CHARACTER COUNTS!® is a project of the nonprofit, nonsectarian Joseph & Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics, a public 501(c)(3) charity based in Los Angeles California.



The Institute was founded in 1987 by Michael Josephson, a law professor who established the Institute in honor of his parents, Joseph and Edna with funds generated by the sale of private legal publishing and bar preparation curriculum. The Institute directs Ethics Centers focusing on youth (CHARACTER COUNTS! ®), sportsmanship, business, public service and policing. Since its inception, Mr. Josephson, with a brief hiatus in 2014-2016, has served as a full-time volunteer president and CEO of the Institute. He has authored a number of books, including The Best Is Yet to Come, You Don’t Have to Be Sick to Get Better! and Making Ethical Decisions and Becoming an Exemplary Peace Officer. He also coauthored Parenting to Build Character in Your Teen. He is a renown ethicist and has served as advisor to national and world leaders and has been featured on CNN and other news-based national networks. He also writes the distinguished blog “What Will Matter” ( which takes on and discusses the issues that define our daily lives. He is also the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree by Trust Across America – Trust Around the World. (Click to see full Biography here.)


About Josephson Institute

The Josephson Institute develops and delivers services and materials to increase ethical commitment, competence and practice in all segments of society. A nonpartisan and nonsectarian 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Institute is funded by individual donations, foundation and corporate grants, fees and contributions for services, sales of publications, curricular materials and other products. The mission of the Josephson Institute is “To improve the ethical quality of society by changing personal and organizational decision making and behavior.”
• Correctly defining and identifying bullying incidents and behavior
• Components of a comprehensive anti-bullying program
• Establishing classroom conduct guidelines and consequences
• Clarifying roles and responsibilities of students, staff, parents and the community
• Explaining existing practices and policies (state laws, district policies, etc.)
• Creating a culture of kindness in which bullying is not tolerated