"There are nascent stirrings in the neighborhood and in the field, articulated by non-celebrated people who bespeak the dreams of their fellows. It may be catching. Unfortunately, it is not covered on the six o’clock news."
Studs Terkel, My American Century
The Heroism Project
Website and Curriculum Guides
Americans love heroes. Since September 11, 2001, they’ve been in our consciousness and media more than ever. We have a history of attributing them with extraordinary virtues and exalting them on lofty pedestals – until we discover they’re human. Then we can’t seem to resist shooting them down, sometimes even literally. In Search of Heroes: An American Journey explores the complex relationship between Americans and our heroes. Designed to engage people of diverse ages and backgrounds in thinking and talking about the values that define our culture and create our history, the project is currently structured around an interactive Website, that examines the changing face of twentieth century American heroes, and interdisciplinary Curriculum Guides for elementary, junior high and high school students.
The heroes that color the dreams of our youth – whether we find them in cartoons or comic books, headlines or history books, at the movies or in our homes – play a significant role in shaping our values and influencing the path of our lives. And in so doing – person by person – they influence the fate of our country and our world.
We live in tumultuous times. Embroiled in a contentious war in the Middle East, we continue to deal with the aftermath of 9/11 and ongoing threats of terrorism. Conflicts on the home front abound as well – between conservatives and liberals, hawks and doves, environmentalists and industrialists, haves and have nots. And freak outbreaks of violence, such as the rampage of the DC snipers, bring an element of fear to simple daily routines. Our collective myths need to be reevaluated occasionally, or they harden into fundamentalism. What better time than now?
Visit The Heroism Project