September 4, 2013



Empathy Week coming to K-State Sept. 9-12

By Donna Ekart

K-State Libraries' Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies is partnering with iEmpathize to bring Empathy Week to the K-State campus and Manhattan community Sept. 9-12. Empathy Week is an opportunity for everyone to enter into the story of survivors and victims of sex trafficking and make a difference. 

Very little has been accomplished to eradicate child exploitation through just awareness of shocking statistics. iEmpathize believes that creating an empathetic movement in the world that engages injustice, must involve helping every person enter into the story, and that the arts present the best opportunity for any individual to enter in, explore and engage.

Individuals and organizations can begin this journey by joining an Empathy Tour in the K-State Student Union KS Ballroom Monday through Thursday. The Empathy Tour is an immersive tour through an art exhibit featuring film, photography and artifacts connected to specific children and advocates from the exact locations they were exploited or rescued. Additionally, guided tours start with an Empathy Experiment to help each person reflect on their personal exposure to suffering in the world.

The goal of both tours is to help each individual move from apathy to sympathy or sympathy to empathy, where empathy leads to ending suffering. Open, self-paced tours are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and guided tours are available from 2 to 5 p.m. by registering online. Private tours for campus and community groups with extended time for discussion may also be requested. See the K-State Libraries website for more details about the tours or to register.

Campus organizations, religious groups, businesses and individuals have the additional opportunity to actively participate through the "Mattress Vigil" from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Bosco Plaza north of the K-State Student Union. The Mattress Vigil is an opportunity for members of an organization or individuals to sit on a mattress in silent protest/reflection or use the mattress to advocate for survivors by raising funds that will impact children at-risk and meet the direct needs of survivors who have been rescued.

All funds raised go directly to supporting the cause, as administrative costs are being sponsored by K-State Libraries. Find out more about registering to participate on the libraries website. 

Empathy Week activities conclude with "The Experience," a celebratory event featuring live art and artists, film and idea exchanges, from 7-9 p.m. at Coffman Commons outside Hale Library.

Questions about iEmpathize or any of the Empathy Week activities can be directed to Darchelle Martin, events and programs coordinator at K-State Libraries.