The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes (LMC) works with schools around the world to teach respect and understanding among all people by developing history projects about unsung heroes whose actions promote these values, regardless of race, religion and creed. These projects are in the form of performances, documentaries and exhibits, or other creative ideas. LMC has reached over 625,000 students and engaged over 6,000 schools in all fifty states, with involvement growing world-wide.
Most recently, the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes celebrated the Grand Opening of a brand-new, interpretive museum in the heart of historic downtown Fort Scott, Kansas. The new 6,000-square-foot exhibition hall features over a dozen exhibits, a 48-seat theater with bench seating, a conference room, a life-sized apple tree, and student art projects.
The origins of the organization began taking shape in 1999, led by Megan Felt and students from Uniontown, who created a history project that told the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker who rescued 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. The students wrote a play about Sendler called Life in a Jar, which has since been performed hundreds of times throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Upon discovering that Sendler was still alive and living in Poland, the Uniontown students contacted and visited her. Since then, they have established a very close bond with Sendler, and have worked tirelessly to spread her story around the world. It was their efforts that helped lead to her nomination in 2007 for the Nobel Peace Prize.
As Lowell offered his support for the Life in a Jar project, sponsoring performances of the play in Los Angeles and creating an educational DVD based on the project, he and Norm began discussing how they could further promote such educational projects that bring to light unsung heroes such as Irena Sendler—heroic role models whose actions teach respect and understanding among all people and embody the Hebrew phrase, tikkun olam ("repair the world").
They discussed the concept of taking these projects to a broader audience, national in scope. As a result of these discussions, Norm and his high school students collaborated on a proposal for an international nonprofit organization that would change the world by developing projects that teach respect and understanding. This became the foundation for founding the Lowell Milken Center or Unsung Heroes in 2007.
For more information, visit the Lowell Milken Center official website.
June 11, 2017
Philanthropy News Digest