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Think Equal

Think Equal is a global education initiative, founded in 2016 by Leslee Udwin, that calls for a system change in education to end the discriminatory mindset and cycle of violence across our world. It asks: “How can it be deemed compulsory for a child to learn numeracy and literacy, and yet it is optional for a child to learn how to value another human being and lead healthy relationships?” ​​Think Equal acts as a ‘vaccination’ against violence and negative behaviours by reaching children early and preventatively: since neuroscience clearly defines the optimal window of modifiability of attitudes and behaviours as being in the Early Years. The Think Equal programme mediates all aspects of value-based, experiential social and emotional learning for children aged 3-6. The curriculum covers age appropriate lessons in 25 key SEL competencies and skills including empathy, emotional literacy, resilience, self regulation, critical thinking, gender and racial equality, peaceful conflict resolution, and self-esteem.

Think Equal’s Founder and Executive Chair who works full time on Think Equal, Leslee Udwin, is a former filmmaker and now campaigner for a system change on education. Leslee was voted by the NY Times the No 2 Most Impactful Woman of 2015 (second to Hillary Clinton), and has been awarded the prestigious Swedish Anna Lindh Human Rights Prize (previously won by Madeleine Albright). She has also been named Safe’s Global Hero of 2015, Global Thinker by Foreign Policy, and the GlobalmindED award for Arts and Education in 2019. In 2019 Leslee was awarded the UN Women for Peace Activist Award at the United Nations, UN Association USA’s Global Citizen of 2019 and the Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award. Think Equal has additionally been shortlisted for the WISE 2020 awards (results to be officially announced on 13th October).

Leslee is also an active member of a number of task forces and panels including: the IADB 21st Century Skills Coalition; Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Task Force for the Global Compact on Education; the Education Commission; C20 Summit. Finally, she has contributed an article to the special edition E-Book, “Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined: Thoughts and Responses from Education’s Frontline During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond”, published by WISE, and a chapter to the upcoming book ‘Education: the Global Compact’ for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, edited by Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, Bishop Chancellor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, and Jeff Sachs.

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