Compassionate Rebel Revolution cover

Compassionate Rebel Revolution Cover

The Compassionate Rebel Revolution: Ordinary People Changing the World


Join the parade of the new superheroes

.  Women Heroes

.  African American Heroes

.  Hispanic heroes

.  Immigrant heroes

.  Heroes like you and me

The Compassionate Rebel Revolution: Ordinary People Changing the World is a book about a new kind of superhero.


In the past, when we heard the word “hero” many of us would tend to picture a fearless soldier charging through enemy fire to save his companions or perhaps a fireman braving a burning building to rescue a child, or maybe some famous historic figure we place on a pedestal, or a comic book superhero that is saving the world.

While some of us still fall back on these iconic images, today our minds have opened to encompass a broader spectrum of the population when we hear the word “hero.” We have come to realize that ordinary people – male, female, young and old and in-between — can do extraordinary things. These everyday heroes are not concerned with creating headlines. They instead create peace, compassion and positive social change.

Award-winning author and journalist Burt Berlowe presents 60 of these stories in The Compassionate Rebel Revolution. “I wrote this book,” Berlowe stated, “to highlight the inspiring, personal stories of compassionate rebels, average citizens whose extraordinary acts of caring and courage are making our world a better place to live for now and for future generations. In this second Compassionate Rebel anthology we continue to tell stories of ordinary citizens who have overcome adversity and channeled their anger at injustice into positive action.”

Compassionate rebels are the new real-life superheroes without the capes and the celebrity, with the super powers of compassion and courage and determination that can change the world in so many different ways that offer cause for hope in these troubled times.

These are the everyday heroes that live among us, who walk beside us and with us, who lead us onto a winding road of social transformation that is positively changing our politics, our culture and our way of life. Their powerful stories, being told publicly for the first time, will encourage you to find and unleash the compassionate rebel that resides in all of us, guides us through tough times, helps us find solutions to our most pressing problems, and makes us all potential agents of social change.

One by one and working together these real-life action figures from around the globe have turned adversity into triumph, compassion into commitment and anger into activism. Their stories, written by a variety of authors, cover a broad range of relevant topics that affect us all, including war and peace, civil and human rights, ecology and sustainability, education, community building, spirituality, health and wellness, electoral, corporate and media reform and other issues that affect the way we live our lives. In moving our of their comfort zone and standing up to the status quo they have changed the course of history.

One noted author who heaped praise on the book saw it this way: “Reading The Compassionate Rebel Revolution: Ordinary People Changing the World was very much like watching a great Fourth of July parade, this one marching down the main street of a town so imperfect that only the effort of those marchers can redeem it. That world is our modern world, a world of prejudice, cruelty, greed, war, and sometimes just the insanity of evil. The marchers are an array of individuals who one way or another have found their way into the parade; and that parade is an effort to make this a better world, a more caring world, a world of human decency and dignity.”

Like any good parade, this book asks us to join in, to follow along. When presented with so many heroes, can we do less?”

Women Heroes

Ever since the feminist movement exploded in the 1960s, women heroes have continued to play a significant role in shaping our culture. They also play a large role in Berlowe’s work. His book introduces us to some 30 of these women compassionate rebels and their powerful work for change.
They include the following:

* International peace activist Kathy Kelly, founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, enduring yet another hunger strike against war and injustice.

* Gulf War veteran and PTSD survivor Chante Wolf sharing stories of rampant abuse of women in the military.

* Ana Castillo overcoming the challenging life of a migrant farm worker to become a hero and role model to others laboring in the fields.

* Diana Knobel traveling time and again through miles of devastation as she delivers yet another round of supplies to the victims of Hurricane Katrina

* Mary Steiner Whalen, an American author and educator, bringing hope to oppressed African families.

* Terrie Ten Eyck, surviving years of physical abuse and homelessness to emerge as a successful entrepreneur and advocate for social transformation.

* Samantha Smart and her powerful circle of speak out sisters empowering women to take control of their lives.

* Mary Heller, whose personal experience with gun violence turned her into a courageous crusader for gun control.

* Belma Demerovich surviving years of Bosnian genocide to become an advocate for victims of torture.

* College student Emilie Brill-Duisberg leading a campaign to protect the earth amidst the rapid growth of her wild-west community.

* Grassroots activist Ann Benson, responding to societal violence by forming Neighbors for Peace in her community.

* Rebel artist Jane Evershed, a witness to African apartheid, painting graphic images of the troubled world she seeks to change.

* Lama Shenpen, Her work with abused women led her to become a Buddhist teacher of peacemaking and meditation.

African-American Heroes

Our history is replete with African-American heroes who are compassionate rebels. For example, in late 2013, we honored the life and work of the great Nelson Mandela. Early into the new year, we celebrate Martin Luther King day. February is national black history month where we recognize and remember a cadre of Black icons who have championed equality and civil rights. But you don’t have to be famous or especially gifted to make a difference in the world. The compassionate rebel revolution, as described in the book, is dominated by a range of ordinary heroes like young James Everett, the “governor of hip-hop,” who has overcome childhood adversity to become a powerful force for change in his crime-ridden north Minneapolis community and whose story is an inspiration to black youths everywhere.

Hispanic/ Immigrant Heroes

As our government moves towards immigration reform, Hispanic activists are playing a key advocacy role in improving the rights of new Americans. In the Compassionate Rebel Revolution book, you will meet Latino activists who participated in a recent re-enactment of the 1960s freedom rides that promoted immigration reform as well as others who are involved in positive social change.

Heroes like me and you

Acclaimed recording artist Mariah Carey, in one of her best-selling songs, reminds listeners that “a hero lives in you.” The Compassionate Rebel Revolution is the largest, most diverse social change movement in history. It encompasses millions of residents of our planet who are contributing in their own unique way to the betterment of mankind and sharing their stories wherever they can. A compassionate rebel lives in everyone, if we make the effort to find it, nurture it and let it guide us on our life journey.

Welcome to the parade of heroes. Welcome to the revolution!

“In the relation of the word to the world, I would sum this book up as a humanitarian masterpiece. The human spirit rises up in this revolution of ordinary people changing the world. The next best thing to reading this book would be to shake hands with all these great people.”
“If you’re feeling discouraged about the politics or wonder what difference one person can make The Compassionate Rebel Revolution is an antidote to apathy and a spark for action that makes life meaningful.”
“A defining characteristic of the individuals featured in the book is that their progressive activism isn’t just a side gig. It’s a way of life.”

“Twin Cities activist-writer/editor Burt Berlowe continues the journey begun in the 2002 book The Compassionate Rebel with inspiring courageous stories of 65 ordinary people taking direct, positive action in the world.”
“This is a great book to have on your book shelf or at your reading spot.”
“Each person featured in this book has made a difference in the world by…taking action to help others and to work for peace and justice.”

“The Compassionate Rebel Revolution: Ordinary People Changing the World is a set of more than 50 profiles of individuals who have made life commitments to helping others. It is a worthy alternative to the heroic biographies that we so often put in children’s hands.”
As a free market libertarian and defense policy specialist, I should have hated this book. Actually, I found it rather sweet and life-affirming. “It’s…personal enough to make the stories come alive whatever your politics.”


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Buy Teaching The Compassionate Rebel Revolution Educators Guide from Amazon

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The compassionate reble cover coffee“The Compassionate Rebel: Energized by Anger, Motivated by Love” by Burt Berlowe, Rebecca Janke and Julie Penshorn

Attention: Parents and Middle School/ High School Teachers!

An Inspirational and Practical Tool for Breaking the Cycle of Violence!

“The Compassionate Rebel: Energized by Anger, Motivated by Love” is a must-have resource for families and schools. Through stories of real people the reader learns the insightful discovery that combining anger and love, is the formula for a powerful force that breaks the cycle of violence.

Once this principle is understood by the stories characters, creativity soars. They solve dilemmas in interesting, intriguing and innovative ways that we’ve not seen before. Not only will the story lines surprise, shock, and give you great hope for humankind, you can become empowered to do the same when faced with difficult, challenging moments.

Reflection questions at the end of each chapter allow the readers to explore an issue and brainstorm a compassionate rebel response – one that brings out the best in each of us in our daily lives and reveals the greatness of our humanity.

This concept so fits our world today. We need to know options and different ways of doing things. We need different ways to recovery. Kim Black

What you provide in a Compassionate Rebel Workshop is an amazing experience for people. I’m really pumped! Larry Wade

I have purchased the Compassionate Rebel book and have thoroughly enjoyed it and it has inspired me to follow through with a non-fiction story about my neighbor. Any insights from the marvelous authors of the book would be appreciated.  Angela F Andrist

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Buy this book at Human Rights And Peace Store


The compassionate reble cover coffee







The Compassionate Rebel CD

Musicians: Julie Penshorn, co-author of the The Compassionate Rebel:
Energized by Anger, Motivated by Love; Larry Long the famous Twin City Troubadour, and compassionate rebels Shelia Foster and Ray Makeever bring the compassionate rebel persona to life through song.
Vernon Patterson, Tom LaBlanc, and Rita Steinhagen take add further renditions with poetry and spoken word. Available at Human Rights And Peace Store


Compassionate rebel button








I’m a Compassionate Rebel button

Wear this button showing the world that you are a compassionate rebel, a person who knows how to combine anger and compassion and make a positive difference in the world. Available at Human Rights And Peace Store


I Think button








I Care Therefore I Act Button
Wear the button “I Care, Therefore I Act” to inspire others to do the same. This makes a nice companion piece to the “I’m a Compassionate Rebel” button. Available at Human Rights And Peace Store
rebeccaphotoCreating a Compassionate Rebel Response Workshop

Are you looking for a way to combine your anger and compassion to bring out the best possible response to life?

Do you feel you are capable of being more wise, loving, and compassionate and want to jump start your creativity and access the part of yourself that is innovative and intelligent when it comes to solving personal, family and community dilemmas?

Are you curious about the potential we human beings have, individually and collectively, to discover and implement solutions that benefit people and the planet?

The Compassionate Rebel Response Workshop addresses all these questions and puts the how-to-skills into your hands.

Each human brain and heart is unique. That’s why you are needed. No one else can do what you can contribute. The Compassionate Rebel Workshop shows you how to access your unique essence, dilemma’s, experiences and true nature to take us to the next era of what it means to be fully human.

Call Rebecca Janke, co-author of “The Compassionate Rebel: Energized by Anger and Motivated by Love” and editor of “The Compassionate Rebel Revolution” at 651-214-8282 for further information or e-mail her at



For more outstanding tools and resources that provide knowledge, skills, insights and creativity in co-creating a more peaceful world for families, educators and community leaders see