Robert Shetterly is an amazingly inspiring man. He is a political activist and a self-taught artist who has created a series of portraits of people in the United States who believe in true democracy and work for the betterment of the world. The portraits are gathered on the "Americans Who Tell The Truth" website which displays the following mission statement:
"Americans Who Tell the Truth is dedicated to the belief that a profound sense of citizenship is the only safeguard of democracy and the best defense of our social, economic, and environmental rights. Through portraits and stories of exemplary American citizens, both historical and contemporary, AWTT teaches the courage to act for the common good. Its powerful educational programs promote our country’s ideals, illuminate the necessary work of the present, and inspire hope in the future."
Here is a small sampling of the portraits of amazingly inspiring Americans who dare to speak the truth.
Educational Theorist, Professor, Writer, Anti-War and Civil Rights Activist: b. 1944
"There is, after all, no basis for education in a democracy outside of a faith in the enduring capacity for growth in ordinary people and a faith that ordinary people … can, if they choose, change the world."
Civil Rights Organizer : 1903 – 1986
"In order for us as poor and oppressed people to become a part of a society that is meaningful, the system under which we now exist has to be radically changed. It means facing a system that does not lend itself to your needs and devising means by which you can change that system. That is easier said than done."
Writer, Activist : b. 1944
"What an extraordinary time to be alive. We’re the first people on our planet to have real choice: we can continue killing each other, wiping out other species, spoiling our nest. Yet on every continent a revolution in human dignity is emerging. It is re-knitting community and our ties to the earth. So we do have a choice. We can choose death; or we can choose life."
Army Captain, Peace Activist, Writer: b. 1980
"When people in a democracy are not educated in the art of living --- to strengthen their conscience, compassion, and ability to question and think critically --- they can be easily manipulated by fear and propaganda. A democracy is only as wise as its citizens, and a democracy of ignorant citizens can be as dangerous as a dictatorship."
Artist : b. 1951
"We despair for the fate of animals, the senseless cruelties inflicted upon them by our species, their and our own helplessness in the face of mass slaughter--all this is true. And if we could really see what we have done to the earth, we would go mad. Alongside that is yet another truth: there is a palpable goodness all around us, even in the most terrible times, that all things point to, like the north star. "
Farmer, Essayist, Conservationist, Novelist, Teacher, Poet : b. 1934
"The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and wasteful."