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The "Heart Work" of Extended Education: Utilizing Compassion Organizing to Understand Responses in COVID (Poster 10)

Mon, April 25, 8:00 to 9:30am PDT (8:00 to 9:30am PDT), San Diego Convention Center, Floor: Upper Level, Sails Pavillion


COVID-19 has invigorated the saliency and urgency of making learning spaces “more human.” Characteristics of educational communities thriving during COVID are resonant with what’s described in organizational literature as “compassion organizing,” in which institutions notice, feel, and respond to human suffering. In this analysis, we explore the presence of these characteristics within one large, state-level afterschool network to understand responses and actions in the midst of COVID. Our findings show how organizational values and norms that prioritize “heart work” and human dignity enabled the network to respond to needs of youth, families, and broader community in compassionate and coordinated ways. Findings from this analysis can support our reimagining of learning environments that lead to thriving, human-centered communities.