The Honor Project (HP) is a child abuse and violence prevention program created by Linda Redford. The project whose foundation is Honor, implements ancient old aboriginal teachings and healing ceremonies in preschool, elementary and middle schools. Children learn early how to harness their aggressive impulses utilizing these age-old strategies. An entirely new consciousness develops replacing violent conflict-resolution strategies with techniques built on the concepts of harmony, self-discipline, and peacefulness. Rather than wait for serious aggression to unfold and then send students to the police, and/or Juvenile Court, this project utilizes preventive healing circles commonly used by indigenous cultures for thousands of years.
Kids love the exciting rituals as well as the drama, empowerment, and camaraderie that develops. They also become invested in the program with the help of T-shirts, and books. To further support the project in development is a film and television series.
It’s a simple program with a common goal for all involved. The Honor Project is not a “do what I say not what I do” program, it’s a “we will do this together” program; connecting children, parents and teachers with a potential Universal Code of Ethics as well as the “Adawee Network” connection.
Dr. Roberto Assagioli, a colleague of Jung and Freud, wrote in his book Psychosynthesis: “…but the most effective, and at the same time the higher, way of controlling both the sexual and the power drives is the acceptance and recognition of every human being as a ‘Thou’ to be respected, and not as an ‘object’ for the gratification of our pleasure, an ‘it’ to be dominated and exploited. The reality of such a basic ‘right relation’ to our fellowmen and our duty to recognize it have been convincingly expounded and emphasized by Martin Buber.”
Through the example of Indigenous peoples we can find hope and give credit where it is long overdue. With an openness to new/old ideas based on solid principles of community and compassion, we can eventually expect to make serious inroads toward the eradication of child abuse and violence. The unfolding Peace Village philosophy embraces many of these ideas. As educators, parents and those in authoritative positions, we would be wise to investigate these alternatives. See Santa Cruz Pilot Project
“Most of the kids have become much more open to new ideas, less judgemental of others based solely on ‘different-ness’ and a great deal more honest and self-aware. Some kids have actually blossomed, carrying the ideas of the project into their family lives.”
“We tapped into the potential of the project. It was like a seed germinating. I’d like to see it expand not only on our classroom but in the whole school and our community…and get the parents involved. Seldom do we work on goals outside schoolwork…I learned how strong and powerful a group is when working on the same goal.”
6th Grade Pilot Classroom Teacher
Santa Cruz, California