Recently, we’ve had some wonderful opportunities to share our story through the media, and I’d like to share them here with you. One takes you inside the classroom and shows you the impact of our programs on students. The other is a long form radio interview where I talk about the why and how of Roots of Empathy. 

The classroom video was recorded by BBC World Hacks at our Centre of Excellence school, Market Lane Junior and Senior Public School, with Baby Naomi and the Grade 4 class she ‘teaches’. BBC Producer Harriet Noble and crew wanted to visit the birthplace of Roots of Empathy – Toronto - to find out how and why our innovative and award-winning program works. The result has been overwhelming – in a good way. The BBC piece has been viewed more than 16 million times globally and our teams are now fielding inquiries from around the world. We are deeply grateful to Harriet and the BBC for seeing our program as a way to ‘solve the world’s problems’ and for sharing its power with the rest of the world. If you haven’t seen or heard it yet, here it is. Watch for the children’s comments - you’ll see the impact.  

My interview on The Christine Upchurch Show is a 45-minute radio interview (grab a cup of tea and maybe a biscuit or two) where I explain why I started Roots of Empathy, how we define empathy, and the importance of developing empathy, especially in a world where exclusion can cause deep damage to children and their communities. Together these two pieces will give you a pretty good sense of who we are and what we do. I hope you enjoy them.

  – Mary Gordon


Thank you Instructors

The learning never stops at Roots of Empathy. We’re half way through the program year and new instructors have been gathering for their mid-year training - a full day of reflecting on what’s happened in the classroom so far and preparing for the months ahead when the baby is a bit older and more developed. Here, Roots of Empathy trainer Sarah Dunham is explaining temperament through the lens of a baby and demonstrating how to use the children’s observations of the baby’s temperament to help them understand their own temperaments and those of others. We couldn’t run our programs without volunteer instructors, and we thank each and every one of you for committing to the training and the children. You can learn more here about volunteering as a Roots of Empathy instructor.


Hallo Nederland

We’re expanding! We’re very excited to announce that we are in the developmental phase of bringing Roots of Empathy to the Netherlands. Mary Gordon will be going to Rotterdam to speak in April in several venues. In preparation for implementing the program in Netherlands we are translating our curriculum and two of our Roots of Empathy books - Maria’s Shoes and Daniel’s Day.


Speaker Series 2018

Sir Al Aynsley Green will present at our Speaker Series on the evening of May 9, on “Helping children grieve.”  Children often get lost in the trauma that surrounds death. Sir Al will speak about how we have to train adults, especially in schools, to help children find their voice in grief, to be visible, to be heard in their time of loss.  Learn more and register for this free event here.

Photo credit Anthony von Roretz

Join us May 9 and 10 for our seventh annual Research Symposium in Toronto. Dr. Richard J. Davidson is presenting the keynote on “Cultivating social connection: Perspectives from contemplative science.” Dr. Davidson’s research is focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing, including meditation. Dr. Christian Keysers, is coming from the Netherlands to talk about “The Empathic Brain: From Vicarious Activations to Empathic Action”. Dr. Keysers is Co-Founder & Co-Director of the Social Brain Lab, Netherland Institute for Neuroscience.

Several other presenters from the worlds of psychology, neurology and sociology will join us to help deepen our understanding of children’s wellbeing and development.  Learn more and register here.

Photo of Richard Davidson courtesy of Center for Healthy Minds – University of Wisconsin-Madison


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