GABRIELLA VAN RIJ [pronounced “Ray”] was orphaned as an infant in Pakistan and without the determination and kindness of two strangers she would not have been adopted into her new family. During her early life, she learned about bullies and racism the hard way, but she refused to remain a victim. Instead, she used understanding and empathy to defeat fear and mistrust. The techniques she pioneered are even more relevant in a country—and economy—that is increasingly global and multicultural.
In 2010, Gabriella articulated what would become the Dare To Be Kind movement while writing her first book, With All My Might, her mesmerizing memoir of one of the first cross-cultural adoptions of the 1960s. She expanded on the concept during her travels and speaking engagements in 2012 with the #DareToBeKind campaign, which has gathered momentum and is now a full-fledged Kindness movement, with Kindness instigators across the globe.
In 2014, Gabriella published I Can Find My Might, a part self-help, part practical resource for students, parents, and educators. In that same year, she produced and directed Our Silence Is Complicity, a documentary exposing the devastating effects of bullying. Watch Your Delivery, Gabriella’s third book, based on one of her popular presentations of the same name, was published in 2016.
In January 2020, Gabriella published Kindness Is A Choice, a down-to-earth guide on how to solve workplace conflicts, relationship friction, and societal issues with this one startling conviction.
With a career that includes providing diversity training workshops and breakout sessions to multi-national corporations in Europe, today Gabriella is a multilingual keynote speaker and the Kindness expert who brings her years of cross-cultural experience to businesses, universities, corporate training events, school assemblies, community centers, places of worship, and on network shows, inspiring audiences and organizations to tap into the power of kindness—the most underutilized skill in today’s world. Her uplifting talks motivate, challenge, and provide the groundwork for lasting progress.
She has been seen by millions on Dr. Phil, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. She also writes for the NY Daily News.