Kids | Youth | Adults | Calendar | Quotes | Heroes | Stories | The EMILY Fund | Scholarships
DO ONE THING and BetterWorld Kids Clubs are projects of The EMILY Fund (The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.)


(Click on * for 8.5 X 11 PDF to print)


* "It may seem sometimes as if a culture of peace does not stand a chance against the culture of war, the culture of violence and the cultures of impunity and intolerance. Peace may indeed be a complex challenge, dependent on action in many fields and even a bit of luck from time to time. It may be a painfully slow process, and fragile and imperfect when it is achieved. But peace is in our hands. We can do it." -- Kofi Annan

"These often unsung heroes understand...that poverty, disease and famine are just as deadly and destructive as earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis. Individuals ...are taking on these challenges in their communities, volunteering to make a difference. They remain the true champions of our work towards the Millennium Development Goals." -- Kofi Annan

“Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”
-- Kofi Annan
The challenge of ending displacement is inseparable from the challenge of establishing and maintaining peace. When wars end, farmers return to their fields; children return to school; violence against women declines; trade and economic activity resume; medical and other services become more accessible, and the international focus changes from relief to development and self-sufficiency. All this makes new wars less likely. It is a virtuous cycle that deserves nurture and support.
-- Kenneth H. Bacon

* There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.
-- James A. Baldwin

Together we must challenge individuals, communities, cities, counties, regions, states, and the nation to be accountable for the outcomes of the justice systems at every level of government.
-- James Bell

* Today social justice represents one of the most serious challenges to the conscience of the world. The abyss between those who are within the world 'order' and those who are excluded is widening day by day. The use of leading-edge technologies has made it possible to accumulate wealth in a way that is fantastic but perverse because it is unjustly distributed. Twenty-percent of humankind control eighty percent of all means of life. That fact creates a dangerous imbalance in the movement of history.
-- Leonardo Boff

* I do care a great deal about the environment but my real work and my greatest challenge is trying to overcome deceits that end up jeopardizing public health and safety.
-- Erin Brockovich


* Grassroots groups challenge the "business-as-usual" environmentalism that is generally practiced by the more privileged wildlife-and conservation-oriented groups. The focus of activists of color and their constituents reflects their life experiences of social, economic, and political disenfranchisement.
-- Robert Bullard

The word "energy" incidentally equates with the Greek word for "challenge." I think there is much to learn in thinking of our federal energy problem in that light. Further, it is important for us to think of energy in terms of a gift of life.
-- Thomas Carr

"Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens."
- President Bill Clinton on International Literacy Day, September 8th 1994

The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.
-- Kurt Cobain


Well, it was quite a century, the best of times, the worst of times; and as we run down now toward the end of it, we can all recite our litany of despair: overpopulation; pollution; a faltering educational system; the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer; racial tension; drugs; too many guns. But you know, if there's anything I've learned, it is that we Americans do have a way of rising to the challenges that confront us. Just when it seems we're most divided, we suddenly show a remarkable solidarity. The 20th century may be leaving us with a host of problems, but I've also noted that it does seem darkest before the dawn. There's reason to hope for the 21st century. And that's the way it will be.
-- Walter Cronkite

"We go to sanctuaries to remember the things we hold most dear, the things we cherish and love. And then--the great challenge--we return home seeking to enact this wisdom as best we can in our daily lives."
~ William Cronon
* "I believe that to meet the challenge of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. We must all learn to work not just for our own self, family, or nation but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace, the equitable use of natural resources, and through concern for future generations, the proper care of the environment."
The Dalai Lama

Men need to know the elemental challenges that sea and mountains present. They need to know what it is to be alive and to survive when great storms come. They need to unlock the secrets of streams, lakes, and canyons and to find how these treasures are veritable storehouses of inspiration. They must experience the sense of mastery of adversity. They must find a peak or a ridge that they can reach under their own power alone.
-- Justice William O. Douglas

* The challenge of social justice is to evoke a sense of community that we need to make our nation a better place, just as we make it a safer place.
-- Marian Wright Edelman

"Children organizing for political rights will probably be treated initially with ridicule and derision, and then with misunderstanding and perhaps eventually violence if the experience of the struggle for women's suffrage is any precedent. Undoubtedly the greatest obstacle to be overcome is the adult refusal to acknowledge that children suffer political discrimination and exclusion. Adults do not perceive children as a minority group but as helpless, inexperienced, defenseless young people who need protection. Adult paternalism seeks to protect and if in this process it curtails freedom, truncates potential and destroys civil liberties this is taken to be incidental. The belief in the legitimacy of paternalism justifies and cements the existing power relationships between adults and young people. This attitude must be confronted, challenged and refuted if young people are to secure their political rights..."
-- Bob Franklin "The Rights of Children"
Nothing can be defined or derided on the basis of its origin. The important thing is what is done with it and how far a community identifies with something that symbolizes its favourite way of dreaming, living, dancing, playing or loving. This is the positive side of the world: a constant intermingling that produces new responses to new challenges. But because of forced globalization, there’s a clear trend these days towards uniformity. This trend comes largely from the ever-greater concentration of power in the hands of large media groups.
-- Eduardo Galeano

* "We live in an age in which the fundamental principles to which we subscribe -- liberty, equality and justice for all -- are encountering extraordinary challenges, ... But it is also an age in which we can join hands with others who hold to those principles and face similar challenges.”
-- Ruth Bader Ginsburg

"The good news is, we have everything we need now to respond to the challenge of global warming. We have all the technologies we need, more are being developed.... But we should not wait, we cannot wait, we must not wait."
~ Al Gore

* Nuclear weapons have forced us to consider whether we will be the last generation. They challenge the moral dimension of our humanity. Our technological abilities must not outstrip our moral insights, rendering us less than fully human. For in this age, acting without reliance on the gifts of law, morality and wisdom will be lethal. What right do we have to place all life on the planet at risk in the service of a human construction, the state, when it is presently legally required and within our political means to globally eliminate all nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons elimination will make all states and their people safer. It is time to assert our right to live in a nuclear weapons free world.
-- Jonathan Granoff

* “To me, the path to a sustainable energy future seems very obvious. We have to find a way to tap into a very small fraction of the sun’s energy to convert it to a form suitable for supplying what are in fact the relatively small additional requirements of modern life. … I think the technological challenge can be met. It remains to be seen whether the political and organisational challenges involved in recognising and addressing the need to change from the status quo can also be met on a reasonable timescale.”
~ Martin Green

There are many challenges facing the international community today but few, in my mind, are more pressing than those of finding humanitarian solutions to refugee problems. We talk of regional conflicts, of economic and social crises, of political instability, of abuses of human rights, of racism, religious intolerance, inequalities between rich and poor, hunger, over-population, under-development and. I could go on and on. Each and every one of these impediments to humanity’s pursuit of well-being are also among the root causes of refugee problems.
-- Poul Hartling, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1978-1985

"Forgiveness is an act of the imagination. It dares you to imagine a better future, one that is based on the blessed possibility that your hurt will not be the final word on the matter. It challenges you to give up your destructive thoughts about the situation and to believe in the possibility of a better future. It builds confidence that you can survive the pain and grow from it. "
-- Larry James

I hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our Government to trial and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
-- Thomas Jefferson

" Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy trying to cover up failure, Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's OK to fail. If you're not failing, you're not growing."
-- H. Stanley Judd

* "...We have an historic opportunity for a great global healing and renewal. If we will accept the challenge of nonviolent activism with faith, courage, and determination, we can bring this great vision of a world united in peace and harmony from a distant ideal into glowing reality."
-- Coretta Scott King

* The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. -- Martin Luther King, Jr

"One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change." -- Martin Luther King, Jr

“Let's concede that we have decided to let our children grow up in two separate nations, and lead two separate kinds of lives. If, on the other hand, we have the courage to rise to this challenge to name what's happening within our inner-city schools, then we also need the courage to be activist and go out and fight like hell to change it.”
-- Jonathan Kozol

* Hope is not enough to change the world, to bring peace, to end starvation and poverty, to provide a decent education for all children, or to prevent nuclear holocaust. Yet it is a critical starting point for building a better and brighter future. All of us are challenged to connect hope to action until we have created a might river that will carve a new path to the future.
-- David Krieger

New Zealand's nuclear free movement is a broad-based and popular movement. Our nuclear free status is a challenge to much that is accepted as orthodox in international relations. It was formally adopted in the cold war era as a form of resistance to the dismal doctrines of nuclear deterrence. It is still a rebuke to the unprincipled exercise of economic power and military might.
-- David Lange

* I also believe that it's almost impossible for people to change alone. We need to join with others who will push us in our thinking and challenge us to do things we didn't believe ourselves capable of.
-- Frances Moore Lappé

"Our message today is one of hope. It is about potential waiting to be fulfilled: the surest way to meet the global challenges we face now and in the future is to make every mother and child count.
~ Dr. LEE Jong-wook, WHO Secretary-General

* Therefore my challenge to each of you ... is that you ask yourself what you can do to make a difference. And then take that action, no matter how large or how small. For our children have a right to peace.
-- Graça Machel-Mandela

So join with me in this campaign. Lend me your strength and your support-and together, we will call America home to the ideals that nourished us in the beginning.
From secrecy, and deception in high places, come home, America...
From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation, come home, America.
From the entrenchment of special privilege and tax favoritism-
From the waste of idle hands to the joy of useful labor-
From the prejudice of race and sex-
From the loneliness of the aging poor and the despair of the neglected sick, come home, America.
Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream.
Come home to the conviction that we can move our country forward.
Come home to the belief that we can seek a newer world.
And let us be joyful in the homecoming,
for:' this land is your land, this land is my land.
From California to the New York Islands.
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters.
This land was made for you and me.'
May God grant us the wisdom to cherish this good land and to meet the great challenge that beckons us home. This is the time.

-- George McGovern

"In the midst of living life; in the midst of chaos; in the midst of endless lists of to-do's and people to take care of and little pieces of you going outward, I challenge you to shift your subconscious, to shift your attitude, and find three things to feel grateful for. Look around you with your senses. What three small things can you feel grateful for? Think about it and breathe it in and say: 'I am grateful. I am grateful. I am grateful for all the abundance around me and in me.' What do you picture when you say these words? Imagine it as if it is true. I am grateful for all the abundance around me and in me."
-- Cheryl Melody

"In the midst of living life; in the midst of chaos; in the midst of endless lists of to-do's and people to take care of and little pieces of you going outward, I challenge you to shift your subconscious, to shift your attitude, and find three things to feel grateful for. Look around you with your senses. What three small things can you feel grateful for? Think about it and breathe it in and say: 'I am grateful. I am grateful. I am grateful for all the abundance around me and in me.' What do you picture when you say these words? Imagine it as if it is true. I am grateful for all the abundance around me and in me." -- Cheryl Melody

"We have the opportunity to make violence prevention and peacemaking a central conversation in our culture right now. And there couldn't be a more urgent time to do so. We see daily the tragic impact violence is having on the planet. I feel heartened that so many practical solutions will be brought forth through a Department of Peace. This campaign is showing what can be done as we begin to invest more in the work of peacebuilding. There are many programs and practices that are already proving to be incredibly effective at reducing such cultural challenges as gang violence, violence in our schools, in our homes, as well as conflict around the world. So please join this movement by contacting your members of Congress and urge them to support this landmark legislation. And join others in your community working to make it happen. Together we can do this." -- Willie Nelson

young people recognize the big challenges that are coming up... -- Barack Obama

Global warming is not just the greatest environmental challenge facing our planet — it is one of our greatest challenges of any kind. -- Barack Obama

* I am convinced that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. For it's precisely the pursuit of ideological purity, the rigid orthodoxy and the sheer predictability of our current political debate, that keeps us from finding new ways to meet the challenges we face as a country. It's what keeps us locked in "either/or" thinking: the notion that we can only have big government or no government; the assumption that we must either tolerate forty-six million without health insurance or embrace "socialized medicine." -- Barack Obama

"As a nation, this is the moment to start seriously investing our time, energy and resources into proven methods of reducing violence, both within our nation as well as internationally. The cost of violence to our culture and our children is simply not sustainable. I have learned that in the United States, youth homicide rates are more than 10 times that of other leading industrialized nations, this is just one example of the challenges we face. Is this really a legacy we want to leave our children? There is a better way.
-- Joaquin Phoenix

* "If we want energy security, then we have to reduce our appetite for fossil fuels. There's no other way. Other issues may crowd the headlines, but this is our fundamental challenge. Big challenges require bold action and leadership. To get the United States off fossil fuels in this uneasy national climate of terrorism and conflict in the Persian Gulf, we must treat the issue with the urgence and persistance it deserves. The measure of our success will be the condition on which we leave the world for the next generation.
~ Robert Redford

"Every artist, every scientist, must decide now where he stands. He has no alternative. There is no standing above the conflict on Olympian heights. There are no impartial observers. Through the destruction, in certain countries, of the greatest of man's literary heritage, through the propagation of false ideas of racial and national superiority, the artist, the scientist, the writer is challenged. The struggle invades the formerly cloistered halls of our universities and other seats of learning. The battlefront is everywhere. There is no sheltered rear." And I saw, too, that the struggle for Negro rights was an inseparable part of the anti-fascist struggle and I said: "The artist must elect to fight for Freedom or for Slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative."
-- Paul Robeson

"'If democracy and self-rule are the fundamentals, then why should people give up these rights when they enter their workplace? In politics we fight like tigers for freedom, for the right to elect our leaders, for freedom of movement, choice of residence, choice of what work to pursue - control of our lives, in short. And then we wake up in the morning and go to work, and all those rights disappear. We no longer insist on them. And so for most of the day we return to feudalism. That is what capitalism is - a version of feudalism in which capital replaces land, and business leaders replace kings. But the hierarchy remains. And so we still hand over our lives' labor, under duress, to feed rulers who do no real work.... 'So. We must challenge. It is time. If self-rule is a fundamental value, if simple justice is a value, then they are values everywhere, including in the workplace where we spend so much of our lives'...."
-- Kim Stanley Robinson
If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.
-- Mitsugi Saotome
American families have always shown remarkable resiliency, or flexible adjustment to natural, economic, and social challenges. Their strengths resemble the elasticity of a spider web, a gull's skillful flow with the wind, the regenerating power of perennial grasses, the cooperation of an ant colony, and the persistence of a stream carving canyon rocks. These are not the strengths of fixed monuments but living organisms. This resilience is not measured by wealth, muscle or efficiency but by creativity, unity, and hope. Cultivating these family strengths is critical to a thriving human community.
-- Ben Silliman

* Poverty and lack of knowledge must be challenged.
-- Russell Simmons

* For the world order to be one of peace and justice, for the global village to be a theater of right livelihood, it is imperative that a new and proactive spiritual vision commensurate to the challenges of the emerging world order be enunciated without delay.
-- Swami Agnivesh

Peace among religions is a precondition for world peace. But religions, as religions, can never be at peace with each other. To enable religions to be instruments for peace we need to enable, first, religious communities to progress from religion to spirituality. For the world order to be one of peace and justice, for the global village to be a theater of right livelihood, it is imperative that a new and proactive spiritual vision commensurate to the challenges of the emerging world order be enunciated without delay. The challenge is to make “right livelihood” a universal goal. Recognizing this value in a symbolic way through an award like this is a significant step in the right direction. This is not, however, our journey’s end. We must not rest until right livelihood is within reach of every human being upon this earth we love and cherish. We all have a role to play in achieving this goal.
-- Swami Agnivesh

We challenge the culture of violence when we our selves
act in the certainty that violence is no longer acceptable,
that it's tired and outdated no matter how many cling to it
in the stubborn belief that it still works and that it's still valid.
-- Gerard Vanderhaar

And we're seeing a higher level of consciousness and many more opportunities for people to challenge their present ways of thinking and move into a grander and larger experience of who they really are.
~ Neale Donald Walsch

The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them.
-- Woodrow Wilson




Kids | Youth | Adults | Calendar | Quotes | Heroes | Stories | The EMILY Fund | Scholarships
DO ONE THING and BetterWorld Kids Clubs are projects of The EMILY Fund (The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.)
Hero portraits are included for illustration purposes only - no celebrity endorsement implied

The Emily Fund
Education, Mentorship, Inspiration, Leadership, Youth
- for a Better

PO Box 430
Roosevelt, NJ 08555-0430