Mary Gordon has been a teacher of children, a teacher of parents, and a teacher of teachers, beginning her career as a kindergarten teacher in 1969. Through the Toronto Board of Education, in 1981, she founded Canada ís first and largest school-based parenting and family literacy program whose model has since been shared around the world.  She left her position as administrator of Parenting Programs in 2000 and founded Roots of Empathy , a charitable organization that teaches elementary students human development, emotional literacy, and nurtures the growth of empathy.  Thousands of children across Canada are currently involved in Roots of Empathy , and the program is now poised for international implementation.


Ms. Gordon has consulted in South Africa through the Nelson Mandela Childrenís Fund and The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  Ms. Gordon has spoken extensively throughout Australia and Japan .  She returned to Japan in November 2002 to keynote at a national conference on childhood & families and speak at several universities.

Ms. Gordon was a member of the Ontario Early Years Study chaired by Dr. Fraser Mustard and the Honorable Margaret McCain. In February of 2001, she received the Distinguished Educator Award from The University of Toronto.  In June 2002, Mary Gordon became one of the first-ever Canadian recipients of Ashoka's global fellowship for leading social entrepreneurs. Again, in November 2002, the Toronto Foundation for Student Success presented Mary with the Fraser Mustard Award which recognizes corporations and individuals for their contributions to the physical, emotional and intellectual well-being of Canada ís next generation of leaders.  In January 2003, Ms. Gordon was presented a Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by the Ontario Teachersí Federation for her service to students, teachers and the profession in Ontario .

Ms. Gordonís devotes her considerable energy to building caring, peaceful and civil societies, classroom by classroom, through the Roots of Empathy program.


401 Richmond Street West, Suite 205

Toronto , ON      CANADA      M5V 3A8

tel: 416-944-3001    fax: 416-944-9295