Love Wins

“Love wins. This is what we taught her: to honor, to praise, to be loving,” – Nelba Márquez-Greene, mother of Ana Grace, one of the children killed last year on this day during the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut

Last year on this date, twenty-six people, twenty children and six adults, were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by Adam Lanza, who had previously shot dead his mother. Minutes after the massacre, Lanza took his own life.

Instead of retreating into hate and bitterness, the families of many of the victims have used the unspeakable losses to promote healing rather than revenge. Since their precious daughter loved animals and even made business cards for “Catherine’s Animal Shelter” with herself as Care Taker [sic], Catherine Violet Hubbard’s family has created a foundation working with The Animal Center to raise funds to build a sanctuary.

Earlier this fall, Catherine was posthumously honored as the ASPCA Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year. In an interview with WFSB Channel 3 News, Jenny Hubbard, Catherine’s mother, remarked,”We’re (going to) create a place where creatures can come and heal and find tranquility, and Catherine is going to be so proud. She is going to be thrilled that we brought her all her animals.”

You can download the “I am a Butterfly” icon here and use it as your profile in social media to raise awareness of Catherine’s vision.
A therapist, Nelba Márquez-Greene, mother of Ana Grace, decide to put her work counseling troubled individuals on hold to work on community-level initiatives aimed at promoting compassion and connections through the Ana Grace Project. In partnership with the Klingberg Family Centers, Márquez-Greene founded The Center for Community and Compassion with a mission of reducing violence through promoting connections and compassion.

Ana Grace, Photo from The Ana Grace Project

Please follow the example of these families and use the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings to make a positive impact on your community and your world.

  1. Be kind. Matt Crebbin, coordinator of the Newtown Interfaith Clergy association reminds us, “Kindness is a choice that we all make,” (HuffPost). 
  2. Advocate for gun reform. Moyers and Co. provides a primer on how to take a stand against gun violence. Since Sandy Hook, 194 children, with an average age of six, have been killed with guns (Moyers & Co.).
  3. Donate to the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation or The Ana Grace Project.
  4. Practice compassion. If you have children, actively teach compassion to them.
  5. If you are a teacher, consider the Classes4Classes program to promote compassion among school children.
Remember, love wins.


Quotation of the Day: Nobel Prize Edition

“First of all, it’s not the financial crisis per se, but the most important problem that we are facing now, today, I think, is rising inequality in the United States and elsewhere in the world. This is a problem that has solutions. Many of them are financial solutions. Finance is substantially about risk management, and if it’s supplied right, if it’s democratized, that means if the real tools are made useful to real people and not to just a minority of people, it can help solve these problems.” 

International Women’s Day

March 8 commemorates International Women’s Day, first observed in 1911. EQUALS views IWD as not just a day to celebrate women, but also a day to “to ask ourselves big, important questions about how a woman’s life really compares to that of a man’s.” Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk discusses this phenomenon in the context of leadership. Some of her comments are based on an experiment conducted by Francis Flynn. Flynn gave some of his students a copy of the Harvard Business Review Case, “Heidi Roizen” about the silicon valley venture capitalist. Other students were given the same case, but Heidi was changed to Howard. Otherwise, the details were identical. Students who read about “Howard” found him likable while those who read the actual case about Heidi found her selfish. Women experience similar penalties when displaying emotions at work compared to male colleagues. Sometimes, my undergraduates claim that there isn’t sexism or racism anymore, and I am glad that their experiences thus far have made them feel equal, but I also know that they will likely face obstacles just because of their gender or race. I can’t imagine what it is like for women in countries where there are even fewer protections. That’s why I value IWD.