Edited Recording of City Call: May 13, 2014 https://www.dropbox.com/s/hcpfpvdz6ruk3h8/Comp%20Communities%20140513%20call%20edit.mp3
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Lending a Helping Hand
As was demonstrated in our conversations yesterday so many of you have access to extensive networks of potential partners and other contacts for city initiatives. Would you consider letting your fellow colleagues and associates know about the Charter for Compassion network? We can accomplish a great deal more by adding hands, hearts and minds to our end goal of bringing shared dialogue, and compassionate action to our network efforts. If you were on yesterday's call, and are not a a city organizer, please consider it. It's easy to register.
Presenter: Dr. Stephen Fawcett
Dr. Fawcett is a professor of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas, he is a co-developer of the Community Tool Box, a free online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change.
The Community Tool Box is a public service of the University of Kansas. It is developed and managed by the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development, and partners nationally and internationally. The Community 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.
Community Tool Box Staff
During his talk Dr. Fawcett provided an overview of The Community Tool Box. Slides that he used are part of this report. What follows is an overview of how to get started in organizing. There are thousands of pages of background information, tools and processes on the http://ctb.ku.edu website.
Here’s a simple model for taking action you can use, to give you some general guidance. You’ll find more details in the toolkits and other resources in the bulleted points below. Best wishes for success as you work to bring about positive change in your community!
Begin by learning what issues matter to the community, and what resources may be available. These resources from the Community Tool Box will help you do your assessment:
- Toolkit: Assessing Community Needs and Resources
- Developing a Plan for Identifying Local Needs and Resources
- Identifying Community Assets and Resources
Planning provides overall direction on the road that leads from where things are now to where we hope they will be. It can be helpful for a group to develop a clear vision, a mission statement, objectives, strategies, and an action plan. Resources for planning include:
- Toolkit: Developing a Framework or Model of Change
- Toolkit: Creating Strategic and Action Plans
- An Overview of Strategic Planning or “VMOSA:” (Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Action Plans)
You have identified something that you and your community care about, and it is time to take action. This involves mobilizing people around the effort and implementing some sort of intervention. Supports for implementation include:
- Toolkit: Developing an Intervention
- Toolkit: Increasing Participation and Membership
- Conducting a Direct Action Campaign
How do you know that your initiative is working? It’s important to monitor what is happening and make adjustments as necessary. Here are some resources for evaluating your efforts:
- Toolkit: Evaluating the Initiative
- Introduction to Evaluation
- Choosing Evaluation Questions and Planning the Evaluation
- Methods for Evaluating Comprehensive Community Initiatives
Some important work has been started. How do you keep your efforts going? Here are some resources to help you sustain what you started:
- Toolkit: Sustaining the Work or Initiative
- Strategies for Sustaining the Initiative
- Planning for Long-Term Institutionalization
Participants Registred for the Maestro Cities Conference Call
Breakout Question: Where is your city or compassionate initiative and what is the challenge you are facing next?
Nuggets from the Breakout
When meeting with resistance in various groups because of identity issues, autonomy, resistance or disagreement on definitions, mission, initiatives or wordsmithing regarding charter initiatives this metaphor, which has helped to unite the principles was suggested:
“A forest is diverse in its makeup but its roots are all anchored in the same ground.”
Groundswell before Infrastructure:
When initiating becoming a Charter city or with Charter for Compassion activities, often there is a groundswell of interest before the infrastructure is built. While this is a good problem to have (people are enthusiastic about compassion) it can be awkward, slow momentum and burn out enthusiastic but overcommitted leaders.
- Recruit partners that are already compassion-oriented organizations, involve service clubs and recruit leadership to form a council which helps to spread the workload.
- Recruit student groups whose enthusiasm is natural and whose social networks for disseminating information are already in place. They can seed other student groups through connectivity.
Challenge: Formalization of Charter for Compassion cites, initiatives, activities, needs can lag behind.
Use the cities’ development tool box where the outlines exist or work is already done
The Power of An Organized Community: http://charterforcompassion.org/node/7373
Consult the Charter for Compassion cities section on the website
It is a big project to become a compassionate city.
Divide the city into neighborhoods and begin there.
Visit local organizations already in place and invite them.
Piggyback on an event that is already happening (example: U.N. Int’l Day of Peace)
Recruit in place leadership organizations (example: Int’l Mayors for Peace)
Invite Community and State Colleges
Invite established: businesses, healthcare organizations, educational partners, environmentalists, peace and non-Violence coalitions, Spiritual communities, science and research specialists, the arts community.
People commit but don’t follow through
Recruit enough partners and delegate tasks such as follow up and making contacts
Arun (Pune, India) important to have compassion in the leadership--walk the talk.
Carmen (Oklahoma) Be intentional and give voice to the powerful examples of compassion in your city.
Marilyn (Charter) start by bringing to light all the compassionate actions in the area.
Darcia (City of Winnipeg, Canada) Winnepeg concert for peace. 9/15-9/21- Peace Days. Full week of events. www.peacedays.ca Festival of peace and compassion. To play the Compassion Games.
Jack (Colorado) Remove any impediment in text of the Charter or re-crafting the Charter for particular partners.
Peggy Price (Huntington Beach, CA) signed Charter last August. Have had a groundswell of community support. Did needs assessment. Had day of service April 26th. Working on Compassion Games- inviting service organizations to do their own activities. Engaged Girl Scouts for things they can do. Have big kick-off planned. Appreciative of the toolbox
Louisa (Minnesota) my good news is the result of the breakout group and the wonderful experience of the conference call.
Marilyn (Charter) St. Augustine- first Compassionate City to have a sister city with Aviles, Spain.
Timothy (LaCrosse, WI) Compassion Project installation- project with public schools in LaCrosse- students depicted compassion on 6 X 6” card. 6000 canvasses on display. Good way to start a conversation. Many have endorsed the project. A wonderful example of a community coming together. Inspiration from Madison, Wisconsin, Dr. Richard Davidson.
From the Field
Note from Candace Apple and Helen Gerolemou (Sandy Springs, GA)
I was joined today in the Compassionate Cities Initiative conference call by my co-team member Helen Gerolemou who wished to share some good news from Sandy Springs.
As our team has been focusing on our early organizational planning of website, conversations, and outreach, Helen stepped up with a “Call to Action” event as a way to serve our community with compassion and also introduce others to the Compassionate Sandy Springs initiative. In our interactions with the Community Assistance Center who serves those families in Sandy Springs facing financial crisis with emergency funds, clothing, and food Helen discovered the Center was facing a shortage of diaper donations.
Last night Helen held a “Potluck and Diapers” event introducing friends to the Compassionate Sandy Springs initiative, some of the needs of the community, and invite them to participate in compassionate action. Today she delivered 1,200 diapers to the Community Assistance Center. Helen plans to create a “Call to Action” monthly events as part of our outreach.
Note from Jim Torbert: Waves of Compassion (Halifax, NS, Canada)
The Student Union at Mount Saint Vincent University proclaimed itself on April 1st a Compassionate Student Union (first internationally); June 13th both the Waves of Compassion Association and the Atlantic Contemplative Centre will proclaim their status as Compassionate Organizations (we will register both with you shortly thereafter). At that same gathering we are handing out a toolkit on How to Become a Compassionate Organization. Finally, on June 10th the Waves of Compassion is presenting at the Atlantic Seminar in Theological Education conference in Truro, NS.
Notes Shared by Jack Unruh
First off, because I cavalierly registered at the last minute I got no email confirmation, so the visual aspect was not available. I’ll sign up earlier from now on.
That said, by looking at the Community Tool Box site I was able to follow along – what a great asset! That’s what 20 years of compassion-work progress looks like – so extensive, but so integrated. An inspiration.
Breakout was Peggy from Huntington Beach, Jim from Halifax, me and Barbara K. facilitating.
What seemed common to us all was the “inchworm” of process: taking ground, big or small, and then needing to catch up with yourselves. Peggy mentioned infrastructure to connect and manage Huntington Beach’s gathering momentum; Jim talked about rebuilding his leadership team after the establishment of titled roles allowed some folks to relax out of the campaign; I related how Overland Park has taken on application for an art grant as a compassionate project, pulling me away a bit from the partner contact-making that is my current task.
I got no sense of real “overwhelm” from any of my breakout group and that felt good. I’m probably projecting, but it seemed we all were settled into permanent commitment and solving one issue at a time (well, maybe more than one).
Touching on the art project, not necessarily as part of this report, two notes. Overland is committed to finding access and funding even if this grant doesn’t come through. And the project – enhancing safety and quality of experience in crossing a high traffic bridge as a pedestrian, biker or motorist – unites and reconciles sections of the neighborhood divided by a highway: a very physical sort of mending.
A beautiful phrase, “giving voice” to a city’s compassion partners is a take-away from the call – it’s a really good way to represent what a campaign is doing for its participants. And Arun’s (sp.) call for those of us working in cities to practice compassion in our own lives as we spread it to others was profound.
Notes from Arun Waklu: Poorna Pune (India)
Arun sent along two PDF files that are available below. This is an excerpt from Poorna Pune.
[Working towards] A Pune that is a thriving ecosystem for human evolution and well being. A city that is environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just;
A replicable template or a Process of how to make this metamorphosis happen; and
A Cadre of evolved I-Catlysts® who can serve other cities with similar transformations.
The key ideas behind this initiative are : inclusion, celebrating diversity, being nourished by the Silence,Awareness and Peace within all of us and being Mindful. A few other points about this movement:
- It follows the Golden Rule: Treat all others as you wish to be treated yourself.This is the foundation for the Charter of Compassion and Compassionate Cities (see Annexure 1);
- Symbolised by The Wheel of Life: All people, institutions, NGOs, Businesses, Government agencies; etc. will all be in Service of the Common Good(represented by the wheel of life). Symbolically, we are all like spokes of this wheel and we share one common centre: a subservience to the Highest Common Good. All of us are servants of this Ideal.The well-being of the Whole is the guiding Vision. The Vision is wholeness-centric :learning and developing from wholeness toward wholeness.Every step of the way transcends the separatist philosophies, ideologies, designs and practices endemic to almost all of today’s social systems.
- It is inherently appreciative and inclusive — a commitment to growing synergy-seeking alliances with existing initiatives that can contribute to the larger vision;
- It is earth-based — is grounded in the reality that we are all not only totally dependent on our planet for our health and well-being, but uniquely equipped to develop a co-creative partnership with Her;
- It embodies a commitment to Pune’s wholesome future throughout Pune’s immediate and extended stakeholder families. All research, development and implementation activity is in the service of movement toward a compelling shared vision for a wholesome life for all in Pune and beyond;
- It embraces action-learning as a key design principle.Action and learning are multiplicative: all learning in service of generative actions; all actions designed to generate ripples of learning ;
- It recognises that all that Pune needs exists in Pune now: We just need to connect the resources and people together by creating powerful contexts for clumping and clustering of ‘imaginal cells’ : those spirited and capable people committed to multiplying their lasting contribution through this initiative;
- It is designed to develop expertise in a way that is decentralised, self-sustaining, self- regulating, self-propagating and self-evolving... we will all draw inspiration and guidance from the wellspring of Silence ,Awareness and Peace that is the primordial Source of all things good and beautiful in Life; and
- It takes life as celebration of the now... as something to be enjoyed in each moment. So Art from the Heart is an important component in the journey.
Recommended by Stephen Fawcett
Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight
This guide summarizes lessons learned by studying successful community-building initiatives in hundreds of neighborhoods across the U.S. It outlines what local communities can do to start their own journies down the path of asset-based development.
The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods
by John McKnight and Peter Block
We need our neighbors and community to stay healthy, produce jobs, raise our children, and care for those on the margin. Institutions and professional services have reached their limit of their ability to help us.
The consumer society tells us that we are insufficient and that we must purchase what we need from specialists and systems outside the community. We have become consumers and clients, not citizens and neighbors. John McKnight and Peter Block show that we have the capacity to find real and sustainable satisfaction right in our neighborhood and community.
This book reports on voluntary, self-organizing structures that focus on gifts and value hospitality, the welcoming of strangers. It shows how to reweave our social fabric, especially in our neighborhoods. In this way we collectively have enough to create a future that works for all.
Compassion Games and Compassion Relays
The Charter for Compassion International and the Compassion Games International invite you to join the Compassion Relays!
The Relays are year-round and are a great way to engage everyone in compassion. They help mobilize compassion in individuals and throughout communities: in schools and youth groups, businesses, organizations, community groups, governmental entities, etc. The Relays generate energy and momentum leading up to the Compassion Games in September. When we take up the Compassion Torch, we agree to discover or do an act of compassion each day for a least a week, report on the Compassion Map, and pass the Torch on to someone else. After passing the Torch, we keep the flame of compassion in our own lives as a lifelong habit.
Anyone, any age, anywhere can participate in the Relays, now and year-round. The Relays activate each of us to seek, discover, and practice compassion in our daily lives. We share acts of compassion and pass on compassion person-to-person and group-to-group around the world.
**Use the Compassion Relays Torch logo to highlight and pass on news about the Relays to friends, family, and colleagues via social media and hand-to-hand.
Remember these 2 key links for the Compassion Relays!
Find basic information about the Relays at: http://compassiongames.org/compassion-
Report your acts of compassion and your Relays experience via the Compassion Map: https://compassiongames.crowdmap.com/reports/submit.
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