Charter Call- 3-22-16
Link to the call.
0:00 Opening and introduction of the purpose of the call (Marilyn Turkovich)
0:10 Nicholas Carlisle from No Bully (Nicholas)
0:25 Questions about Rhode Island and how No Bully can be used in a city initiative (All)
0:35 Concept of partners in various sectors, including the Communities sector (Marilyn)
0:40 Paloma Pavel and Carl Anthony from Breakthrough Communities (Paloma Pavel and Carl Anthony)
1:00 Questions of Paloma and Carl (All)
1:20 Announcements about the Compassion Games and Earth Week activities (Sommer Joy Albertsen, Jon Ramer, and Reed Price)
1:30 Closing (Marilyn)
Opening and introduction
Marilyn Turkovich: Hello, I am Marilyn Turkovich from the Charter for Compassion International (CCI). We are glad you are able to join us on the call today. We welcome those who already have community initiatives and those who are making the leap toward an initiative.
What is a compassionate city initiative? What are the aspects that might be involved? The CCI compassionate city campaign now has over 360 compassionate communities worldwide. A compassionate community is concerned with dealing with issues locally. For example, in Seattle, the issues are: just wage, homelessness, restorative justice. Many compassionate communities in the New England area of the United States are dealing with issues in schools. Karachi, Pakistan is addressing water sanitarian and homelessness. Think about what it is that makes your community a little difficult or sorrowful to deal with. Also, you can look at what’s working in the community. Find an organization that has been in existence for years that has a real purpose in the community. Why is it that this organization has been helpful in the community? If you are interested in starting an initiative, try to find a few like-minded people and then begin a dialogue about the community. The next big question is who is not in this dialogue? Who is not present at the table? Is it a group of people who are- new to the community, living in a specific part of town, refugees, often overlooked and whose voice is not often heard? Ask yourselves who do we want to bring in from local government to let them know about these conversations and let them know what a compassionate city is all about? I invite you to go to the CCI website. In the navigation bar find the “Communities” section. Use the drop-down menu to find the “Overview” which provides steps to take to start a compassionate community initiative: http://www.charterforcompassion.org/index.php/communities/overview. These are not prescribed, but are useful as guideposts. Many of the component parts are already stated in these steps.
One of the best things CCI can do to help you is to have a Skype or regular phone call with you and/or your team. Often, this is exciting to do. When Botswana began their compassionate country initiative, we met with the Botswana team every week to go over progress. We can also make suggestions of people who are close to you, who might be mentors, international resources, etc. CCI has a large body of people to work with you.
Nicholas Carlisle from No Bully
Marilyn: I have invited Nicholas Carlisle to talk with us today. He began involvement with the Charter in 2013. In 2014, he helped write the Charter for Compassionate Schools, which is on the CCI website under “Education”: http://www.charterforcompassion.org/index.php/charter-for-compassionate-schools. He continues to work with Compassionate Schools through his own organization, “No Bully”. He is also involved with the Compassionate California movement. He will share with us about No Bully and an initiative starting up in Rhode Island.
Nicolas Carlisle: How many people are on the call today Marilyn?
Marilyn: Sixteen. (Adujusted to twenty-one.)
Nicholas: Welcome all. I was born and raised in England. I was intensely bullied for years. No one called it bullying back then. I became a barrister in London. I always wanted to work with schools to see how to change school culture. This led me to establish “No Bully,” an organization that works with schools to help with bullying. Fairly early on, we realized that bullying was about differences such as different family, color of skin, different sex orientation, disability, different size. There are many reasons for bullying and marginalization. About 30% of kids in the United States are bullied or harassed. How do we turn this around? We had to help schools create a culture of inclusivity. We had to tap into the compassionate kids. If bullied students needed help, we would connect them with these compassionate kids. We would also help the compassionate kids – help them walk in the shoes of the bullied child. We would tell them about the bullied child- who is doubting whether he will ever have friends or even whether he wants to be alive. It is a profound experience of compassion. We ask what can be done to help the situation. We have been in over 200 schools. Educators are finding that they can solve cases of bullying through active compassion. So, I was excited to stumble across the Charter for Compassion and was happy to help write the Charter for Compassionate Schools.
Marilyn: If you have a question, please press 1 on your phone keypad so I can open up your mic. I recognize that many on the call are working with schools in their cities. It is a great time to make contact with Nicholas.
Robin: Hello. I am from Greenwich, Connecticut. How would you qualify bullying? How would you describe it overall? Being Indigenous, I can definitely identify with these issues.
Nicholas: There are four main areas of bullying: physical- e.g. roughhousing; verbal- e.g. words to humiliate, tease, threats; relational- e.g. spreading gossip, rumors; and cyber – e.g. by cell phone or by internet- humiliation, posting non-public photos, videos, etc. When bullying targets a person because of race, that is harassment as well as bullying. Every student should be able to go to school without bullying or harassment.
Lesa: Hello I am from Austin, Texas. Do you collaborate with “No Place for Hate”, an anti-bullying program in schools?
Nicholas: No, but I do like to collaborate and I would love to connect. If you would be willing to do so, please provide me with more information.
Lesa:Thank you. Yes, I will.
Paulette: I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. My question is about the effectiveness of your approach. When do you begin, elementary school or later? Where is optimum effect?
Nicholas: It is great talking to you. We are in 3 schools in Salt Lake City. It needs to start in Pre-K and elementary school. Basic compassion training starts early and we bring it all the way through high school. It has to go all the way through the school system. Compassion is such a core human skill- it has to be taught and modelled.
Paulette: Yes, very exciting. It is fantastic that people can get training and build programs.
Nicholas: May I contact you?
Paulette: I am from Life Story Library and I am very interested in getting stories. Yes, please contact me.
Marilyn: After each of these calls, we put out a report and send it to all who registered. We will offer an opportunity for people to make contact with each other. Later in the call, we will ask if people do not want their email address shared with the report. Our report is sent to you about 48 hours after the call.
Charles: I am from Dallas, Texas with Compassionate Dallas/Fort Worth. We are working with Steffan Soole, bringing the Golden Rule Project into the schools. This seems very similar to what you are doing. Are you collaborating with the Golden Rule Project [http://goldenruleproject.org/]?
Nicholas: I haven’t yet. I would be happy to connect.
Marilyn: You can go to the Charter’s Education sector and your will see the Golden Rule Project listed there: http://www.charterforcompassion.org/index.php/11eleven-project/goldenruleproject-org.
Sommer: Hi. I am from Seattle, Washington with the Compassion Games International. I just had a great conversation with a woman in New York City who is connected with “Compassion Convos”. They are putting together event in April focusing on anti-gun violence in schools. I want to introduce you to her. Have you worked with any schools in New York City?
Nicholas: Yes, we are in some schools in New York City. It really is a collaborative initiative. There are quite a few organizations out there. People join together with a shared philosophy of compassion. We bring together people and organizations addressing gun-violence, mental health, migrant families, etc.
Sommer: I would love to connect you with her.
Nicholas: Thank you and thank you Marilyn for this opportunity to speak today.
Marilyn: Nicholas’s email will be on the report for this call and you can get in touch with him. Let us know if you are in touch with him and how things are growing in your area. Thank you Nicholas.
Concept of partners in various sectors, including the Communities sector
Marilyn: I noticed that Sommer was talking about the Compassion Convos in New York City. We often discover that a city initiative is started and helped by a Charter partner. We had been trying to get things going in New York City. Our first big turning point was when we launched CCI’s “Islamophobia Guide Book”. If you go to the Charter website’s main page and scroll to the bottom you will see Charter publications. The “Charter Tool Box” is very helpful and the “Islamophobia Guide Book”-now over 150 pages- provides valuable background and practical information (http://www.charterforcompassion.org/index.php/compassion-and-religion/islamophobia-guidebook). December 24th, we got a call from the Mayor of New York City asking about the Guide Book and wanting to use it.
Now, I want to introduce another CCI partner. This partner works with communities and cities. Paloma Pavel and Carl Anthony head up an organization called “Breakthrough Communities”. I am positive that the work they do can be extremely helpful to most people on this call. Now I would like to invite Paloma and Carl to say a few words.
Paloma Pavel and Carl Anthony from Breakthrough Communities
Paloma: Thank you Marilyn. How much time do we have?
Marilyn: Please take 10 minutes or so. Your group is very exciting. We are honored to have you be a part of our CCI Communities partner section.
When you go to the Charter website, under “Communities” you will see “Partners”: http://www.charterforcompassion.org/index.php/communities/communities-partners. There you will find many helpful organizations. For example, an organization called “Shareable” does incredible work in communities. Other partners, such as Pomegranate Center, Communities That Care, and the Community Tool Box from the University of Kansas can help with resources and ideas.
Reed Price has just put up the Breakthrough Communities website on the social webinar for this talk: http://breakthroughcommunities.info/.
Paloma: Can you brief us on the range of interest of the people on this call? We want to be mindful of this.
Marilyn: I can do my best. A few people are brand new- at the initial stage of creating community initiatives. We also have seasoned people- e.g. Lesa from Austin and Charlie from Dallas/Fort Worth. Paulette is a partner in Salt Lake City. There are people from education, people who have interest in the environment, people involved in hunger projects, etc.
Paloma: Thank you. I am Dr. Paloma Pavel with Carl Anthony. We have worked for about 20 years to create healthy, just, and sustainable communities. We are excited about the power of community groups, and often the most vulnerable, leading solutions. I am trained as a psychologist and work as a large systems/eco change agent.
Carl: I am Carl Anthony- an architect. I’ve worked in urban planning for the last 40 years. I am interested in urban planning and the environment. I’ve been working in environmental justice for a number of years. The pipeline to prison is schools. We have worked hard to introduce ideas of sustainability – we are losing a number of young people to the criminal justice system. We are deeply concerned about what is happening in schools.
Paloma: Currently, we are working in the context of the climate crisis. We see this as an invitation- as things heat up in the environment, melt down in the economy, and polarize between rich and poor- we see this all coming together in education. There is an opportunity for these things to be interconnected. We are seeking ways to connect all these issues with education to create the beloved community. For ten years, Carl was a program officer for the Ford Foundation- he worked across the United States and in many other countries. We are based in Oakland and are very happy to be connected with Marilyn and learning more about the Charter.
Carl: We are developing a learning action guide focused on schools and community organizations. Can you say something about the difference in age groups- how do you [CCI] address your efforts to different age groups? How are the efforts different and how are they the same?
Marilyn: We have 10 sectors in the Charter- art, business, education, environment, healthcare, interfaith, science, restorative justice, etc. We have a place on the website for each. In the Education sector, we have a Children’s Charter- geared for early primary years. We realized we wanted to have a very simple Charter for regular middle school to high school. Nicholas was impetus behind this. We worked with Ruler Project at Yale, Dr. James Doty at Stanford University/CCARE, etc. There were about 190 educator contributors. We now have about 3000+ schools that have signed the Charter. Because we don’t have an official curriculum, we gather and share ideas from Charter partners. We have almost 1000 pages of material in the Education sector and a little over 400 partners. Education seems to make its way into every Compassionate City initiative. Starting early with children is important.
Carl: I want to ask how you bring the language of your program to different age groups- especially around issues of hate, etc. I am interested in the process.
Marilyn: I think it would be helpful if you look at the language of the Charter for Compassionate Schools. There are 3 points in the School Charter- it is more simplistic at the elementary level. We don’t have one for colleges, but we ask them to create their own path to be a compassionate institution. All state universities in Connecticut are now involved in a compassionate initiative.
Carl: Thank you very much.
Paloma: We can offer a story of how we see change happening that embodies our model of change and describes a place where transformation has happened.
Marilyn: Yes, please.
Paloma: This is a story of “WE ACT”: http://www.weact.org/. Is there anyone on call from New York or New York City?
Marilyn: Yes, there is.
Paloma: One of our partners is WE ACT- one of the oldest environmental justice community organizations in the United States. It was started by Peggy Shepard. They use a series of steps that we have found useful to create change. They have been successful in stopping the idling of diesel trucks in Harlem. In doing this, they addressed a lack of compassion. As a result, asthma rates have been reduced. After getting this victory, they learned that the largest sewage treatment plant in the United States was about to be built on the last waterfront in West Harlem. We often find that these things are placed in communities of color and poor communities because these communities are ignored. The treatment plant was to treat sewage piped from other, wealthier parts of Manhattan. WE ACT was strengthened by the recent win with the trucks. They followed 5 key steps for change: 1) wake up, 2) say no, 3) get grounded, 4) explore new horizons, and 5) say yes. As they woke up and became aware, they said no. They needed to act. So, they got a court stay. They organized to get signatures and gain strength from the community. Then, they took time to get grounded. They had to learn about the history, how decisions were made, the history of the communities involved, and the historical divides between groups of people.
Carl: This is a good example of how we need to get grounded in the situation we are in. They had to reach out to the Spanish speaking people in Harlem and find out how community groups are connected together. A really important moment came when people decided that they had to reach for new horizons- things they had not considered to be on the agenda. They had to find a new way. People in West Harlem went down to Hudson River and stood on the site of the planned sewage plant. They could see all the way down to lower Manhattan and up to the George Washington Bridge and realized the site was remarkable. It was connected to the bay and the whole river system.
Paloma: They began to see themselves as a people with a larger identity. The West Harlem African Americans and the Eastside Puerto Ricans realized that by working together they could achieve a larger benefit for the whole community. They began to envision a waterfront park plan. They imagined other things they could do together. They wanted a cultural center. Harlem could be a place where people could come to learn about culture and the arts at a world class level, linking them to jobs and opportunities. The waterfront could become a stop on the subway system- linked to the local and global economy. They envisioned a park, part of the Greenbelt- a place of beauty, learning, transit, and opportunity for the economy. All these goals they succeeded in accomplishing. They did this through developing compassion with each other. Important: in order to move to Yes, it starts with a waking up process- seeing a shared future, and saying No to something that is not viable.
Carl: When people say No, they have a deep-rooted sense that something of value is being ignored.
Paloma: A very important step to create change is to get grounded. Then, reach for new horizons. We actually have a compass we use when working with groups. All points of compass are the steps which are useful in sustaining lasting change.
Marilyn: What a wonderful story. Coming to a sense of consciousness is a very meaningful part of becoming a change agent. Does anyone have a question?
Questions of Paloma and Carl
Paulette: What are the steps again?
Paloma: 1) spiral of compassion- waking up- this never stops throughout the change process- deepening into compassion guides us through the entire sequence; 2) saying no- halting destruction; 3) getting grounded- in history, resources, policies; 4) exploring new horizons- going beyond what we already know- willing to take a risk- taking in new partners- building a broader tent; 5) saying yes- affirmative plan- needs to be a conscious communication-imagery of a bigger future.
Charles: The process sounds wonderful and makes sense. Being able to reach the yes and realize it practically costs money. I am wondering about the funding piece.
Carl: Getting to “yes” is not just a process of identifying a goal. It also involves a commitment to get the resources to implement the project. This is a very important part of the process. The initiator of the process demonstrates through action how to embody the yes. It is more than just making a statement. It is making change real. In each stage, we begin again to “wake up”. The issue of funding is a key issue that is part of the entire process.
Paloma: Carl, since you’ve been both a funder and also a Director of a small non-profit, is there anything you can say, any practical advice, to help regarding funding. What kind of funding proposal works?
Carl: One device is called a 1-page proposal. [The book, “The One-Page Proposal: How to Get Your Business Pitch onto One Persuasive Page” can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/The-One-Page-Proposal-Business-Persuasive/dp/0060988606. For a book preview, go to: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_One_Page_Proposal.html?id=CwHCkT0lLMgC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false .] In the 1-page proposal, you give your project a compelling name and identify the target impact, who will receive the impact, the rationale of project, the status/situation, and most important- what you want to accomplish. The 1-page proposal is an important tool.
Marilyn: Thank you Carl. Good advice. It is important to have key people in the discussion with you. You need to keep reaching out all along the line. Networking is extremely important. In a number of cities in the compassion movement the city government has embraced the Charter. Also, locally there are some corporations and community trusts that are willing to take responsibility and help.
John: I am in Raleigh, North Carolina. In your story, as they were pursuing one goal, things adjusted, adapted and grew. This would alter the 1-page proposal. All of a sudden the goal changed from stopping a sewage plant to creating a park. What about the fluidity of the process?
Carl: Many communities are under enormous stress and trauma. They react and are in the process of saying no. However, we need to overcome the trauma and bias so we can imagine larger possibilities.
Paloma: I think you are asking a profound question about the kind of miracle that happens when community groups get together, and, what begins with outrage ends up with new possibility. Who can we be? On a practical level, we must build into the process time for healing and for the exchange. This is described as emergent properties in systems change. Otto Scharmer at MIT talks about leading from the emerging future (http://www.ottoscharmer.com/). We cannot write in the proposal what emerges. We have to leave time for emergent possibilities. There are lots of new ideas in systems change theory about how to plan for the emergent future where we heal and stop the destruction but also have space to build something new.
Announcements about the Compassion Games and Earth Week Activities
Marilyn: This provides a beautiful bridge to the last part of this call. Reed Price has been putting up info on the social webinar. This information will be in our report. Now we will have Reed talk about the Charter and Earth Day and Sommer Joy Albertsen will talk about the Compassion Games.
Reed Price: The first thing we will do is work with the Compassion Games International on an effort to inspire people to participate in the “Love This Place: Serve the Earth” Compassion Games. There will be a kick off call.
Sommer Joy Albertsen: I am Sommer Joy Albertson from the Compassion Games. Your different experiences are wonderful. The Games are a way to amplify these experiences and measure your impact. April 16-24th is the Compassion Games “Love This Place: Serve the Earth” week coopetition. This is a great opportunity for cities to get involved. Sign up to play on the Compassion Games home page (http://compassiongames.org/) or the event landing page (http://compassiongames.org/serve-the-earth-week/).
I work with teams to help coach them to amplify what is already happening in their communities. It is great to connect and plug into the teams and help connect them with each other. The focus of the April Compassion Games is compassion for the Earth which also relates to how we have compassion for ourselves and each other. It is a “coopetition” instead of a competition. No one loses- everyone wins. We measure and create a scoreboard. The Compassion Games are the Olympics of heart intelligence. We measure all the compassion for the planet together. This is a very impactful year. The United Nations will sign COP 21 on Earth Day this year in New York City. We have lots of great partners, including Rex Weyler of Greenpeace, Chief Phil Lane, and many others.
Marilyn: What are some specifics leading up to Earth Day and beyond?
Sommer: When you sign up to play, you get daily missions April 16-24 via email. This is the simplest way to play. One mission is to “love water”- being conscious of how we use our water. We have great resources to support you. Another mission is “love energy”- finding ways to lighten our impact on the planet.
Jon Ramer [Founder of the Compassion Games]: One way to play in the Games is to participate in the Community Resilience Challenge (http://communityresiliencechallenge.org/) which is connected to Transition Towns. We use the lens of compassion to care for the Earth.
Marilyn: The more people who participate in the Compassion Games, the more they will be involved in continuing the work they started. Practice creates habits. Basically, it helps us see in a different way what is occurring around us. It is the first step in becoming aware and can help launch city initiatives.
Reed: April 16th is the kick-off of the Compassion Games. It is also the kick-off of a series of Charter calls – providing examples of ways people are playing Compassion Games in their communities. We will have one call about a film and healing of body and spirit. We will hear from Paloma and Carl. Jon Ramer will perform with singing, followed by discussion. Other speakers in the series include Marc Barasch from the Green World Campaign, Dave ? from St Norbert College, Sarah van Gelder from Yes! Magazine who will provide news about climate change, Rex Weyler from Greenpeace, and Chief Phil Lane. More information about the calls will be in the Charter Newsletters along with information about how to register. We may be able to include this information in this call’s report. We have planned a whole series of conversations every day leading up to Earth Day.
Marilyn: We distribute Charter Newsletters every week. Information will be contained in these. As we mentioned earlier, we provide the email addresses of the participants on this call along with the call report that will be sent out to you. Raise your hand now if you do NOT want your email address shared with the call report.
The next call for cities is Tuesday, May 3rd. Register here. I have asked Tam Martin Fowles- Founder of Compassionate Cornwall in the United Kingdom (http://www.charterforcompassion.org/index.php/compassionate-cornwall) to speak. She is a great ambassador for compassionate cities. She is working on starting up a similar initiative in London. Also, she is working in Soweto, in South Africa. We are inviting other compassionate organizations with initiatives involving sister cities, e.g. St. Augustine in Florida. We will share stories about working across international lines.
Many thanks to Paloma, Carl, and Nicholas and to everyone on the call.
Breakthrough Communities currently has a resilient communities leadership award open for nominations. Take a look at last week's Charter newsletter for more information.