Empathy Ambassadors is an experiential program for young people exploring the interconnectedness of self, other, and community, as well as awareness, connection and conflict resolution.
The first phase of the program focuses on a student’s personal identity and sense of individuality. It asserts self-worth and an awareness of one’s uniqueness. The second phase explores the unique value of “other” human beings, both those who are “like me” and those who are “unlike me,” however that is defined. It focuses on how we bring value to one another’s lives, what we miss out on when we exclude people from our lives before getting to know them, and what others might need from us. The third phase focuses on how we are all members of community, what we gain from that, and what owe to it.
The training employs rhythm, movement, drums, improvisational role-playing, creative writing, story-telling and many other forms of experiential learning.
The program asserts the inestimable worth of individuals regardless of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, intellectual ability, economic bracket, etc. It encourages students to build bridges among and within disparate communities and to work toward creating a new, vibrant human community which embraces all.
Through active participation, the program asks the students themselves to begin to bear some of the responsibility for ensuring that none of their peers ever feels bullied or isolated, and it provides them with the tools they will need to create the environment within which this can happen. This program is particularly valuable for schools in which disparate populations come together.