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?

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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Kathryn Lee


Kathryn Lee & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Education

Kathryn Lee is Director of Innovation, Partnerships, and Service at Prospect Sierra School in El Cerrito, California. She was an organizer of the TEDxGoldenGateED: Compassion and Education Conference held in Richmond, California which had over 700 attendees. Prospect Sierra is an innovative school that has been at the forefront of incorporating empathy and compassion into it's curriculum including the Root's of Empathy and  the StartEmpathy programs.

How can we build a culture of empathy?

Celebrate, Educate, Discover, and Uncover. I  believe that empathy is not only a muscle that needs regular exercise to stay strong, but that there are stages in the development of empathy, and  essential skills to be learned.  For example, if you feel for other people, but your speech doesn't convey that, then you might not really be helping to create a more empathetic society.

Also, to be an effective communicator/change-maker in the world, one must know how to listen for understanding, convey that in words and body language, AND have advocacy skills. We can't listen our way out of a problem. Sometimes empathy requires strong action -- compassion -- and it might not always be cum-by-ah.
Sub Conferences: Education




Kathryn Lee & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Education




  • 00:00 Introduction

  • (transcription pending)

  • (Video Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action and create a transcription of this video, check the volunteers page.  The transcriptions will make it easier for other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)


TEDxGoldenGateED Teach Compassion -Education Hearts and Minds
TEDxGoldenGateED will take place on June 11, 2011 from 1pm to 9pm at the soaring and historic Craneway Pavilion. Join us to hear from a incredibly diverse field of speakers about what science tells us about compassion and empathy, and see how compassion improves learning. You will also meet people who teach compassion explicitly, and others whose creative and vital work is deeply informed by it.

Prospect Sierra School
"Prospect Sierra is an independent K-8 school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nestled in the hills of El Cerrito on two campuses, Prospect Sierra provides an academically rich and rigorous curriculum grounded in the values of service, innovation, engagement, and curiosity to spark studentsí passions, which they will continue to develop throughout their lives. Our community of faculty, staff, parents, and students work together in a spirit of respect and compassion. Together we strive to learn and apply what we learn to the greater world around us."