WHO WE ARE

OUR MISSION

We equip adults to empower youth to eradicate exploitation.

EMPATHY

To empathize is to understand and actively respond to the suffering of others. Empathy inspires movements that shift cultural perspectives and lead toward the end of child exploitation.

PREVENTION

Preventing child exploitation in its many forms, including human trafficking, is our top priority. By addressing the fundamental elements that lead to exploitation, we can prevent it.

EMPOWERMENT

Because we all intersect with child exploitation, whether directly or indirectly, each of us has a responsibility to act. We help people identify how and where they intersect with this issue and equip them with tools and opportunities to respond.

MEDIA

Multi-media is a tool through which we authenticate the issue of child exploitation. We use original media as a catalyst to inspire empathy, to educate, and to empower a wide range of people and strategic demographics.

SURVIVORS

Survivors guide the methodology of our content and participate in our programs. Because solutions to this issue must be survivor-centered, we look to them as our compass and inspiration.

OUR STORY

After learning of and encountering the atrocities of human trafficking, several socially-minded creative activists partnered together to start iEmpathize. We came from varied backgrounds with varied skills sets, but each understood that because exploitation is all around us, we all can and should do something to engage it.

The core values and methodologies championed by iEmpathize grew out of our collective experiences working with vulnerable youth and what we learn from others making a difference. We have learned that empathy-driven responses at local levels are most effective and while our projects have spanned the globe, our commitment to community-based partnership and empowerment continues to drive our work.

Our programs empower youth and adults alike with active empathy and always prioritize prevention. Some of our most impactful projects include the following:

  • The Empower Youth Program, a multimedia prevention curriculum for youth and youth serving professionals now empowering thousands of youth each year.
  • The documentary Be Relentless (2017), the story of a Mexican human trafficking survivor who teamed up with iEmpathize to break the Guinness World Record for the longest triathlon as an anthem for survivors and for empathetic engagement.
  • The Apathy Effect Exhibit, an interactive multi-media outreach tool educating audiences with an understanding of the issue of child exploitation and a call to action to engage it.
  • Media strategies that inspire community based change, such as our Intersect Response Platform equipping adults in strategic sectors to recognize and respond to exploitation. 

Every year, iEmpathize programs and partnerships result in the creation of safety plans for thousands of youth, the recovery of survivors, and the prosecution of perpetrators. We continue to expand a library of resources that engage specific intersections of culture with empathetic and effective responses to exploitation.

Impact partnerships statistics:

  • More than 200 impact partners
  • More than 20,000 youth empowered
  • More than 500,000 adults trained
  • More than 10 million online media views

Our work has garnered international attention from the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, the United Nations, BBC, CNN, international film festivals and more.

With a culture of collaboration and empathy as our foundation, we move our mission forward with a tribe of creative activists, dedicated advisors, talented team members, passionate volunteers, and strategic partnerships. We invite you to join us. Be a part of the movement of empathy to transform the lives of vulnerable and victimized children and youth.

Empathy = Ending It

Team Members

Mariana Loboguerrero
Co-Director of iEmpathize

Guido Hajenius
Co-Director of iEmpathize

Mark Brende
Apathy Effect Exhibit & Outreach Coordinator

Board of Directors

Rebekah Gibson
Board Chair

Greg Denewiler
Treasurer

Andrew Yuan
Secretary

Kat Ford
Communications

Founder

Brad Riley
Founder Emeritus

THE EMPATHY EFFECT

An apathetic society is a safe haven for victimizers where they can hide, plan and expand their criminal activity.  Sympathy is feeling badly for the suffering of others. Sympathy seems like a better response but falls short of engaging the problem. It is passive, allowing separation to exist between the bystander and the victimized. Empathy closes this gap; to empathize is to understand and actively respond to the suffering of others. Empathy inspires movements that shift cultural perspectives and lead toward the end of child exploitation. Simply put, the difference between sympathy and empathy is entering in. Imagine the difference between law enforcement, legislators, leaders, influencers, and everyday citizens in an apathetic society and those in an empathetic one.

This media (produced by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts) features a talk by Jeremy Rifkin, an American economist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist.