On April 14, 2016, the Austin City Council passed the resolution designating Austin as a Compassionate City. Their website explains their city vision in this way:
“Austin exemplifies and champions compassion, creating a livable, vibrant, inclusive,and caring community in which ALL may thrive.”
The press conference at City Hall following the City Council’s vote to pass the resolution included numerous wonderful speakers and presenters. Enjoy this video of Simone Talma Flowers, Executive Director of the Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT), speaking at the press conference:
Lesa R. Walker, MD, MPH, and Founder of Compassionate Austin, shared this reflection:
"Compassion is empathy + action to meet needs. I contend that compassion is the greatest force for social good. The more we practice and strengthen our compassion skills, the more likely we are to unite, engage, and address our personal and community needs. Scientific research documents the health, educational, social, and economic benefits of compassion. If we want Austin to be a liveable, vibrant, inclusive community in which ALL may thrive, we must engage EVERYONE in the practice of compassion. We ALL must be accountable and take compassionate action in our daily lives (caring for others, self, and the Earth). We ALL are Compassionate Austin!"
Compassionate Austin’s spring activities included participation in the Compassion Games and Earth Week celebrations with speakers (including Jane Goodall) and a film screening of This Changes Everything, hosted by the Compassion Games International and the Charter for Compassion International. They are also glad to share that the song “Compassion, a song cyclebased on Arabic and Hebrew texts, a work that expresses the need for people of different cultures to reach out to each other with kindheartedness” premiered in the US Austin on April 14, 2016. You can listen to the song below.
You can keep up with Compassionate Austin's projects and initiatives and get involved by visiting their Facebook page and signing up for their email list. Compassionate Austin thanks Mayor Steve Adler and the Austin City Council members, especially Ann Kitchen, Leslie Pool, and Ora Houston, for their dedication to passing this resolution. They are also grateful to the following participants and press conference attendees: Rosedale School principal, teachers, and students; Sharon Herfurth with the Austin Public Libraries; Janis Bookout from Earth Day Austin 2016; Simone Talma Flowers from iACT; Kuaybe Nur from the Raindrop Women’s Association and the Turkish House; Amy Litzinger, a wonderful spokeswoman for Austin and a great advocate for compassion; Ken Craig from Council Member Ann Kitchen’s office; and Amy Smith from Council Member Leslie Pool’s office.
Top image: Image of Austin via https://www.facebook.com/compassionateaustin/?fref=photo