Talking Early Years with June O’Sullivan: In Conversation with Leslee Udwin

December 10th 2021

Leslee Udwin is a film maker who is now on a mission to achieve a global system change In Early Childhood Education through social and emotional learning based on empathy, equality and inclusion.

Leslie was catapulted into the world of Early Childhood Education after making the film India’s Daughter, which told the traumatic story of a young female medical student who was brutally raped on a bus in India. This situation caused outrage and people took to the streets for weeks to campaign about a world which allowed that sort of behaviour to happen.  Sadly, worldwide figures about violence and discrimination of young people is shocking and depressing.

1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence

The 2nd leading cause of death among 15- 24 years old globally, is suicide

12 million children have been left homeless by armed conflict

$8.3 billion Is the annual cost of domestic violence against women in the US

However, Leslee responded by forming Think Equal channelling her anger into building a programme to share as far and wide as fast as possible across the work. Think Equal addresses the root causes of human rights violations across our world by breaking the cycles of violence, negative stereotypes, and prejudicial judgements through a preventative intervention It uses Social Emotional Learning (SEL) to teach values and psycho-social skills and competencies which engender empathy, self-esteem and respect for the dignity, value and equality of others. With the backing of some big names in education such as the late Sir Ken Robinson she put together a programme which is now gone worldwide.

In this podcast Leslee talks passionately about her journey and her remarkable energy to persuade everyone to understand how social and emotional learning from the earliest age has a huge benefit on the long-term behaviour attitudes and values of young people across the world.