Heart-to-Heart Announces Earth Empathy Program

April 22, 2024

In 2022, Heart-to-Heart developed an online, cohort-based Peace Leadership Academy for a variety of leaders, including those responding to the ecological crisis. This program has had a remarkable impact on everyday peacemakers from throughout the U.S. and the world. Through the Peace Leadership Academy, we have offered a healing, connecting approach to life-changing education in a completely online program. 

Nine people completed the first cohort and twenty people completed the second. This is what program graduates are saying about their experience:

“This Peace leadership journey has had a profound impact on my mind, body, soul … I view the work of Heart-to-Heart as a “human defibrillator” … a defibrillator is a device that uses a shock of electricity to help restore a normal heart rate … Instead of a medical device, Heart-to-Heart uses the natural gift of human energy to connect with others in an intentional, deep, profound way. This journey has changed the way I view life.”

“I really appreciate the Life Map … I’m one with the Earth … our practice sessions and weekly empathy partner helps me see what is possible and helps me process towards integration.”

“Attuning mindfully to the ecological and cosmic layers of life was unique and inspiring … I also appreciate greatly the resource “Marshall Rosenberg on the Heart of Social Change.”

The Earth Empathy Program will expand and deepen this peace leadership training and accompaniment, focusing on leaders and potential leaders in underserved communities in the movement for a sustainable future. 

One Great Crisis: Ecological and Social 

Pope Francis, in his vital message, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, suggests we are living at a time of one great crisis, one that is both ecological and social. The climate crisis, the crisis of democracy in the US and other nations, the seeming intractability of racism and xenophobia around the world, and more, are all interrelated. Our Earth Empathy program, while offering a focused, unique response to the ecological crisis, is responding to a set of needs at the intersection of many related issues. Below are pressing needs to which our program is responding.

A Communication and Conflict Transformation Skills Gap: There is an urgent need for communication and conflict transformation skills throughout society. Many individuals, including leaders and potential leaders, lack the tools needed to engage in constructive dialogue. Nonviolent Communication, through Heart-to-Heart’s MEDC skills development training, offers a framework for compassionate communication and conflict transformation, filling a crucial gap in interpersonal, organizational and community relating.

Leadership Development in Underserved Communities: Underserved communities face barriers to accessing leadership development opportunities. The Earth Empathy program aims to bridge this gap by offering training and support to people from diverse backgrounds, empowering them to become effective leaders in their communities. This addresses the need for more inclusive and representative leadership.

Ecological Awareness and Sustainability: The current eco-social crisis may be the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. To face this challenge, we must recognize the earth, all creatures, all ecosystems, and future generations as vital stakeholders. Then we must take the next step of fostering mindfulness and empathy in relation to these stakeholders. In doing this, the Earth Empathy program will help grow an ecologically attuned society–recovering a wisdom and sense of belonging that was once indigenous and pervasive to this land. 

Intergenerational Engagement: Bringing people of different age groups together fosters mutual learning and understanding. In an increasingly age-segregated society, intergenerational programs promote social cohesion and the exchange of knowledge and wisdom between generations. By intentionally serving a diverse range of participants, the Earth Empathy program will address the need for inclusive spaces that value the contributions of people of all ages.

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence is critical for leaders who need to navigate social and environmental issues. By cultivating empathy in program participants, we will enable authentic connection with others, even those who may oppose them. In a society that is increasingly divided and struggling with incoherence at all levels, the Earth Empathy program fills a vital need for sending leaders into our communities who are skilled at connecting across different experiences and perspectives.

Click here to learn more about Earth Empathy and Heart-to-Heart’s Peace Leadership Academy

More to Read

Welcome to Philip Walker, Reentry Programs Assistant

Welcome to Philip Walker, Reentry Programs Assistant

Heart-to-Heart is excited Philip Walker has joined our team as Reentry Programs Assistant. Philip has known Steve Tumolo for several years and was first introduced to Nonviolent Communication (NVC) through Heart-to-Heart's online training sessions during the COVID...

Encounters at the Border #3 –  A Child is Knocking at Our Door

Encounters at the Border #3 – A Child is Knocking at Our Door

Yesterday at the Kino Border Initiative, I felt overwhelmed trying to give out clothing to all the families who needed it. When I was here two years ago a big day involved feeding and serving 300 people. Now between 700 and 900 immigrating people come every day. They...