Brittany Michelson, a writing instructor and animal rights activist. Since 2017, Brittany has taught activism classes—in addition to her writing classes—at The REALM Creative Academy, a progressive kindergarten to eighth-grade program in Santa Monica, California.
Brittany provides students with the opportunity to explore issues that they care about. “[Students] are encouraged to find their passions,” she says, “whether it be for human causes, animal causes, or environmental causes.” In a semester-long Action Project, her students can explore their chosen topics, making signs to hang in the building and other public places to raise awareness of their issues. “Almost all of my students so far have chosen animal causes, which makes sense,” Brittany explains, “because kids love animals and they don’t like when animals are hurting.” She believes that all schools should teach activism, citing it as an excellent motivator for struggling or otherwise reluctant learners.
When she’s not teaching, Brittany attends protests, marches, and other demonstrations, including pig vigils with Los Angeles Animal Save. There, she and other attendees bear witness to the horrors endured by pigs, who are crammed into trucks and denied food and water, sometimes traveling for hours on end in extreme weather conditions, all before being taken to a slaughterhouse. One of her students, a 10-year-old vegan, and her mother, joined Brittany in bearing witness and are now regular attendees of the vigils. Brittany also conducts workshops and writes creative nonfiction to inspire others to advocate for the rights of all animals.