Bridges of Respect offers free humane education to Twin Cities middle and high schools, colleges, and community groups. Using dynamic presentations, program educators spark critical thinking by encouraging participation with short videos, lively discussions, and engaging activities. Plant-based food samples are often included! Presentations are flexible in length and can be modified for varied age groups, interests, and curricula. Also, location is flexible, as our instructors will deliver presentations for your classroom, school assembly, after-school club meeting, or community gathering.
Established in 1999, Bridges of Respect is a program of Compassionate Action for Animals and sustained through foundation grants and donations. We believe efforts to protect animals and the environment can help humankind learn that ignorance, materialism, violence, and behaviors of convenience underlie many injustices.
Our Humane Educators
We don’t tell students what choices to make, we teach them that their choices matter.
Shannon specializes in animal protection issues and has been a guest speaker in schools across the Twin Cities since 2003. He has presented for tens of thousands of students, from 6th grade classes to college ethics courses, have heard him present. He is a certified Minneapolis public schools volunteer who’s worked with after school clubs, adult classes, and students learning English. Shannon graduated from Century College and enjoys freelance drawing and painting. He enjoys combining art with advocacy, camping, kayaking, and traveling. 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.
Christine is the Minnesota State Director for The Humane Society of the United States and has been an educator with Bridges of Respect since 2005. She has been active in the field of animal protection since 2002 with a focus on grassroots legislative campaigns and electoral advocacy. She is vice president of the Minnesota Partnership for Animal Welfare and serves on the board of Friends of Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas. Christine enjoys bringing her real world experience working on animal protection policy into the classroom and encouraging the development of critical thinking skills. She is the recipient of Compassionate Action for Animals’ 2017 Kenny Feldman Animal Advocate Award, created to recognize a person, organization, or business whose work is pushing the ball forward for animals.
Kathy Coughlin – Humane Educator
As a former secondary English teacher who has a sincere affection for high school students, Kathy brings experience to her “Animals in Entertainment” presentations. They’ll soon be making their own decisions and their minds are open to everything, Kathy feels, including humane education issues. Kathy is a freelance copy editor and writer. She has published two children’s books, and her most recent compositions, “We’re All Animals!” and “The Most Amazing Circus,” are looking for publishers. She has been an animal advocate most of her adult life, serving now as a volunteer district leader for the Humane Society of the United States. She has been a “Bridges of Respect” presenter for four years. In her free time, she enjoys sports, music, and gardening. She lives in Oak Grove with her husband Mike and their dog Selby.
Jennifer is the Community Partnership Manager at People Serving People, the region’s largest shelter for families experiencing homelessness. A volunteer since 2013, she has been most active in Bridges of Respect and leafleting and is grateful to have joined the board in August of 2016. Jennifer has been involved with Bridges of Respect since 2015. She has led “Circle of Compassion” and “Our Food Our World” presentations, as well as supported other presenters by distributing food samples. In her role at People Serving People, Jennifer has many opportunities to hone her public speaking skills. Before starting at the shelter, she spent a decade as the Education Director of a large Lutheran church. She enjoys helping others tune into their compassionate selves through curriculum that’s both engaging and effective.
Freeman founded Bridges Of Respect in 1999 and served as the primary humane educator until 2003. He received humane education training at the Institute for Humane Education, and worked for them providing humane education training to teachers. “I’m committed to humane education,” says Wicklund. “Human education helps youth develop critical thinking skills and creates a conversation that models how to be kind and compassionate in our interactions with each other, and all life.” Wicklund currently serves as the Mindfulness Teacher for the Boundless Love Project, a nonsectarian nonprofit that teaches meditation and mindfulness. He received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition at the University of Minnesota.