Our Mission & History

Morningside Center envisions human societies that are just, peaceful, environmentally sustainable, and truly democratic. We pursue this vision every day in schools, working hand in hand with educators, grades preK  to 12. Together, we help students thrive while contributing to their communities—from the classroom to the world.  
As a national leader in social and emotional learning (SEL) and restorative practices, we: 

  • partner with educators to create collaborative, effective, and equitable classrooms and schools
  • help young people and adults learn the social and emotional skills we all need to be happy and productive

History & Approach

Morningside Center was founded in 1982 by educators who saw that young people were the key to a future without war. The organization (then Educators for Social Responsibility Metro) began working in collaboration with New York City public schools to teach young people skills in peacemaking using engaging and interactive techniques. And so began the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program, a practical, field-tested curriculum that aims to “increase the peace" by helping young people learn skills ranging from active listening to respecting differences to peer mediation.
Since then, Morningside Center has partnered with hundreds of schools throughout NYC and nationally to develop and research innovative and engaging K-12 programs that foster SEL and restorative practices, including The 4Rs (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution) for grades preK-8, and Restore360 for grades 3-12.
For decades, Morningside Center has collaborated with researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of our programs. Major scientific studies of the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program and The 4Rs found that these programs improve students' social and emotional competency, behavior, academic performance, and the classroom climate for learning. We are now partnering with researchers to further develop and evaluate an approach to restorative practices that aims to not only reduce suspensions, but increase equity in our public schools.