Gaziantep, City of Mercy

Gaziantep, City of Mercy


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news letter Earthquake



"Gaziantep, City of Mercy"
by Marilyn Turkovich




On March 9th, 2012, at the Omer Ersoy Cultural Center in Gaziantep, Turkey, Dr. Helen McConnell and Mufti Dr. Ali Bakkal led a presentation on Compassion in Islam.¬†McConnell represented the newly formed Charter for Compassion and one of its programs, Compassionate Cities. At the end of the conference, a protocol was signed by then-Mayor Dr. Asim G√ľzelbey, affirming the Charter, adding Gazantiep to the growing list of compassionate cities; there were eight at the time, and making it the first city in the Muslim World to sign the Charter for Compassion.¬†At this same gathering, Prof. Dr. Mesut Idriz, Head of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Education, signed the protocol making Gazikent University the very first institution of its kind to affirm the Charter.¬†The title of the event was Gaziantep, a City of Mercy. This day was monumental in the history of the Charter.

On February 6, 2023, Gaziantep and areas surrounding it and in nearby Syria were brought to their knees as a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the area. As I write this the official death toll is over 7,800 people, with thousands more feared dead. The City of Mercy is now looking for mercy, goodness, and compassionate action beyond its own borders. Continue reading here



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THIS MONDAY, FEB 13! Social, Emotional, and Ethical (SEE) Learning is an innovative K-12 education program developed by Emory University.

SEE Learning‚ĄĘ provides educators with the tools they need to foster the development of emotional, social, and ethical intelligence for students and themselves.

This introductory program is free and will be followed by a Train-the-trainer program which will start in November 2023 and continue through May 2024.  Participating in this program will lead to a certificate. Learn more and register for all 5 sessions here.

40 Days MLK

Click on the banner to register and join the many offerings from our Partners during these 40+ days honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This upcoming week:

February 16 - Faith Voices, Faith Matters: Our Work Together to Abolish Nuclear Weapons - 11 am PST 

February 16 - Compassionate York Region with Dan Carter, Mayor of Oshawa - 4.30 pm PST

Charter for Compassion News, Programs, and Webinars

 Charter Education Institute 

Holding space online course by charter for compassion

Dealing with Anxiety with Rick Hanson, PhD
This 5-week Course opens THIS MONDAY, February 13

Anxiety, fear, and worry are normal reactions, but they don’t have to be your constant companions. 

Through this course, Dr Rick Hanson, New York Times’ bestselling author and psychologist, will take you through powerful practices for managing stress and worries.  You will let go of anxiety and grow a greater sense of calm, strength, and being protected and supported by other people and more able to deal with threatening situations around you.

EdNet Forum

Holding space online course by charter for compassion

World Savvy with Molly Dengler
Thursday, February 16 at 7.30 am PST / 4.30 pm CET / 9 pm IST

World Savvy works to empower educators to make schools inclusive, relevant, and engaging for all students, inspiring them to learn, work, and thrive as responsible global citizens. For 20 years World Savvy has been the leader in global education.

Holding space online course by charter for compassion

The Charter's LGBTQIA+ Initiative is launching its first global virtual festival!
This Festival goes from March 11-18

OUR PRIDE Video & Arts Fest is a virtual film festival with its own unique festival village, complete with original programming, panels, director Q&A’s, workshops, and live networking, sponsored and hosted by FILMOCRACY.

  • We are currently open for Submissions until March 1, 2023
  • Video Genres: Short Documentary, Narrative, Music Video, Animation, PSA & News Story
  • Video submissions must be 15 minutes or shorter
  • Accepting submissions from people ages 13-35
  • English subtitles are required for non-English submissions
  • There are no costs involved with submitting your video. Use FilmFreeway Promo Code: PRIDE2023

2023 THEME is "LOVE WINS! Compassion, Resilience & Solidarity," with entries highlighting compassion, resilience, and solidarity in the global LGBTQIA+ community, featuring such topics as Social Justice, Human Rights, Current Issues, Mental Health, Personal Stories, Local Pride, LGBTQIA+ Community & History, and more.

Submissions are judged by youth peers, educators, and LGBTQ+ professionals.  Winning entries will be announced in March 2023 with screenings throughout the year, including the International Children’s Film Festival at Comic-Con in San Diego. The top video entries will receive a variety of awards, prizes, and commendations.

 On the Blog

forgiveness is.very strange book cover40K for 40 Days: Day 24 - Did you know that MLK was a practitioner and huge proponent of Yoga?
Click/Tap here to read more

We are excited to introduce you to our "40K for 40 Days" blog series during our Martin Luther King 40 days of Peace Campaign on the Charter's blog and through social media.

Shane O'Connor, our newest staff member, has decided to bike 40 km a day during these 40 days. While on his daily ride, he'll be directing his thoughts toward Martin Luther King...Continue reading Day 1 here

Read Day 5 / Read Day 10 /Read Day 15 / Read Day 20

forgiveness is.very strange book coverTurkey & Syria Fundraiser

More than 10,000 people dead, and thousands were wounded. 

We have set up a fundraiser via Facebook. All proceeds go towards disaster relief for the people affected by the earthquakes. No processing fees through this method.

Click/Tap Here to donate


From our Partners

Holding space online course by charter for compassion

Cultivating Compassion
Second Session, Thursday, February 23, 5 pm PST / 8 pm EST

How is it that we wind up alienated from one another? Following his curiosity about this very question led Marshall Rosenberg to identify four things: moralistic judgments, refusing to take responsibility for ourselves, making demands, and thinking, ‚Äúwho deserves what.‚ÄĚ We do these things to ourselves and to the people around us, bringing disconnection and isolation. Nonviolent Communication points the way toward more connection with ourselves and others with a language of life

This session is part of our Cultivating Compassion 2023 series designed to help us learn and practice the skills of connection.  Drawing from psychology, sociology, philosophy, and history, we'll adopt a quarterly rhythm of two book discussions and a practice session where we take on a controversial issue to practice our developing skills.


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The¬†Community of Mindful Parenting¬†aspires to empower families to become more mindful and compassionate. They are a multigenerational, multicultural, and fully inclusive community that strives to nurture powerful relationships between parents/caregivers and their children. Their¬†Listening Mothers‚ĄĘ¬†and¬†Finding Calm¬†classes explore the relationship between caregiver and child through a lens of self-compassion. Their weekly Communi-Teas are a centering tool for meditation. Learn more here.

dr starita boyceFeast for the Soul 2023

The backbone of the Charter's 40-Days of Peace commemoration will be the Feast of the Soul, a worldwide spiritual practice intensive, one that aims to co-create more love and peace within. A Charter for Compassion partner, the Feast for the Soul promotes self-discovery, mindfulness, meditation, and creative practices. You can think of it as a virtual retreat whereby you commit to 40 days of spiritual practice. Learn more and Register here!

newseltter unnamedProSocial World, a Charter partner, offers an interactive learning experience called Leading ProSocial. It's being put on by our friends at Prosocial World, and it's starting on February 21st, 2023. It's a six-month program, with 12 workshops, where you and the groups you're a part of can learn how to work together better and be more successful in everything you do. 

Leading ProSocial is all about finding ways to help different groups work together to make good things happen. It's about making sure everyone is working towards the same goal and that everyone is motivated to do their best.

This is a space to explore how ProSocial works in real life and do some hands-on learning and learning together. 

If you're looking for a chance to be a powerful leader in your group and make a positive difference, this may be the perfect opportunity for you! Check out their website to find out more, and sign up!

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Upcoming Special Guests:

Thursday, February 16 - Ole Kjörrefjord with the Map of Co-Creators.

Thursday, February 23 - John Boswell with LGBTQ+ Film Fest.

Thursday, March 9 - ZaHaVa Sheréz




The Charter for Compassion has a bold, audacious vision of co-creating a world that works for everyone. Please support the Charter with a monthly contribution that helps to build this global compassionate community - person by person, school by school, and city by city. Thank you!

Donate now
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