Being a disciple of empathy has nothing to do with religion, but it does take a special person to become one. It is not an easy task. This badge tells all, you look at others from an empathetic perspective. Your mission is to reach out to friend and stranger alike to understand their reality not convince them of yours, and just love them and their humanity. All listed are proven disciple of this mindset.

Karin Tamerius


This woman started a Facebook group called Smart Politics. I so admire her relentless commitment to try to shrink the divide by having empathy for different political perspectives. We have gotten to know each other over the years through similar goals. Just going about it differently. She posts articles on her group and creates dialogue through her posts. While I focus more on face to face interaction and not talking politics with people you hardly know. She takes a different tact. She clearly has success online and putting politics as the center of her process. Regardless of our style differe...

Edie Weinstein


This woman has so much love and understanding to give to the world. It is pretty much is her job. No, really it is. She is always organizing Hugging events and getting people together. She is all about using affection and love to heal people and create togetherness. Sad to say I am just not as physically affectionate as her, but I so admire all the stuff she does. She has a group called Hug Mobsters that she spreads love all over Pennsylvania and beyond. We may not always agree, but I so give love to all the ways she loves the world and how she shows people how very special they are. Thanks fo...

Jennifer Sodergren


When Billy asked that I say a little something about what motivates me to be a Disciple of Empathy, I kind of laughed. The first thing that came to mind was that I'm mostly empathetic because of my self serving desire to heal my own wounds. Any time that I feel hopeless, giving hope reminds me that hope exists. Any time that I feel that the world is full of hate, showing love reminds me that love exists. Any time that I feel that everyone just has it out to take others down, giving grace reminds me that grace exists. Love is contagious, but so is hate. My gut instinct is often one of retaliat...

Pachi Tamer


Believe it or not I met this guy as my Uber driver in Austin Texas. I told him about my movement and we shared one of the most emotional hugs of my life as he cried on my shoulder. We spent time hanging out that weekend, eating late night food, and just sharing our humanity. Both of us fed up with Ad Agency politics but happy to gush about our kids, we had lots of stories to share. I even coaxed him up on stage to speak at my conference. Pachi is relentlessly looking out and having empathy for the homeless. He and his daughter go on the streets often to give out treats, love, and respect to ...

Tex Allen


Tex was one of the first guys I ran into when I started Hug It Out America. Unfortunately, it was after I left California. So we never met in person though we have talked on the phone before. This guy wraps his mind and heart around whoever allows him. He goes to festivals, events, and concerts just hugging humanity. He stands on a street corner and hold up a song free hugs over and over just spreading love in whatever city he is in. I could learn a lot from him in the hug department for sure. I have not had one of his hugs but I hear they can be quite seismic. Makes sense when he is from the ...

Billy Park


I am the founder of Hug It Out America. I have lived all over our great nation. South Carolina, Maine, Alabama, Dallas, New Orleans, San Francisco and now Northampton MA. In that journey, I have complied friend of all cultures, colors, religions, and mindsets. I try my best to be a "Disciple of Empathy" to every friend and stranger I meet. Are you a "Disciple of Empathy"? Email me hugman@hugitoutamerica and tell me your story of why you should be on this list.

Joy Harrison


This woman is exactly what her name says, Joy. I met her through Hug It Out America on social media. She posts day and night about positivity and love. She also spreads that same sentiment in the real world. She has been a good friend with my movement too. Joy is constantly trying to get everybody to love one another, and find good in people and the world. She has a huge following on Facebook with the same mindset. Her group on Facebook is called Joy, Truth, Love, Kindness, Hugs. If you join you will smile a lot reading her posts. Who doesn't like to smile?

Maria Estes


I woke up the morning of November 2019 knowing that I had to do something about the political divide. I felt that we needed to bridge the divide before we could solve the huge challenges ahead of us as a country and as a member of the world. Within 6 months I'd started Bridging the Divide with my colleague Rob Schlapfer. We give presentations, classes, workshops, community conversations, film nights and book groups. We have a year-long course called Building Bridgers: A Course in Political Depolarization. We start by understanding ourselves (psychology, biology), then understanding America (Ci...