KINDNESS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
While science has made great strides in treating pathologies of the human mind, far less research exists to date on positive qualities of the human mind including compassion, altruism and empathy. Yet these prosocial traits are innate to us and lie at the very centerpiece of our common humanity.
Our capacity to feel compassion has ensured the survival and thriving of our species over millennia. For this reason, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University School of Medicine was founded in 2008 with the explicit goal of promoting, supporting, and conducting rigorous scientific studies of compassion and altruistic behavior.
The UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute is a new (2022) interdisciplinary organization dedicated to the research, education, and practice of kindness, with the goal of empowering citizens and leaders to invest in building more humane societies.
The mission of the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute is somewhat unique in that our goal is two-fold – we’re committed not only to engage in best-in-class research on kindness, but to strategically turn that learning into real-world practices through education and dynamic local, national and global partnerships.
The Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics supports a research-based approach to educating both heart and mind. With programs grounded in a theoretical framework for the cultivation of competencies that lead to the prosocial behaviors and outcomes that support flourishing and well-being for individuals and societies , the center also actively works to demonstrate the efficacy of these programs through innovative research.
The mission of the CSLA project is to prepare school leaders in high-need districts to be culturally responsive and proactive in implementing trauma-conscious practices in the classroom. With this SEED investment, nearly $1 million will be disbursed during the first year to support an immediate and direct response to the urgent mental health needs of American children by establishing a nationwide network of educational leaders trained in Compassionate School Practices (CSPs.)
The Student Life Kindness Initiative has organized events and initiatives that have left a lasting impression on the university community and beyond. The initiative showcases the power of collective action, the strength of shared values and the positive impact that kindness can have.
Among the Initiative’s projects each year are the Be Kind Food Packaging events, the Grow Kindness plant giveaway, a service project at the site of Ohio State’s football bowl game, the kind.osu.edu website, care packages for the unhoused in the University District, Instagram Walls and the Buckeye Love campaign featuring random acts of kindness.
The Bertha Crosley Ball Center for Compassion, the first of its kind in any regional comprehensive university in the United States, draws its mission from the diverse, vibrant, progressive, working-class community of Maine. It offers programs and trainings that highlight the importance of compassion training as a personal practice and as a tool for undoing systemic oppression and racism.
The Sussex Centre for Research on Kindness brings together an interdisciplinary team of academics and diverse community partners to explore, investigate, and illuminate kindness and its impacts on people and communities.