Cillian Murphy Speaks at UNESCO’s Youth Empathy Day

Cillian Murphy, actor and patron of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, pictured with (left to right) NUI Galway Youth Researchers; Sarah O’Roarke, Creggs, Co. Roscommon, Aisling Dunphy, Carrick-on-Suir and Ciara Beth Ní Ghríofa, Athenry, Co. Galway, at NUI Galway’s Youth Empathy Day. (Photo: Aengus McMahon)

By Mary Gallagher, Editorial Assistant
April / May 2018

Actor Cillian Murphy attended and spoke at the UNESCO-sponsored event Youth Empathy Day at the National University of Ireland at Galway in February. The event marked the launch of Activating Social Learning, a new educational program planned to be introduced in various nations across the globe, including the U.S.

With a professed mission to curb the current trend of bullying and discrimination in schools, the program focuses on the perspectives of the young people who make up its target audience. As patron of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, Murphy discussed his understanding of empathy as an actor with more than 200 students.

“You can’t really be an actor without employing empathy as a very important tool in your arsenal. If I can help young people to see that everyone has a different story and everyone’s story is valuable, hopefully that will help them in the future,” Murphy said at the event. “It seems to me that if we’re going to help or encourage young people to behave in a certain way, then they should be at the forefront of it, and they should be telling us how they feel and telling us what they need.” ♦


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