Emmanuel Jal On Empathy & Education

Emmanuel Jal On Empathy & Education

I believe I survived for a reason… to tell my story… to touch lives.
- Emmanuel Jal

Emmanuel Jal knows that empathy plays an essential role in social change, particularly for young people. Born into the life of a child soldier in Sudan on an unknown date in the early 1980s, today Emmanuel shares his message of peace and reconciliation worldwide through his music and talks. He has spoken to hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world, touring across Mexico, the UK, the US, Kenya, Zambia and Canada. On these tours, he visits community centres, youth detention centres and prisons to speak first hand to young people who have become disengaged with education and society. He believes that through music and storytelling, emotional empathy can allow young people to connect with larger social and political issues.

An internationally acclaimed hip hop artist, peace ambassador and entrepreneur, Emmanuel is widely recognised for his commitment to peace building. He has addressed the UN, US Congress and the highest level of several governments. He is a key spokesperson for Amnesty International, a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum and has performed for Nelson Mandela and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In addition to his music and speaking, Emmanuel co-founded “The Key is E”, a social business and charity channeling the power of education, entrepreneurialism and creativity to impact social change. He also founded Gua Africa, an organisation devoted to promoting education in Africa and providing education to children and young adults who would otherwise be denied this opportunity.

This event is a unique opportunity to hear Emmanuel Jal in conversation with Dumbo Feather. Emmanuel will share his personal story through words and performance, and we will ask him how music, storytelling, empathy and education contributes to peace on a local and global level.

Proudly presented in collaboration with Dumbo Feather and Igniting Change.


Dumbo Feather is a print magazine, an online community and an events series that has conversations with extraordinary people. It believes in the power of storytelling to heal, inspire, illuminate and challenge—and ultimately bring about a better world.

The School of Life and Dumbo Feather partner to help realise their joint mission in facilitating meaningful conversations that can guide, console and nurture our communities. Together we run a series of programs themed around impactful storytelling and living with passion and purpose.

Dumbo Feather


Igniting Change is an intentionally small charity acting as a catalyst and connector. They work hard to inspire people to give time, resources and energy to create change and to give a voice to people who often don’t have one. For more, visit www.ignitingchange.org.au.

Igniting Change



Emmanuel Jal is an international hip hop star, activist and peace ambassador. Starting life as a child soldier in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan in the early 1980’s, Emmanuel has overcome extraordinary diversity to achieve international acclaim. His unique style of hip hop is imbued with a powerful message of peace and reconciliation. He has released five studio albums and has collaborated with artists such as Peter Gabriel, Nelly Furtado, DMC, Joss Stone, Nile Rodgers and Alicia Keys. In 2008 a full-length documentary Warchild was released about his life and he published an autobiography War Child: A Child Soldier’s Story.


Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer and community radio broadcaster. She is the current editor in chief of Peril magazine, which looks at Asian Australian arts and culture, and a former board member of the Queensland Poetry Festival. A passionate advocate for the role of the arts in cultural sustainability, she has over 15 years’ experience in the non-profit and education sectors.


18.15      Doors Open
18.30      Welcome & Introduction
18.40      Emmanuel Jal
19.10        In Conversation
19.45       Audience Q&A
20.15      Event Concludes


General Admission: $35.00
Concession: $25.00
(+ $2 booking fee and 1.5% CC fee)

Please note there is no allocated seating for this event. 

Valid concession cards include a Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current student cards.  

Auslan interpretation can be provided for this event. If you require this service please book tickets and email melbourne@theschooloflife.com.au.


Clemenger Auditorium
National Gallery of Victoria
(Entry via North Court)
180 St Kilda Road
Melbourne VIC 3000 

This venue is wheelchair accessible.

Please note that this event will be photographed and audio recorded.


Vouchers for our Australia-wide program of events and classes, or to spend in our Melbourne shop are available for purchase online.

In Stock


Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers with less than 7 days cancellation notice before the original event date.