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A Year of Empathy

Imagine what Manatee County could look like if each of us made a concerted commitment to empathy in all of our interactions, in our daily approaches to work and life. Empathy can mean many things–but at its core, it’s the ability to understand the world through the eyes of someone with a different life experience and perspective.

Every day, our team at Manatee Community Foundation has the amazing opportunity to partner with donors who use their time, talent and treasure to make a difference in the lives of people. Empathy has moved them to the intentional act of using philanthropy as a tool.

At Manatee Community Foundation, we are pleased to welcome a new year by introducing entrepreneur Michael Tennant as our special guest at the 2021 Legacy Celebration, a virtual event this year. The annual event pays tribute to those who are working with us to create a charitable legacy.

As a tool to combat divisiveness, Michael developed “Actually Curious,” a card game that can build empathy through the power of getting to know others. Learning more about the background, experiences and perspectives of others can prepare us for the more challenging work of having difficult conversations.

The card game features questions you can ask new acquaintances, colleagues, family, friends to get to know more about each other.

Our team has used these questions to start collaborative meetings with nonprofits and in team meetings. We have enjoyed getting to know Michael, and introduced him to one of our favorite local reporters, Cathy Carter of WUSF Public Media.

Cathy will join us to interview Michael on Thursday, January 21 for our Legacy Celebration. We hope you will tune in for some inspiration that can last the whole year.