Peaceful and Civil
Roots of Empathy develops empathy in children today so they can build the world that they deserve.
We’ve reached over one million children globally with our school-based programs and we have research to prove impact. Roots of Empathy reduces aggression, increases sharing, caring, and inclusion, and promotes resilience, well-being, and positive mental health.
Our mission is to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults. Our vision is to change the world, child by child.
Help children thrive by getting involved today.
What Global Influencers Say About Us
“Programs like Roots of Empathy will build world peace.”The Dalai LamaMary Gordon has had public dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
“Emboldened by what infants and young children have taught us about how early in life the seeds of compassion are planted and what it takes to grow the roots of empathy deeply, Mary Gordon strives to bring about no less than world peace and protection for our planet’s future, starting with schools and classrooms everywhere, one child, one parent and one teacher at a time.”Dr. T. Berry BrazeltonMD, Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus, Harvard Medical School and Founder, Brazelton Touchpoints Center
“Empathy, an innate human quality that arises in a child from nurturing attachment relationships is increasingly rare in our stressed, alienated, and disconnected culture. Mary Gordon’s Roots of Empathy program…provides young students with an environment in which they can interact with someone even more vulnerable than they, under the care and attention of loving adults. Empathy grows naturally.”Dr Gabor MateMD, Author of Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
“The Governor General’s Innovation Awards recognize and celebrate outstanding Canadian individuals, teams and organizations – trailblazers and creators who contribute to our country’s success, who help share our future and who inspire the next generation…building an inclusive, compassionate society will be the keys to Canada’s success as a caring, efficient and prosperous nation.”Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Julie PayetteGovernor General of Canada
“Mary Gordon introduces us to the wisdom of babies and shows us what they can teach us- and our children- what it is to be human. Over a lifetime, I have learned that the human capacities for empathy and respect must be fostered from earliest childhood to reduce violence in the world and build a truly civil society.”The Honourable Landon PearsonFormer Advisor on Children’s Rights to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs
“Roots of Empathy is solidly based on scientific knowledge of the human condition. But more than that, it takes us into the pedagogy of how one can develop and foster attachment, emotional literacy, authentic communication and social inclusion.”Michael FullanProfessor Emeritus, Education, former special advisor to the Premier and Minister of Education in Ontario
“Mary Gordon has created a brilliant strategy for teaching young children the essential skills to see the mind within each person.....Empathy in all its forms is encouraged and cultivated in this science-based, emotion inspiring, life-changing immersion in the inner world of human development.”Dr. Dan SiegelClinical Professor of Psychiatry UCLA School of Medicine, Founding Co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center, UCLA
“The beauty of Roots of Empathy is that it intentionally and effectively addresses the fundamental relational poverty that our society is experiencing.”Dr. Bruce D. PerrySenior Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy (Houston, TX) and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine
“We have to start with the next generation of parents. Imagine a child...born into a family where violence was the norm...He finds it hard to concentrate, to trust adults, to form relationships. Jacob's teachers notice this...His teachers also see the difference Roots of Empathy is making – a weekly school-based programme that teaches children social skills and seems to have brought down the aggression of kids in the playground.”The Right Honourable Jacinda ArdernPrime Minister, New Zealand