curriculum, young Indigenous camp participants learn to use filmmaking and geospatial mapping to illustrate how deforestation is not only destroying their ancestral land, it’s violating their human rights. Creation of this work ensures that environmental lawyers will be better able to collect evidence that will protect both land and people. Now, as these international filmmakers become better at filmmaking and mapping, they become more powerful ambassadors for their communities. To explore more of this work, visit

These are just a few of the hundreds of human rights projects our advisor team has supported over the last ten years. Take a look below at a full map of other human rights projects in the TPP global community.


Call for our Spanish speaking followers 👇

🐮🐷🐔🐣 ¡Te invitamos a unirte a la octava edición del Retiro de Meditación para Activistas por los Animales! 🧘🏻‍♀️ Este evento gratuito, dirigido a activistas hispanohablantes, se llevará a cabo los días 4 y 5 de mayo de 2024 a través de Zoom, y estará guiado por nuestro facilitador, Tashi Nyima.

❔ ¿Por qué participar? Sabemos que muchos activistas por los animales enfrentan desafíos emocionales que pueden afectar su capacidad para seguir adelante. 📣🆘

✅ En este retiro, aprenderás valiosas estrategias de autocuidado para fortalecer tu mundo interior y hacer que tu activismo sea más compasivo y efectivo. 🫶🏼✊🏼


¡Ayúdanos a difundir esta invitación entre tus contactos comprometidos con la causa! 🌱💚

#activistas #animalistas #meditacion #derechosanimales #animalrights #animalactivism #heartivism
🌟 Empowering Through Play! 🌟

Nature Trust (Tamilnadu, India) launched the project, "Enhance the Skills of Children with Disabilities through Play," supported by one of our seed grants 🎉✨ Timed with World Autism Awareness Day 2024, this initiative resonates with the theme of "Empowering the Autistic Voices."

In particular, the grant allowed Nature Trust to provide specially curated play materials to 20 remarkable children with diverse disabilities. These tools were thoughtfully selected to ignite their development and unlock their potential. 🧩🎨

At the distribution event held on March 31st, the atmosphere was filled with joy as children and parents expressed gratitude for the newfound importance of play in their lives. 💖👦👧 The presence of local leaders underscored the significance of inclusive initiatives like this one.

Beyond distribution, Nature Trust volunteers engaged with the children, creating lasting connections and memories. 🤝 

Through the power of play, Nature Trust is fostering a more inclusive world where every child has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential. 🌈 

Let's continue spreading joy and empowerment through play! 

#EmpowerThroughPlay #InclusiveCommunities 🌟 
#childrenwithdisabilities #autism #supportchildren #kindness #heartivism #India
It's Volunteer Month! 🌟 🌟 🌟 Today we celebrate our grant advisors working on Economic Development focus area.

By meticulously selecting projects for our seed grants, they're not just funding ideas—they're empowering communities and sparking transformative change. 

Join us in celebrating their invaluable efforts and the positive impact they're creating together!

🔸 Eric Anorrey (Ghana)
🔸 Mariam Nakiryowa (Uganda)
🔸 Jean-Marie Zihalirwa (DRC)
🔸 Emily Logiron Asekon (Kenya)
🔸 Georgia Bernbaum (USA) 
🔸 Herve Tsoala Kuete (Cameroon)
🔸 Jackson Bizimungu (Rwanda)
🔸 Okumu Dickson (Uganda)
🔸 Samuel Litunya (Kenya)


#volunteermonth #volunteer #heartivism #economicdevelopment #change #empoweringcommunities
The Green Earth Initiative (#Cameroon) is a project dedicated to educating and empowering students about climate change, sustainable development, and environmental challenges, that has received a seed grant from The Pollination Project in 2023. With a focus on fostering environmental protection and conservation, the initiative establishes Eco-clubs and Environment Clubs in schools, providing students with the tools to learn, engage, and take action in their communities.

Since receiving the grant from TPP, the Green Earth Initiative has expanded its reach, now encompassing 9 additional schools across two regions/cities, surpassing its initial goal of 5. 
This expansion was made possible by the overwhelming interest from school authorities and the growing number of volunteers and team members.

Through the support of TPP and other partners, the project's environmental education programs, awareness campaigns, and initiatives have impacted over 8000 students in two cities of Cameroon. Additionally, the initiative has planted over 600 trees, launched 5 Environment/Eco Clubs, and distributed over 150 adapted waste bins produced from recycled plastics, contributing to proper waste management practices.

The seed grant from The Pollination Project has been instrumental in catalyzing the growth and success of the Green Earth Initiative, enabling it to make a tangible difference in the lives of students and communities, while fostering a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainability. 

#environmentprotection #seedgrant #heartivism #environmentaleducation