How does your idea help cultivate empathy skills to strengthen communities and equip young people to become leaders of change?
Empathy is a multidimensional value. As a society, we must work to build empathy in our schools, homes and communities to create the leaders of tomorrow. By working to develop empathy in youth, we achieve a multiplier effect, and a greater lifetime value as these youth go on to raise their own families and become leaders, spreading their reach. Young people that exhibit empathy are able to understand the needs of others and think beyond themselves. We help build empathy and respect in our schools, families and greater communities by providing young people with necessary skills and model the empathic behavior we would have them exhibit. Empathy creates its own virtuous cycle in which respect and understanding encourages more of the same.
Tell us about your partnerships
PCRC collaborates with over 60 community groups, dozens of governmental municipalities, over 80 educational institutions, numerous faith-based groups, and dozens of law enforcement agencies. Our belief is that these partnerships are strategically developed to enhance the effectiveness and relevance of the work as key stakeholders in the community. Our partnerships serve to inform us and collaborate with us to address diverse communities.
There are two major challenges that may affect the success of these efforts. The primary challenge involves getting authentic participation from our target community. Many fear their efforts will result in zero impact, an apprehension borne out of prior experiences or skepticism. Another challenge is maintaining the process because the trainings require emotional engagement. We address both challenges by developing a strong relationship with the community and being transparent when inviting them to engage in efforts, and being clear about intended outcomes.
Does your project use any of the following approaches to cultivate community members as empathetic and collaborative leaders?
creating a safe space, building leadership skills, storytelling, immersion, collective problem-solving, identifying shared values and differences, instilling courage, enabling action.