Keynote Speeches, Seminars, and Workshops in Leadership and Conflict
Based on the values and problem-solving abilities of world heroes of peace
Heroes of Peace, their Values and Problem-Solving Techniques
My definition of a hero
A hero deliberately and courageously overcomes obstacles for the benefit of others without regard to personal consequences. Conquered obstacles are the only qualifying credentials of heroes and a measure of one's true leadership.
Definition of a Hero of Peace
Heroes of peace, without regard to personal consequences, embrace obstacles as opportunities for growth, utilize fear as a means to show courage, protect and maintain the dignity of their adversaries, crusade compassionately for those unable to speak for themselves, and celebrate diversity for the enrichment of mankind.
Why do we need heroes?
We need inspirational heroes as role models for our lives. Many of today's heroes are often sports figures, celebrities, and rock stars whose lives are laced with controversy as well as frequent appearances in our over-crowed court rooms. Where can we find exemplary heroes with proven values demonstrating respect for their fellow humans? How can we learn conflict resolution practices ending in peaceful solutions with dignity and respect being preserved for all? When will we understand and value a work ethic showing the rewards for diligence and quality? How long before forgiveness presides over revenge? This will lead to the acceptance of diversity and help extinguish the embers of discrimination.
Where did I find such amazing heroes of peace?
In order for me to sufficiently study heroes of peace, I had to not only read about their famous histories, but I had to interview them, become their trusted comrade, learn their culture, attend their gatherings, and meet their families, friends, and associates. Where would I find such special people today? How could I get accepted into their close circles?
Allow me to proudly introduce the Tuskegee Airmen and Women, a group of black pilots and support crews reluctantly established by our government in 1941 as an experiment designed for failure. The goal was to show everyone that blacks did not possess the intelligence, courage, or ability to efficiently fly or maintain military aircraft. However, despite cruel discrimination, inferior equipment, unreasonable standards, restricted rights, limited privileges, and insufficient support, the Tuskegee Airmen and Women succeeded with unprecedented achievements still unmatched today. How did they do this?
The Tuskegee Airmen’s capacity to accomplish nearly impossible tasks while operating in an environment of extreme duress is a talent that must be utilized not only by us, but future generations as well. The Tuskegee Airmen’s knowledge of how to defeat their enemies while maintaining their enemies’ dignity is not only a gift, but an art that must be preserved for the enrichment of future generations.
Their remarkable stories and the many extremely difficult obstacles they peacefully conquered are amazing! But can their values be effectively taught? Are the Tuskegee Airmen’s special characteristics something unique to them, or do other world heroes of peace possess similar attributes? Are these special human qualities only found in highly educated and gifted individuals, or do they also exist in the common person as well, even among the destitute?
My continued research included teaching several courses at Hiram College regarding the values and accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen. The majority of my students were very inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen’s accomplishments and felt motivated and encouraged about the future success of their own lives if they could utilize the Tuskegee Airmen’s values. However, there were a percentage of students who commented, “The Tuskegee Airmen had a very rare opportunity in history – to become the first black aviators in the U.S. Military – and most of them were highly motivated individuals possessing college degrees before entering the service. They were at the right place and the right time in history. I may not have a similar rare and unique opportunity.”
These students’ comments defined the next step in my journey - to locate other famous world heroes of peace who also performed remarkable accomplishments using Tuskegee Airmen type values, but who came from a potpourri of various backgrounds, educational levels, and cultures. For my students, it would reinforce the Tuskegee Airmen’s values and problem-solving abilities to show other value-centered heroes who also embraced parallel leadership characteristics. My research continued.
Famous heroes of peace compared to the Tuskegee Airmen
Some of my chosen heroes of peace are Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Princess Diana Spencer, Ginetta Sagan, Booker T. Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rigoberta Menchu, Mahatma Gandhi, George Washington Carver, Abraham Lincoln, William Wilberforce, Albert Schweitzer, Susan B. Anthony, Florence Nightingale, Albert Einstein, César Estrada Chávez, Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa, and Aung San Suu Kyi.
As I researched and taught the problem-solving skills and values of these famous humanitarian leaders, my students were impressed when introduced to the qualities used by the Tuskegee Airmen. Some students had taken the approach that the Tuskegee Airmen’s value system was too good to be true, that it could not actually improve the quality of their lives as well. My students realized that these selected heroes also used similar problem-solving and conflict resolution techniques, and this reinforced the validity and strength of the Tuskegee Airmen value system.
However, there was still a percentage of the less-confident students, who stated,
Many of my selected leaders of peace, despite their poverty and harsh circumstances, had opportunities, assets, friends, and political connections that greatly helped them accomplish their seemingly impossible tasks. I doubt similar opportunities will come into my life.
Now my challenge was to find heroes of peace who had fewer assets and connections than my less confident students. If I could, then these doubting students might realize the many opportunities that have always been within their reach.
Heroes of peace among the impoverished
Are there remarkable heroes living in poverty yet accomplishing incredible tasks each day? Are there determined individuals with very limited resources doing more good than many millionaires? Are there individuals living among the destitute capable of protecting and providing for hundreds of people? Do the heroes’ values work equally as well for the destitute as they do for those with more assets and education?
My research now took me to South Africa from the Northern Johannesburg area to Cape Town. I interviewed local heroes living in the Cape Town townships (slums) of Guguletu and Khayelitsha, in the Johannesburg township of Soweto, and Port Elizabeth’s Area Q. Some of these townships have one water faucet for every 500 people and one doctor for every 30,000 individuals. The unemployment rate is often over 60% and the percentage of those carrying the HIV AIDS virus often exceeds 40%.
I then traveled to Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere next only to Haiti. I interviewed families and children living off the city dump in Chinandega. Nicaragua’s population is 5.3 million with 4 million living on less than $1 per day.
Was I successful in locating heroes with far fewer assets than all of my students? Absolutely! Was I able to find individuals with fewer opportunities and connections than my students? Yes. Were any of these individuals highly successful, accomplishing difficult tasks, and helping hundreds of people using similar values of my other selected worlds heroes of peace? You will not believe!
After researching and teaching heroes of peace among the impoverished, I can say that none of my students feel they are incapable of being successful. They now understand they have the opportunities and assets to accomplish great things. Their choice to apply this knowledge remains to be seen.
I carefully selected all of my heroes of peace because they behaved magnificently during a crisis far more often than most people. I also chose them because the values they used to determine their behavior and guide their decisions during urgent situations were not only exemplary, but were successfully used again and again during other crises situations.
Modeling Future Heroes, Inc.
Modeling Future Heroes is my company name used as a vehicle to promote and encourage others to embrace this revolutionary material through workshops, seminars, and keynote speeches.
To view the researched values from our heroes' of peace go to Heroes of Peace Values page. To view these values with supporting quotations from these heroes go to Heroes of Peace Quotations page.
Look into the lives of these remarkable people. The heroes I researched, some famous and some unknown, can be located on my heroes' page. The values they repeatedly used in guiding their decisions is located on the attributes page.
Links Related to our causes
Children of the Dumps - Nicaragua
The Tuskegee Airmen Home Page - North Coast Chapter
The Polaris Project Action Center - Fighting Modern Slavery
Free the Slaves
Friends and Orphans (rescuing children soldiers)
U.S. State Department - Human Trafficking
Made By Survivors
It's Never Never Your Fault - Victims of child abusers
Roger Cram email