New video series reveals Antidote to American culture wars: Radical Heroes

Start with us Founding partners Leon Ford, Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewisand Tony McAleer share personal stories that reformulate the meaning of “radical”

NEW YORK, June 16, 2022 / PRNewswire / – Start With Us, a growing non-partisan movement to overcome cultural extremism in America by promoting curiosity, compassion and courage – the 3 Cs – as daily habits, today launched a video series titled “Radical Heroes.” The videos highlight extraordinary leaders, from a former white supremacist to a black man mistakenly shot by the police to a religious leader with a unique ability to unite communities, who are driving change through the difficult work of showing compassion, curiosity and radical courage through lines of difference.

Start with us is a civic movement that allows people to strengthen themselves and society by practicing curiosity, empathy and courage as daily habits. (PRNewsfoto / Start with us)

Along with over 150 founding partners of the Starts With Us movement, these leaders are committed to practicing the 3 C’s every day. The videos, produced in collaboration with Freethink, feature:

  • Tony McAleer, a former white supremacist, who now helps others leave hate groups. In his video, launched today, Tony talks about the transformative power of compassion. McAleer, author of The cure for hate: a former white supremacist’s journey from violent extremism to radical compassionsays, “If my counselor hadn’t treated me kindly, despite the fact that I once supported the annihilation of him and his people, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I returned to my heart – and humanity – with compassion and now, through my work with Starts With Us and Life After Hate, I hope to help others do the same. “

  • Leon Ford, who was shot by police and was paralyzed in 2012 when he was mistaken for another man, now works to improve relations between public safety officials and local communities. In his video, which will be launched later this month, Leon recounts how courage helped him overcome a debilitating act of violence to create a safer and more understanding world for himself, his son and his neighbors. He says, “My ability to have compassion and grace for myself extends to other people. No matter what you’ve been through, you can make your pain intentional. You can cooperate, even with someone who has caused you harm. If we do. we want to create the world we want to live in, it has to start with us “.

  • Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewisthe first female and first African American minister at the Collegiate Church of New Yorkpublished the acclaimed book Fierce love in 2021 as a spiritual and practical antidote to our divisive culture. Rev. Dr. Lewis defines how to love someone who hates you out of curiosity in his video coming in late June; says, “Instead of starting with hatred, I try to start with curiosity. By doing so, I quickly realize that people I disagree with also care about their children and have been hurt like me. compassion and love, I believe we can find a way to talk to each other contrary to each other’s positions. “

The series aims to reformulate the way Americans think of the word “radical”. Tom Fish ManStarts With Us CEO Says: “Radical it tends to have a negative connotation in today’s polarized political environment, but when you see radical curiosity, radical compassion and radical courage in action, it takes on new and empowering meaning. This series showcases people connecting across lines of difference in ways that seem unimaginable in the “us versus them” atmosphere that pervades today’s culture. We believe that if enough of us strive to practice the 3 C’s every single day, we collectively have the power to overcome today’s culture wars. “

Chandler TuttleCEO of Freethink and Starts With Us Founding Partner, shares Fishman’s sentiment, saying, “In the news we often see stories that fuel fear and underscore what divides us. These stories do the opposite. They remind us that there are Americans who are actively working. to overcome the tides of tribalism and dehumanization every day with curiosity, compassion and courage. We are proud to be part of the Starts With Us movement in bringing these very important stories to the masses. “

To see the first video, visit Starts With Us on YouTube. The remaining videos will launch later this month. To learn more about Get Started with us, visit

Who starts with us
Founded in 2021, Starts With Us is a non-partisan movement that works to overcome cultural extremism by promoting curiosity, compassion and courage (the 3 Cs) as daily habits. Found by Daniel Lubetzky along with over 150 leading cultural leaders and icons, including Adam Grant, Jason AlexanderWilliam, Marco Cubanoand dr. King Bernice, the Starts With Us community is committed to practicing the 3 C’s every day while strengthening skills such as critical thinking, active listening and nuanced communication. Learn more at

About free thinking
Freethink Media is a digital publisher with a mission to move the world. While most media is fueled by toxic politics and negativity, Freethink covers solutions: the smartest people, the biggest ideas, and the most innovative technology that shapes our future. Through its two flagship sites, Freethink and Big Think, Freethink Media publishes over 50 new articles and short documentaries every week for a community of over 10 million followers and subscribers. Watch the Freethink trailer to find out more.



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