Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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Join the International Conference on: How Might We Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion?

Empathic Design
Empathy Circles

  Restorative Empathy Circles
Empathy Tent

Expert Interviews
Obama on Empathy


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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Katy Dawson


Katy Dawson on Having Empathy for an Angry Child


  • teaches 3rd grade

  • Kindergarten - Story of dealing with angry child with empathy

  • boy throws block at other child

  • dealing with this incidence with empathy

  • finding his needs, making connection

  • get connected then anything is possible

  • connection is a start

  • open heartedness, connection

  • Empathy is really powerful - it opens hearts

  • it's listening

  • Build community through empathy

  • let's go help, what happened? how's he feeling?

  • looking at other's feelings

  • Naming the experience

    • it helps kids that are unhappy to hear it from others


Katy Dawson on Empathy and Open Heartedness


  • check in with my heart

  • kids ability to connect

  • open hearted versus wanting to do something

  • give empathy

    • don't give empathy because I should

    • have an open heart

  • stories of bullying and empathy

  •  aikido of empathy


Katy Dawson on Akido as Metaphor of Empathy


  • empathy is like Akido

  • valuing each sides energy or needs

  • there is not right and wrong, no bad guys

  • following the energy

  • human beings are energy - we want to connect

  • a pull to connect with each other

Katy Dawson on How we can Build a Culture of Empathy?


  • Working with parents and giving them the tools

  • Schools can become centers of empathy

    • Some say don't teach empathy at school but rather at home

    • they haven't been in the schools

  • letters to the editor, full of blame

  • want to talk with peoples who's letters confused me

    • get people who are on the other side of the fence to have dialog

    • a forum for conversations

    • for creating connection and understanding

    • so enemies are not enemies anymore

    • We're brought up in a culture of whose right and who's wrong

  • the opposite of what happens on tv now.

    • not trying to listen

    • drama of fighting

    • drama of coming together - movies that are alive