Limerick charity’s game changing move against on-line hate

Booker Prize nominated author and Narrative 4 co-founder Colum McCann

A LIMERICK-based national charity has launched a new initiative to tackle bullying, racism, online hate speech, and what organisers say is a ‘cruel culture of division’.

The ‘Empathy is a Gamechanger’ initiative is being launched by Narrative 4.  The initiative combines public awareness campaigns, online training, conversation events, and a hub with research, resources, and recommended reading.

“I think it’s clear to all why things need to change. We’re living in an age where so much of our discourse has become divisive and polarising. We see it online with trolling and hate speech, and with online bullying, which has devastating effects, especially on young people says Narrative 4 co-founder, Colum McCann.

“The pandemic fueled a great deal of suffering and many of us are still processing what we’ve been through. As we emerge into a new phase I think it’s a perfect time to reflect, to step back and ask ourselves what really matters. In many ways, it’s about our values, and what we stand for as people, and as countries.

“If we say we’re for kindness and compassion, then let’s demonstrate that, let’s make a stand against the cruel culture of division and double down on cultivating radical empathy in all areas of society”.

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A RED C poll commissioned by Narrative 4 and Mantra Strategy showed that over nine in ten people agree online bullying is impacting youth mental health. 89 per cent agree empathy is important while 65 per cent agree that Ireland is an empathetic country and 59 per cent that it is a divisive country.

Narrative 4, has been active in Ireland since 2016. Since then, the organisation has reached 25,000 students in 35 per cent of all secondary schools. They have also delivered facilitator training to 700 teachers and youth workers in an evidence-based teaching method that fosters connection, empathy and encourages positive relationships in the classroom.

More information and registration here