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Roots of Empathy Header for Email about Symposium Empathy Towards a More Caring World

A message from Founder and President Mary Gordon

  In my talk at our June 20th Research Symposium, I noted that research from the University of Michigan* found a 40% drop in empathy among university students between the 1970s and the 2000s. Since the isolation of the pandemic and polarizing world events, it certainly feels like this trend is continuing. We must ask ourselves about the world we are leaving to our children, "What do we need to pay attention to? What is important?" Instead of looking at whether every child can code -  we must ensure every child cares. That has been the driving force of Roots of Empathy, and is certainly reflected in all we have done since our founding. 
We can be optimistic if we work together! There can be no greater reminder that we can move towards a caring world, than celebrating "Tiny Teachers", which we did in-person in June, by bringing back our wonderful tradition of Baby Celebrations. Please enjoy these highlights of Roots of Empathy sharing the importance of empathy, and how the world can be changed, child by child.
Roots of Empathy Symposium June 20th. Picture of Crwod

Enjoy recordings of the 10th Roots of Empathy Research Symposium!

On June 20th, hundreds and hundreds of us watched "Empathy Towards a More Caring World" at the Globe and Mail centre in Toronto or through Live Stream. Supporters tuned in from over 30 countries to listen to these compelling speakers speak about the importance of empathy for the world.

Please enjoy these presentations.

Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard at Roots of Empathy Symposium

Can empathy be cultivated in a nation founded in a colonial relationship? Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard speaks about understanding the context you are working within, and moving ahead like one drop of water that when it's joined by millions and billions of others becomes a powerful force of caring.

Mary Ito and Dr. Thupten Jinpa Picture at Roots of Empathy Symposium

We face a divided society. How do we create meaningful connections with others - especially those with different views? And how do we understand ourselves in relation to a changed world? A conversation with Tibetan Buddhist Scholar Thupten Jinpa Langri and journalist Mary Ito about a new way of "being" through empathy.

Dr. James Orbinski at the Roots of Empathy Symposium

Few people have witnessed the breadth of human suffering and sacrifice as Dr. James Orbinski, one of our greatest humanitarians. He frames his compelling keynote presentation around vision, voice and action as an approach to the world to make it more fair, just and equitable.

Mary Gordon at 2023 Roots of Empathy Research Symposium

What does it mean to be human? We live in an emotionally illiterate world where we can send people to the moon and back, but we can't really reach the fathoms of our own hearts, we cannot find ways to connect with the words and feelings of one another. That is our challenge. But, there are things we can do to break the cycles of today if we start with the children. 

Boy reaching out to baby in Roots of Empathy program

An Instructor shares a heartfelt moment

I was at the Special Olympics yesterday and I was talking to the mom of the grade 8 student I have been working with in my Roots of Empathy class. She thanked me for doing this with him and said it has made a difference in things for their family. They have a brand new cousin and it is the first time he has ever shown any interest in a baby. He told her things that needed to be done to help the baby...

Baby Ethan teaches children about Empathy with a Roots of Empathy Instructor

Roots of Empathy stats show high ratings in support of children's mental health, wellbeing and resilience

97% of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that students had an opportunity to talk about their feelings and 95% of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that students understand that all feelings are okay. 2 great results of many that demonstrate the effectiveness of the Roots of Empathy program in helping children's mental health by fostering emotional literacy. See more about how we are achieving goals that help children thrive.

Baby Celebrations Pricture

Celebrating the world's youngest teachers - babies!

In May and June, celebration events took place in many countries that honoured volunteer babies  in their first job teaching students to be more empathic through the Roots of Empathy program. It was a chance for participating students, Instructors, and Volunteer Families  to get together to thank all involved, including the babies, for 'a job well done'.


Check out these career opportunities!

Roots of Empathy Canada Charitable No. 89643 4818 RR0001. Stichting Roots of Empathy Netherlands: Tax Number: RSIN 85842346. Roots of Empathy New Zealand registered charity number: 2670851. Roots of Empathy UK registered charity number: 1170754. Roots of Empathy USA is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN# 981017743). Roots of Empathy Switzerland Charitable No. CHE-193.295.852.

Roots of Empathy
250 Dundas St. W., Suite 802 | Toronto, Ontario  M5T 2Z5
416-944-3001 | mail@rootsofempathy.org

* Article referencing the study: https://twentyonetoys.com/blogs/teaching-empathy/empathy-decline-college-students
The orginal study:
Konrath, S. H., O’Brien, E. H., & Hsing, C. (2011). Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 15(2), 180–198. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868310377395

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