New York based HEART ( has launched a new chapter in Portland, Oregon effective July 15th, 2012.

HEART is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to educating youth and teachers in humane education and advocating for stronger implementation of humane education legislation and policy. Humane education is perhaps the broadest educational movement to date, encompassing sustainability, character, social justice, global ethical, animal welfare and media literacy education.

Portland will build upon HEART’s previous expansion to Chicago and Indianapolis, thereby giving the organization representation on both coasts as well as the Midwest. HEART has reached over 15,000 students since the inception of the Humane Living Program in 2006 and strives to bring humane education into the mainstream of our education system.

HEART offers age-appropriate curricula for grades K-12, teaching students compassion and respect for one another, animals and the environment. The Humane Living Program includes in-classroom instruction, after-school service based learning programs, and summer programs and camps. Students learn to think critically about major social issues and are given the tools to take personal action to promote positive change.

HEART’s Portland chapter will be guided and developed under the leadership of Dani Dennenberg, the first graduate of the Institute for Humane Education and Cambridge College’s joint Master’s degree in education. Dani ran the Seeds for Change Humane Education program in Southern California from 2000 until 2008. “Portland represents an ideal expansion city for HEART. It boasts a culture of civic engagement, volunteerism, and sustainability, all of which make HEART’s services a perfect fit. We are very excited to have someone as talented and dedicated as Dani heading up this effort” said Meena Alagappan, HEART’s Executive Director.

“I am delighted to bring the successful work of HEART to Portland and am honored to serve as an ambassador of the Pacific Northwest” added Dani. “Well-established conversations around sustainability, animal welfare, social justice and educational reform can be taken to the next level with the integrated approach of humane education. I can hardly wait to reach thousands of young people, dive into hands-on service projects that sustain and rebuild local ecosystems, protect wildlife, farmed animals and companion animals, and address issues of equity while building local partnerships and leaving a lasting mark.”

Dani can be reached at

[email protected] or 503-957-9016