The bookseller – News – Publishers mobilize for Empathy Day


Forty-six publishers have pledged to participate in Empathy Day this year with activities such as debates, superhero-themed challenges and an afternoon off for staff.

Organized by non-profit organization EmpathyLab, the June 9 event aims to help young readers learn about empathy and how reading encourages it. This year, a new development focuses on employee involvement both from a wellness perspective and as part of a desire to recognize and celebrate the role that publishing employees play in building empathy in society.

The organization will host a flagship debate involving Lemn Sissay, Katherine Rundell, Manjeet Mann and Professor Robin Banerjee, examining the role of psychology and literature in building empathy. As part of the event’s online festival, authors such as Cressida Cowell, Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman, Michael Rosen, Joseph Coelho and Jacqueline Wilson will discuss how empathy can be a “superpower”, while Phil Earle and Patrice Lawrence will share their Empathy Resolutions, among other activities.

Publishers signed up for the “Super Power Challenge” which involves staff completing nine tasks to boost empathetic behavior.

Penguin Random House Children’s will encourage staff to connect with colleagues via online chats if working remotely, and to engage in “workless” conversations with colleagues if they are in the office. The team will participate in EmpathyLab’s social media campaign and take photos of themselves hanging out with colleagues.

“We are extremely grateful to Miranda and her Empathy Lab team for their incredible work and our longstanding and effective partnership,” said Francesca Dow, physician at PRH Children’s. “We are delighted to now offer empathy training to all of our first children’s authors from 2022 as well as developing bespoke trainings for our staff. By participating and raising awareness of Empathy Day , we hope to encourage all families, teachers and children to make empathy an essential part of growth.

Bloomsbury staff and authors will also participate in the event. Katherine Rundell will speak on the Empathy Conversation and Caryl Hart, Stephanie Burgis and Joshua Siegal all wrote Empathy Shorts for the organization. Staff will be encouraged to attend a lunchtime webinar exploring empathy in the workplace, and there will be a competition for staff to strike their best superpower pose for a chance to win a library of empathy and a summer picnic basket.

Nosy Crow staff will benefit from the afternoon off and be encouraged to take time to care for themselves and others. They are encouraged to use the Empathy Live program, take walks or volunteer. The publisher will also relaunch its ‘Human Discoveries’ activity, where each member of staff is paired with a colleague from a different department and given £5 to buy coffee and cake and get to know each other.

“It’s an opportunity to connect with yourself, to reach out to friends, family and colleagues you might not have time to reach otherwise,” said one. Children’s indie spokesperson.

Child’s Play International Ltd. will decorate their office with posters providing information on “active listening”, while staff collect for their local food banks and inquire with colleagues working remotely. They will also participate in walks recommended by Empathy’sLab and review picture book projects to assess alternative ways to model empathy in their storytelling.

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