Charter Sponsored Events at the Parliament of World Religions

Charter Sponsored Events at the Parliament of World Religions

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Thursday, October 15th

9-10:00 pm, Welcome Reception, Ballroom G

Invitational reception for plenary speakers, the Welcoming Committee, other dignitaries and the Charter Board of Directors, URI Board and the Parliament Board.

Friday, October 16th

12:00 pm, Room 355A

Pass The Compassion Torch: The Compassion Games Parliament-Wide Engagement Relationship Building Activity (Sande Hart and Jon Ramer)

The Compassion Games provides us a new way of being in the world together, working arm in arm for our unifying goals to serve those in need, collaborate for better understanding of one another, heal ourselves, Earth and all living things to protect and restore all that we each consider sacred. In the manner of competitive altruism, the Compassion Games reminds us that we can do important, urgent work through play, imagination and creativity. We call it, “Heavy Lifting with a Light Heart”. In this explorative and interactive workshop, we will explore the simple steps to bring the Games to your group, community and already existing effort and be amazed by the stories of the Games success in interfaith circles, schools, cities, even a women's prison.

12:15-1:45 pm, Ballroom A

3D Compassion! Let's Make It Real! (Dr. Lesa Walker-shared session)

The workshop will focus on the concept of "3D" compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth), the importance and benefits of daily personal practice, and tools to support such practice (including the "3 Daily Questions" Exercise; the "Compassion Today" mobile app; and the Compassion Relays and Games). Emphasis will be on ways to engage youth in the practice of 3D compassion and the role of Compassionate Communities in these efforts. The presenter will share some of her personal stories of 3D compassion, illustrating the power of simple action. Participants will break into dyads to discuss their own experiences and identify 3D compassion action steps they can take to address the 3 critical issues of the conference: • Climate Change and Care for Creation • War, Violence and Hate Speech • The Widening Wealth Gap and Wasteful Consumption Participants will be offered the opportunity to download the Compassion Today! mobile app and sign the Charter for Compassion.

12:15-1:45 pm, Ballroom F

Using “Grassroots” Organizing and Prevention Science to Build Compassionate Cities and Communities (William Berkowitz, Kevin Haggerty, Craig Po Vey, Heidi Peterson, Marilyn Turkovich)

The Charter for Compassion International (CCI) has been working the last several years to develop compassionate cities and communities who are tackling the difficult issues (i.e., economic deprivation, unsafe school, inadequate healthcare and community environments, family conflict, etc.) they face on a daily basis and whenever possible join their efforts and expertise to reach beyond their geographic borders. In the last year, CCI has set out to work with two significant partners: the Community Tool Box at the University of Kansas and Communities That Care at the University of Washington.

The Community Tool Box is a public service developed and managed by the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development and partners nationally and internationally. The Tool Box is a part of the KU Work Group’s role as a designated World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development. KU helped the Charter create its own Tool Box. This session will help introduce how the joint work of KU and the Charter can help access succinct guidance on core competencies for community work, including how to conduct a community assessment, develop a strategic plan, write a grant, or evaluate your efforts.

Communities That Care (CTC) is a prevention planning system that empowers community stakeholders and decision makers to select and implement tested and effective policies and programs most appropriate to their community’s needs by using strategic consultation, training, and research-based tools. CTC focuses on building a strong, compassionate community by reducing risk factors and strengthening protective factors that predict early initiation of risk behaviors. This operating system has been found to be efficacious in preventing delinquency and violence in a randomized controlled trial involving 24 communities across seven states.

12:15-1:45 pm, Ballroom E

Tips for Interfaith Leaders and Citizens: How To Have an Impact on City Hall (Mayors Becker, Fischer, Formosa, Karen Freeman-Wilson and Tom Williams)

A panel of Mayors will share and interact with Parliament attendees about how to develop strategies and relationships that will have a positive impact on local governments. From hunger to homelessness, from creating communities of safety and social connection to addressing religious discrimination and other issues---participants will engage the Mayor’s panel around the question: How do we organize and strategize in such a way as to have a collaborative impact with our elected officials at the City level? Following the initial presentation from the Mayor’s panel, participants will be invited to engage in a conversation with the Mayors. This program will inspire all who attend to go home and get involved with their interfaith communities to organize for action where they live.

12:15-1:45 pm; Room 251 D

Transforming Lives through the Power of Personal Narrative: The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness (Louisa Hext)

This workshop will introduce the power of story-telling and its ability to connect, transcend, heal and transform. Objectives are: to raise awareness around the debate of forgiveness by sharing personal narratives from the photographic exhibit, "The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness"; to educate, encourage, empower and explore the nature of forgiveness and alternatives to conflict and revenge. We also wish to engage society to transform hearts and minds.

The exhibit will be exhibit in it's entirety in dedicated exhibition space in the convention center.

2:00 – 3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall 3

The Future of Interfaith: Growing Numbers, Growing Impact

A look at the growth and meaning of religious and interreligious groups in today’s age. Leaders of the major interreligious groups will reflect on their own sense of the future of interfaith and then collectively discuss the future of interfaith. This panel will serve as a roadmap for emerging leaders of interfaith to get insight on how to further the already established collaboration and harmony throughout the world. Interfaith institutions have been at the forefront of social justice and combating hate in today’s chaotic world. This serves as an opportunity to not only look at the future, but reflect on 122 years of progress since the Parliament of the World’s Religions was established.

2-3:30 pm, Room 250 E

The Compassion Games, Survival of the Kindest (Sande Hart and Jon Ramer)

The Compassion Games provides us a new way of being in the world together, working arm and arm for our unifying goals to serve those in need, collaborate for better understanding of one another, heal ourselves, Earth and all living things to protect and restore all that we each consider sacred. In the manner of competitive altruism, the Compassion Games reminds us that we can do important, urgent work through play, imagination and creativity. We call it, “Heavy Lifting with a Light Heart”. In this explorative and interactive workshop, we will explore the simple steps to bring the Games to your group, community and already existing effort and be amazed by the stories of the Games success in interfaith circles, schools, cities, even a women's prison.

2-3:30 pm, UMOCA Studio

The Ideology of Wealth, Inequality and Compassion (Dan Martin)

The presentation will be interactive and cover 1) Original basic research on compassion, wealth and inequality, 2) three interactive participation dyads, and 3) the Compassion Development Dyads and their use in addressing ethnic, sexist and religious prejudice. Compassion is strongly correlated with improved immune system, physical wellbeing, and improved psychological functioning (Pace et al. 2008; Gilbert, McEwan, Matos, Rivis, 2010). Being compassionate towards others has many health benefits such as lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure and lower cortisol (Cosley, McCoy, Saslow, Epel, 2010). While self-compassion and global self-esteem are highly correlated, self-compassion has a host of additional benefits (Neff and Vonk) such as higher resilience, better ablility to cope with failure as they desire to learn (Neff, Hsieh, & Dejitterat, 2005). The Compassion Development Dyad (CDD) is an online compassion development tool that leverages science, social networks and interpersonal interactions to enable participants to develop compassion for self and others in a safe, supportive and measurable environment. Participants learn about each other by answering specific questions, discussing and taking actions to further their own compassion for others and for themselves. CDD can be implemented in schools, businesses or hospitals to enhance psychosocial well-being and confidence.

3:45-5:15, Exhibit H 2

What Makes A City Compassionate? A Conversation With Mayors (Mayor Fischer, Mayors Becker, Fischer, Formosa, Karen Freeman-Wilson and Tom Williams)

70 cities around the world have endorsed the Charter For Compassion and declared that they are “compassionate cities”. Over 250 global cities (communities) are actively engaged in endorsing the Charter For Compassion. Is your community on the list?

Beginning with a presentation from the champion of Compassionate Communities, Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky will open the conversation about his experience and vision as mayor of Louisville. He will be joined by three mayors in a conversation about what it will take to make our communities/cities cultures of compassion. The Mayors will engage the participants in Q and A around what is needed to create a spirit of social connection and the consciousness of compassion where we live.

Panel: Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville, Kentucky, Mary Karen Freeman-Williams, Gary, Indiana, Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City, Utah, Mayor David Formosa, Powell River, British Columbia, Canada. Moderator: Tom Williams, Louisville, Kentucky

5:15 pm-6:30, Utah Museum of Modern Art (next door to the Salt Palace)

Compassion Cities Reception

Reception for Mayor and Public Officials sponsored by the Mayor of Salt Lake. Reception is for mayors, police chiefs, civic officials and Compassionate City organizers and representatives.


10-11:30 pm, Exhibit Hall 3

Kill them (Qu’ran), Do Not Spare Them (Torah), and Cast Them Into Everlasting Fire (New Testament): Context of Difficult Religious Texts (Karen Armstrong,

While public opinion polls put the established religions among the most respected institutions in the society, there is a persistent notion that religion is a force which divides people instead of them together. For this reason, the interfaith movement has taken the Hans Kung quote as a mantra, “No Peace Among Nations until Peace Among the Religions.” Some of the criticism of religion is driven by the abuse of the sacred texts by extremists. It is therefore of high importance that interfaith movements understand the actual context of the difficult passages in the scriptures and how they are understood by different groups; only then can they be truly effective in developing harmony between faith communities.

10-11:30 pm, Ballroom F

Capturing the Stories of a Compassionate City and Community (Alisa del Tufo, Teresa Cowan Jones and Chris Bratseth)

Threshold Collaborative uses story as a catalyst for change. This human centered design builds sustainable change from the roots up. Their work deepens empathy, ignites action in order to build more just, compassionate and caring communities. Threshold’s is directed by Alisa del Tufo. Threshold Collaborative uses stories to promote personal, organizational and community change. Their work develops insight, strengthens empathy, promotes healing and understanding, surfaces knowledge, documents history and designs solutions that address challenges in today's world. They integrate story sharing, photography, video and public art projects to document, explore and learn about issues from the perspective of resident experts – the people living, working and going to school in our communities.

Sacred Space sparks collaboration by cultivating compassion through meditative practices. It is an open, free space where everyone belongs but no one has to join. Individuals simply gather together to learn, grow, and enjoy life, both in person and through the web. Sacred Space seeds compassion and contemplation in local communities by increasing capacities to reflect together, to listen deeply, and understand differences. Gatherings take people beyond experiencing compassion as pity or warm feelings to an understanding of how compassionate action and speech can build the social and spiritual capital needed to solve community and international challenges.

The Compassion Project is a youth-based, grassroots project focused on sharing stories of compassion and encouraging the community to take care of others, the planet and animals. The project culminates in a annual event called the Compassion Challenge which includes a festival, community walk and a challenge to all community members to act with compassion and document their experiences.

3:00 pm, Wasatch Presbyterian Church, private fundraising reception with Karen Armstrong (see above article for more information)

5:00 pm. Is Compassion a Feeling? talk by Karen Armstrong (see above article for more information)

3:30-5:00 pm, Ballroom A

Compassion and Law Enforcement (Police Chief Steve Conrad, Louisville, Kentucky, Police Chief Mike Brown, Salt Lake City, Utah, Police Chief Devon Clunis, Winnipeg, Canada. Moderator: Tom Williams, Louisville, Kentucky)

A panel of Police Chiefs will explore the question: What if compassion were a driving force in policing our communities? Members of the panel will discuss the contributions that Police Departments can make in creating a culture of compassion in our cities. Police representatives will discuss : Can the police department be a catalyst in developing a culture of compassion? How does compassion work with efforts to hold an offender accountable in the work of restorative justice. What initiatives/programs are underway in their cities promote such a culture, that are reconnecting to communities, that are getting to root cause and the role of police department in those initiatives; what are the skills and education required of a police officer today versus 10-20 years ago?

3:30-5:00 pm, Exhibit Hall 3

Mobilizing a Movement: An Intergenerational, Interreligious Approach (Allen Boesak, Eboo Patel and Joan Brown Campbell workshop)

Mobilizing a Movement: An Intergenerational, interreligious Approach to engage people of faith and values in dealing with violence, racism, sexism, income inequality and climate change.

Each speaker will share from their own journeys in building and sustaining movements, and then will continue to have dialog and questions with the audience.

7-8:30 pm, Plenary Hall

Focus on War, Violence, and Hate Speech (Karen Armstrong a respondent)
How does hate speech and discrimination lead to dehumanization, violence and war? Join experts, analysts, and lifetime champions of peace as they discuss the current state of the political, racial, and religious strife that plagues the globe, as well as strategies to stem conflict and pursue peaceful resolutions. A declaration signed by the world’s religious leaders will be issued at this plenary, calling people to stand against hate and to pursue peace and justice


11:30 am Golden Luncheon

1:45-3:15 pm, Ballroom F

Implementing a Civil and Compassionate Cities Initiative In your Community (John Kessler)

This workshop will begin by describing the state wide initiative in Utah that began in 2011 entitled Utah Civility and Community, grounded significantly in the Golden Rule. It was also based on human development: we grow into an expanding scope of caring awareness as well as grow into being able to function cooperatively, collaboratively and effectively for the common good. We developed materials, trained and engaged throughout Utah in schools, colleges and universities and in many communities across Utah. We will introduce what we learned and accomplished, and how we propose to blend the richness of our Utah experience to date with the global Compassionate Communities movement as reflected in the themes attached to this email. We will brainstorm with people experienced with compassionate communities how we can further enrich this initiative in Utah with the wisdom and experience of the global compassionate communities movement. We will also brainstorm how our Utah experience and new blended themes might enrich the global movement

About Us

  • charter brand transp blue mediumCharter for Compassion provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.


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