For International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are rolling out a new phase in The Butterfly Project's story.
Hatred and intolerance are turning the world into a prison. To have hope, to practice empathy, to see beauty is to break free. Hope is a protest. A rally cry: “I will this world to be better.” Hope is a powerful statement of solidarity with others. It turns individual people into a community. It transforms “them” into “us.” It builds bridges. it tears down walls. It makes people feel whole. When we move forward from a place of hope, we feel heard. We feel like members of the same team. We understand the greater possibilities.
The Butterfly Project is a commitment to act. To stand with hope. It’s a platform to bring people together. To change our world for the better.
Starting as a way to educate school children about the Holocaust, The Butterfly Project has swelled into a global phenomenon, collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies from across the world. Inspired by the poem “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” written by Pavel Friedmann, a young Czech who wrote while in the Terezin Concentration Camp, the Project was a tribute to the lives of the young people lost in the Holocaust.
During The Butterfly Project’s 20-year history, humanity has faced new challenges and new ways of connecting have emerged. We are closer today than ever, thanks to the rise of social networking and ever-growing ways to connect with others regardless of geographic location. Yet, we are also further apart. Cyberbullying, trolls, open letters shaming others and open letters shaming the shamed—the internet has given people a way to both express themselves and to create new factions of “us” vs. “them.” Negativity makes a lot more noise than positivity. The gap between us is more apparent than the bridge that connects us.
Today, The Butterfly Project seeks to disrupt this negativity. Using hope as the flashpoint, the Project is a global conversation about what it means to be human and how we can use our common humanity to build a better world.
We want to be a vehicle for social change. The Butterfly Project aims to inspire people to use hope as a vehicle for social change, using the lessons learned from the Holocaust. Through social outreach, grassroots advocacy and personal connection, the Project is a lens through which to view the future using the past as a guide. The Butterfly Project illustrates how our small actions today can become something so much bigger. It shows how individual action can change people’s hearts and, with that, the future.
Join the conversation. Take the pledge. Make a wish. Become an ambassador. Vow to be an upstander. Take this project and run with it in your own way. We hope it can be a vehicle for your own creative expression. Just as the, "I" in the middle of our logo shows, this is a commitment to individual action to create lasting impact. It’s a way for YOU to say, "'I'" will stand for a better future."
The first step is to tell us how you will #StandWithHope. Stay tuned for more ways to get activated and involved!