The Mead Generation
It is one of the most frequently used quotes to describe the efforts of citizens, movements and determined individuals to impact change.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,” anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Of course, Mead was right. But like any quote, it can sometimes seem like a cliché. And then there are moments that bring its vivid meaning to the fore.
On July 9, in a courthouse in White Plains, New York, a judge took the unusual step of publicly praising a group of plaintiffs who had filed suit in his court.
“[W]hatever you do, from what little I know of you . . . you’re going to do well, because you are awfully impressive people.”
That was Judge Kenneth M. Karas addressing some of the students who brought suit against New York’s Pine Bush School District after enduring years of horrendous anti-Semitic harassment and bullying. The settlement in their case, which Judge Karas approved on July 9, will result in sweeping changes to the District’s policies and include strong steps to address, and prevent, any future bullying.