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Introduction, Workshop 4: The Call for Empathy

In "Heeding the Call," a Tapestry of Faith program

I am a human being; nothing human can be alien to me. — Terence, Roman playwright and freed African slave

This workshop asks youth to explore the importance of empathy in justice work. Using the example of immigration, youth look through the eyes of those most affected—the immigrants—and examine the importance of empathy for people who are caught in the ripple effects of political and economic systems that are beyond their control.

Participants also discuss the power of words. What assumptions are we making when we use terms like "illegal immigrant"? Alternate activities in the workshop allow youth to examine the root causes of increased Mexican immigration and to increase empathy through meditation.

Be conscious of the background of participants, especially those who might be immigrants or first generation Americans. If strong feelings arise during discussions, bring participants back to the central objectives of the workshop: to explore the role of empathy in justice work and to increase our own ability to empathize.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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