The Parliament of the World’s Religions named the Charter for Compassion International and our founder Karen Armstrong the recipients of major awards during the organization’s 2015 gathering in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, two Charter partners were winners of Parliament grants for grassroots interfaith movements.
Karen Armstrong received the Paul Carus Award, honoring her impact on interfaith work. Armstrong’s recent book “Fields of Blood” is a reasoned examination of the commonly heard charge that religion is to blame for most of the world’s wars. James Fallows, reviewing the book for the New York Times, said it “change[d] the way I think about the world.” The award is named in honor of Paul Carus, a scholar and publisher who helped organize the first historical Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893.
Karen Armstrong, the founder of the Charter for Compassion, is awarded the Parliament of World Religions' 2015 Paul Carus Award by M. Blouke Carus. Malik Mujahid, Parliament chairman, assists. Credit © The Parliament of the World’s Religions/Steve Rohrbach.
The Charter itself received the Ahimsa Award during the 2015 Parliament. Ahimsa, an Indic term, translates as non-violence. Our Global Compassion Council President, Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, accepted the award on behalf of the organization. The Charter was honored for making “an exceptional contribution to enhance and strengthen the interfaith community through non-violence.” Among the Charter’s sectors of activity in helping to strengthen compassionate action in communities are Peace and Religion, Spirituality and Interfaith—but in a larger sense all ten Charter sectors contribute to these goals.
Jain leader H. H. Dr. Vasanth Vijajji Maharaj presents the Ahimsa Award to Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, president of the Global Compassion Council for the Charter for Compassion at #Parliament2015. Kirit Daftary, Parliament Trustee, assists. Credit © The Parliament of the World’s Religions/Steve Rohrbach
Marilyn Turkovich, Charter director, said it’s an honor to receive the awards: “The Charter is a strong supporter of the Parliament’s work to connect faith traditions with the hard work of compassionate action. We are gratified that our efforts to help communities pull together their resources and make connections with others was recognized by the Parliament. With 325 cities – and even countries like Botswana, Singapore and Australia – working on Compassionate Action Plans, we are grateful for recognition that we hope will make it easier for these participating communities to achieve their goals.”
Among the winners of the Parliament’s grassroots interfaith movement grants are Compassionate Atlanta and Compassion Games International: Survival of the Kindest. The grant will supplement other funds to allow Compassionate Atlanta to hire an executive director to help its effectiveness and expand its work to include cities close by Atlanta. The Compassion Games (CGI) plans to use the grant to develop stronger social media tools, which it intends to share with the Charter organizers as well.
The Charter named Louisville, Ky., USA, a Model Compassionate City. It’s the fourth time Louisville has won the award. The Model Cities award was announced during the festivities at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake, during a reception for mayors of Compassionate Cities. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who presented extensively at the Parliament, accepted the award.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer speaks a session on Compassionate Cities at the 2015 Parliament in Salt Lake. Credit RVEEP/Reed Price