Brooke D. Lavelle, PhD, is the Co-Founder and President of the Courage of Care Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating the co-creation of a more just, compassionate world. Together with her diverse, interdisciplinary, and multi-generational team at Courage, Brooke provides training and consultation in relational compassion practices, anti-oppressive pedagogies, restorative healing methods, and systems tools to social service and caring professionals, as well as to educational, spiritual, and human rights organizations.

Holding a PhD in Buddhist Studies from Emory University and an MA in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism from Columbia University, Brooke’s academic work focuses on the diversity of contemplative models for cultivating compassion as well as the ways in which spiritual practice and social activism inform one another. 

Brooke is a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Germany, where she co-developed a climate justice program for ecological sustainability researchers. She has served as a lecturer at San Francisco State University and as an education consultant to the Mind & Life Institute, the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia, Teachers College at Columbia University, The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, and the Greater Good Science Center at University of California, Berkeley.

In 2016, Brooke received a Mind & Life Think Tank grant to study various conceptualizations of compassion, which she is now applying in her work to include a more consistent justice and equity framework in research and training in the field. She recently completed a book manuscript on courage and spiritual activism and is co-writing a book on compassion and equity in education with an education collaborative she founded in Oakland.

Brooke splits her time between Berlin, Brooklyn, and the Bay Area, and travels regularly to lead Courage workshops and retreats in the US and abroad. Brooke will be leading the contemplative faculty at the 2020 Summer Research Institute, where she will bring her expertise and skills to bear on the theme of “Cultivating Prosociality Across the Lifespan”.

This profile was last updated on January 1, 2020

Mind & Life Connections


Think Tanks

Conceptualizing Compassion: A Heuristic Model

Brooke D. Lavelle, Paul Condon, John Dunne

Topics: Compassion & Empathy

2016 Summer Research Institute Session

Compassion in Context

Brooke D. Lavelle

Topics: Compassion & Empathy | Contemplative Wisdom


Mind & Life Videos

Call to Care: Overview

Mind and Life Institute • November 9, 2015

Topics: Compassion & Empathy | Education | Mindfulness

Mind & Life Videos

Call to Care: Extending Care

Mind and Life Institute • November 4, 2015

Topics: Education | Interconnection | Self & Other

Mind & Life Videos

Call to Care: Self-Care

Mind and Life Institute • November 4, 2015

Topics: Education | Stress & Resilience

2015 Summer Research Institute Session

Working with Fears of Compassion

Brooke D. Lavelle, Yotam Heineberg

Topics: Compassion & Empathy


Mind & Life Videos

ISCS 2014 – Master Lecture – Brooke Dodson-Lavelle, Ven. Tenzin Priyadarshi

Mind and Life Institute • November 1, 2014

Topics: Education | Interconnection | Mindfulness

2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Concurrent Session 1 – Is Compassion Good? The Science and the Conception of Prosocial Behavior

Paul Condon, Jake Davis, Gaelle Desbordes, John Makransky, Erin Robbins, Brooke D. Lavelle

Topics: Compassion & Empathy | Interconnection

2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Master Lecture – Secular Ethics

Brooke D. Lavelle, Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi

Topics: Education | Interconnection | Mindfulness

Audio AvailableVideo Available



Longing After Loss

Brooke D. Lavelle • December 16, 2013

Topics: Compassion & Empathy | Mental Health | Mindfulness