The animal protection movement is a movement to uplift humanity. A sense of compassion toward animals is a natural precursor toward ethical and thoughtful behavior in people. Cruelty can only take place when humanity’s most prized values of compassion, responsibility, mercy, and empathy, are absent. Our efforts to protect animals are our efforts to help humanity avoid the traps of ignorance, materialism, violence, and convenience that underlie all great injustices.

Established in March of 1999, Bridges of Respect offers a series of dynamic, educational presentations on animal and environmental issues for middle school and up in the Twin Cities metro area. Programs are modified for each age group.

The interactive programs encourage student participation and critical thinking by combining lively discussions with short videos and activities. Programs are flexible in length and format to meet the interests of the audience, and may be tailored to fit specific curricular needs. Bridges of Respect’s instructors are available to present at school assembly programs, classrooms, after-school club meetings, and other community organizations.

Bridges of Respect is funded through grants and public donations. Bridges of Respect is a program of Compassionate Action for Animals, a Twin Cities-based, tax-exempt nonprofit.

Contact Us


Phone: 612-718-0829

Bridges of Respect 13055 Riverdale Dr NW Ste. 500-278 Minneapolis, MN 55448

Our Humane Educators

We don’t tell students what choices to make, we teach them that their choices matter.

Christine Coughlin

Christine_CoughlinChristine Coughlin has been an Educator with Bridges of Respect since 2005 presenting Lions, Tigers & Bears: Animals In Entertainment. As Executive Director of both Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection and the well-known Minneapolis non-profit Circus Reform Yes, Christine has a specialized knowledge of society’s use of animals for entertainment. As well as other venues, she has provided presentations for students ranging from 6th to 12th grade and brings her real world experience of working on animal protection with policy makers and the media into the classroom.

Christine earned her BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase and is also proficient in American Sign Language. For Deaf or Hard of Hearing classes or groups she co-presents alongside a Deaf Humane Educator.

Shannon Kimball, Humane Education Instructor and Program Coordinator

Shannon Shannon Kimball started working with Bridges of Respect in 2001. He has developed several of the programs Bridges of Respect offers including Beyond Violence and Ethics & Environment. He regularly presents at colleges such as, the University of Minnesota, Normandale College, and St Cloud University, as well as dozens of middle and high schools around the Twin Cities including The School of Environmental Studies. Shannon has presented for thousands of students ranging from 6th grade language arts classes to college ethics courses and is a certified Minneapolis public schools volunteer. He has also worked with students with behavioral disorders, after school clubs, English as a second language students, and offered adult programs in humane education.

Shannon graduated from Century College and is pursuing freelance art through drawing and painting. He enjoys combining art with advocacy, traveling, kayaking, and camping. For several years Shannon worked as a supervisor at the Coon Rapids Humane Society. He is a member of Minneapolis-based Compassionate Action for Animals and loves working with students to help put animal protection into focus with our daily lives.

Program Advisors

Freeman Wicklund

Freeman WicklundFreeman Wicklund founded Bridges Of Respect in 1999 and served as the primary humane educator until 2003, and later worked with Mercy for Animals, a national animal advocacy organization. He takes an active and important role in advising Bridges of Respect and its humane educators.

Freeman studied philosophy and political science at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois before changing his major and school to get a B.S. in Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. He received humane education training at the International Institute of Humane Education in Surrey, Maine.

During his nearly three decades of advocacy, Freeman has held numerous leadership roles within the animal protection, environmental and social justice movements. He currently serves as Adviser to Bridges of Respect and on the Advisory Board for both Seeds for Change Humane Education in La Jolla, California and the Institute for Animals and Society based in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2001 he was one of the Green Party endorsed candidates for the Minneapolis Public School Board.

Gregory Oschwald

Gregory Oschwald has been working with Bridges of Respect since 2003. He has a JD from Yale Law School and an undergraduate degree in mathematics. As a law student, he explored the role of our legal and social system on animals and the environment, and as an undergraduate, he took an extensive array of science and math courses.

In the past decade he has worked with numerous non-profits, within both the animal protection and social justice movements. He has served on the Compassionate Action for Animals’ Board of Directors and as the Chapter Director for their most active chapter. He also acted as the coordinator of Bridges of Respect’s presentations from early 2004 until late 2006.

Ramona Ilea

Dr. Ramona Ilea is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Pacific University where she teaches ethics classes, including “Environmental Ethics,” “Animal Ethics,” and “Ethics, Medicine and Health Care.”

Ramona has over twenty-five conference presentations as well as a number of published articles, including “Intensive Livestock Farming: Global Trends, Increased Environmental Concerns, and Ethical Solutions,” published in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. She was also asked to write the “Animal Rights” entry for the Encyclopedia of Global Studies.