"The missing component in our education."
a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
We implement relationship education (Social and Emotional Learning) into schools and organizations in New York City and nationwide. We teach the fundamentals of Nonviolent Communication, empowering individuals to articulate their needs and feelings without blame and judgment, and to listen empathically.
We envision a nationwide movement that establishes relationship education as a core component of the learning process, thus creating a climate of empathic human connection.
The Relationship Foundation, an organization dedicated to non-violent communication, focuses on youth and community development by enhancing critical thinking and empathetic listening. Our founder, Michael Jascz, developed an educational program with a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) component, titled “Healthy Relationships 101”. This program is based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist, who developed a process called “Nonviolent Communication” (NVC) that gives individuals the tools to identify and articulate their needs and feelings without blame and judgment. Our program also teaches an approach to listening empathically and relates the information to various social issues such as abusive relationships, bullying, and teen suicide.
“Healthy Relationships 101” provides students with a communication skill set that empowers them to express confidence, leadership, and empathy in all of their relationships. It has been introduced into schools throughout New York City and the United States, as well as Canada and Europe. Our curriculum has reached thousands of students through workshops, assemblies and classes. In addition, we have facilitated seminars and workshops for teachers and administrators, allowing the scope of our work to reach future students and teachers.
The Relationship Foundation also offers a professional development program for organizations and businesses. Our program has been beneficial to the staff members of social service agencies, private companies and large firms by enhancing communication and reducing conflict.
Upon completion of our trainings, evaluations are given to participants to assess the effectiveness of our curriculum and gather feedback. Students, teachers, and professionals alike acknowledge that building a vocabulary of needs and feelings enhances their critical thinking, empathy, and respect.
To date, the organization is developing an extensive curriculum for various age levels, expanding the discussions and exercises on several topics. The revised curriculum will also have an updated chapter on gender violence, targeted to age-appropriate audiences. The updated curricula will soon be available online with more resources.
In December 2007, Michael Jascz, a relationship coach in New York City, was invited to speak to a group of high school students in Manhattan. After the presentation, a school counselor emailed the principal saying that he had not seen a group of students transformed in 42 minutes in his 10 years at the school. Subsequently, the school invited Michael to teach “Relationship Education” as a component of their health education classes. As the year progressed, Michael, the students, and the staff recognized the magnitude of their transformation into empathetic listeners and critical thinkers.
In 2008, The Relationship Foundation was established.