Compassion News

    CaptureRACE–The Power of an Illusion

    The series asks a question so basic it's rarely raised: what is this thing we call race? Since its release in 2003, the series has become one of the most widely used documentaries ever in formal and non-formal education in the US. Millions of people have used the film to scrutinize their own deep-seated beliefs about race and explore how our social divisions are not natural or inevitable, but made. Now, in 2019, the series remains salient and timely. Click the picture to watch the Trailer.  Or Learn more here.

    Gurgaon Conversations 2MDI Gurgaon hosts the second chapter of Gurugram Conversations, ’Compassionate Gurgaon’

    -- August 20, 2019 | Business World Education

    Themed ‘Compassionate Gurgaon’, the conference -- second in a series of multi-party discussions -- revolved around creating a more inclusive, empathetic as well as environmentally-sustainable ecosystem in the millennium city.

    Gurgaon: One of India’s premier and oldest management institutes MDI Gurgaon hosted the second chapter of Conversations on Gurugram on August 19, 2019, at the college campus. The conclave gathered the millennium citizenry under one roof alongside various public and private stakeholders to hold an insightful dialogue regarding current and long-standing problems being faced by the region while devising practical strategies to resolve them.Themed ‘Compassionate Gurgaon’, the conference—second in a series of multi-party discussions—revolved around creating a more inclusive, empathetic as well as environmentally-sustainable ecosystem in the millennium city. The discourse touched upon diverse topics ranging from some of the most pressing concerns today such as water and waste management to other vital issues including work and welfare. The first chapter of Gurugram conversations – which focused on road planning and development – was held on April 12, 2019. Read more

    Golden Rule



    Treat others in ways we wish to be treated ourselves, and likewise, do not treat others in ways we do not wish to be treated ourselves.

    -- The Ethic of Reciprocity, aka. The Golden Rule

    These stories of Compassion will blow you away!

    Click here to read the stories

    White FragilityRacial Equity Task Force of First Unitarian Church of Dallas hosting Book Study on "White Fragility"

    This popular book study returns for an 6 session, in-depth exploration of the ideas Robin DiAngelo presents in White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. 

    This extended series invites participants into the work of learning skills to disrupt racism as a faith commitment and practice. Each session is informed by a discussion guide put forth by Robin DiAngelo.

    The Racial Equity Task Force of First Unitarian Church exists to help transform our church culture from one steeped in the white supremacy system to one that is actively engaged in justice-making and liberation.

    The group composed of some black members along with some white members wanted to engage in racial equity work in the congregation. A lot of work has been done by this group and we have formed some cohesion, and there is plenty more to come, with ways for congregation members to engage. Read their "Racial Equity Pledge" here.

    KevinInspiring 9/11 speaker comes to Ballarat
    -- Posted: Friday 12 July 2019

    PHOTO: From left, Adjunct Research Fellow, Dr Lynne Reeder;  Kevin Tuerff; and Director of the Arts Academy, Associate Professor Rick Chew

    Ballarat has an opportunity to hear first-hand about an inspiring story coming out of the tragedy of the September 11 terror attacks in the United States in 2001.

    Compassionate Ballarat and Federation University Australia’s Arts Academy are hosting Kevin Tuerff, the author of Stranded in Gander on 9/11.

    Set in the week following the September 11 attacks, the book focuses on what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander in Newfoundland, Canada, leaving thousands of passengers stranded. Although initially cultures clashed and nerves ran high, in the end uneasiness turned into trust and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

    The book inspired an onstage character in the Tony award-winning musical Come From Away and eight years on this story still has relevance for us all.

    In addition to being a published writer, Kevin is also a social entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in behaviour change communications with local, state and federal governments. Kevin Tuerff is a co-founder of America Recycles Day, which is now managed by Keep America Beautiful.

    During his presentation at Federation University’s Arts Academy, Kevin Tuerff will talk extensively about his book and the extraordinary events at Gander.

    The presentation will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 pm, Monday, 15 July, at the Helen McPherson Smith Theatre, Arts Academy, Lydiard Street North.

    ChautauquaCharter for Compassion Returns to Chautauqua
    -- by Jamie Landers on

    Photo: Charter for Compassion International Executive Director Marilyn Turkovich speaks during the Cultivating Compassion in Your Community seminar.

    In honor of its 10th anniversary, Karen Armstrong’s  Charter for Compassion returned to the place where it all began. The Olean Area Charter for Compassion partnered with the Institution to present “Cultivating Compassion in Your Community,” a regional conference designed to teach community members how compassion can bring them together. The conference was held on Thursday, June 13, at the Athenaeum Hotel and celebrated the anniversary of the Charter’s signing at Chautauqua.

    Since 1999, Armstrong has made 39 appearances at the Institution, so when she won the Ted Prize in 2008 for her wish to create the Charter, she knew Chautauqua was the ideal place to see her vision come to fruition.

    Maureen Rovegno, director of the Department of Religion, worked closely with Armstrong to prepare the Charter.

    “Because Karen Armstrong was such a big part of Chautauqua, we were honored when she chose to come here and craft this really special Charter,” Rovengo said. “The final word-smithing, and I am very proud of this, was finalized right here, in the Department of Religion. I can’t think of a better place in the world to bring something so important to life.” Learn more

    Yemen 5The Charter for Compassion - Yemen: At work!

    The Charter for Compassion in Yemen has been hard at work, collecting funds from local and international donors, and selecting meaningful opportunities to invest.

    The first opportunity that they have taken, is to provide funds to the Abni Autism Center in Sana’a, the only such facility in Yemen. These funds will be used to provide medicine to 33 autistic children, and food supplies to their families. The medicines are not easily found in Yemen, and would otherwise cost $2,200 US for one to two months. An additional $1,200 US will cover the families’ food needs for one month. Learn More

    Vegan Jainism 1Press Release - Evolving Vegan Jainism - Seen at their World Convention
    -- By Frank Lane of

    The giants of the Vegan Movement attended the International Jaina Convention July 4-7th at the Ontario Convention Center.  There was perfect alignment with the Jain philosophy of Ahimsa; doing no harm and veganism.

    Dr. Will Tuttle came in blazing with compassion for all sentient beings subjected to animal slavery.  Dr. Sailesh Rao rang the alarm for climate change as a result of animal agriculture and gave a vegan solution called Climate HealersThe former Vice-President of Citibank, Phillip Wollen had over 3000 attendees on the edge of their social responsibility as Jains.  Frank Lane representing the Interfaith Vegan Coalition spoke at different venues advocating for Vegan Spirituality and In Defense of Animals.

    Michael Klaper, MD, the Physician for the Planet was encouraged to find that many Jains have made the connection of a plant-based diet as an enlightening path of ethical and social responsibility.  There was a sticker that said “Every Jain Should Be Vegan” that went viral there, placed over everyone’s heart.

    For almost everyone, the realization was overwhelming for the shared sanctity of life, now that veganism is one of the fastest growing social movements on the planet.  Plant-based food stocks, movies, and vegan athletes have set new records of success. Keynote speakers Ingrid Newkirk of PETA grabbed everyone’s attention and Phillip Wollen bowled us over by advocating for this ethical social revolution by putting an end to animal slavery.   Learn more

    BCTVCompassionate Brattleboro: Seeking to Bring the Charter to Life in our Town

    Watch the video!: Brattleboro, a town of 12,600 people in South-East Vermont, joined the Charter for Compassion in 2017, the town citizens voting overwhelmingly in support of the Charter. The Compassionate Brattleboro group has been active ever since in activities to strengthen compassion in their community.

    The accompanying video hosted by James Levinson and Douglas Cox highlights the many community events and programs, a series of 6 compassion-themed conversations, and recently forged relationships with communities in India, Haiti, El Salvador and Kenya, are bringing Compassion to the forefront of their community and their community’s relationship with its surroundings and indeed, the world. Future plans include plans for trust-building exercises, active listening learning and begin to have those difficult conversations on often devisive topics. Watch their video to learn more!

    Titanic BandstandCompassionate Ballarat remembers with Monumental Events

    An enduring example of our social infrastructure is the music memorial held each year since 1915 to honour the entire band of the Titanic who were lost in the ships sinking. The actions of those musicians, led by bandmaster Wallace Hartley is seen as one of the greatest acts off self-sacrifice in both maritime and musical history. In 1912 the bandsman’s attending Ballarat’s South Street competitions decided that a fitting tribute would be a bandstand, and by 1915 that bandstand had been built and opened.  Each year a commemoration is held to both remember the Titanic band, and a musician who has passed away in the previous year. This year the musician that was honored was the muezzin of the Al Noor mosque in New Zealand, Doctor Abdas Samad, who was among the 50 people murdered by a gunman in March 2019. Dr Samad was a frequent leader of the call to prayer at the Al Noor mosque, and taught at Lincoln University. Muezzin is a call to prayer, presented with joy and dedication to the community, as is all music. In 2019 the Titanic Memorial Band commemorated the 107th anniversary of the ocean liner's demise, by inviting Muhammed Iqbal Qaseem of the Ballarat Mosque to do a call to prayer.  The Titanic Memorial Band, which comprises invited members, including of the Eureka Brass, also played a program of songs that included Nearer My God To Thee, which was performed by Titanic's band as the ship began to sink in an effort to calm and assuage those passengers trapped on board.


    Sahil's Ted Talk -- Disagreement: An Essential Part of Pluralism

    In his TEDx Talk, Sahil expands the Golden Rule to the way we treat and really respect other people’s ideas. He also explains that intellectual diversity means disagreement. Without difference, intellectual diversity or pluralism is impossible. In other words, if we already all agree, there is no diversity. Learn more.

    An Interview with Dr Karen Armstrong: The Golden Rule and Religion

    The Ismaili brings you Sahil Badruddin’s interview with Karen Armstrong, an internationally acclaimed scholar andbestselling author of numerous books on religion. She won the 2008 TED Prize launching The Charter for Compassion, which has over two million signatories. She discussed her insights on compassion, the Golden Rule, nationalism, materialism, cosmopolitan ethics, religious literacy, the future of religion, perceptions of religious people, religious institutions, personal search, and her vision for the future.  Read the full interview.

    harmonyhumanCo-Human Harmony: Using Our Shared Humanity to Bridge Divides

    by Gudjon Bergmann

    People are tired of the divisiveness and acrimony that permeates our society. They are seeking real, down-to-earth, and achievable bridge-building methods that go beyond clichés and platitudes. In response to an ever-growing need, Rev. Gudjon Bergmann, founder and lead educator at Harmony Interfaith Initiative, gathered ideas, tools, and strategies from Nobel Peace Prize laureates, ethicists, interfaith leaders, civil rights icons, ancient prophets, sociologists, and psychologist, with an intent focus on bridging divides. The outcome is a unique composition for people who are interested in working towards a harmonious society. The overarching goal is to improve relations between those who have strong ideological disagreements about everything from religion and politics to diet and spirituality. Described as “refreshing,” “succinct, clear, and profound,” and “offering practical and powerful wisdom,” this earnest opus offers a soothing tonic to counter the disharmony in the world. 

    Learn more about this book and others that focus on the practice of a compassionate way of  life.

    pixabayhandsworldThe Best of Times, The Worst of Times
    -- by Ruth Broyde Sharone


    Is the world becoming more compassionate or more hateful? This prickly question is eloquently answered in the opening paragraph of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of revolution in France, A Tale of Two Cities (1859). Although Dickens was writing about “radical opposites” in places like London and Paris 160 years ago, he could easily have been writing a column in the New Yorker about the confusing dichotomies present in our domestic and global situation today.  Read the full article.

    karenarmstrong 1170x680Interview: “Compassion is essential to our survival”
    by Jolanda Breur

    Is compassion an antidote to our global problems? According to Karen Armstrong, it is our only chance of averting global catastrophe. At the end of November, the British historian of religion will present the annual Compassion Prize in Amsterdam: “I am hoping that there will be some international initiatives,” she says. In early November, Karen Armstrong and her team celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Charter for Compassion in Canada, during the Parliament of World Religions in Toronto. For a decade, they have been attempting to propagate the practice of compassion worldwide. When the 74-year-old former nun won the prestigious TED Prize in 2008, she decided to use the prize money of $100,000 to compose and disseminate the Charter for Compassion, which was written by leading thinkers and activists representing seven of the major world religions. It summoned men and women to make the compassionate ideal central to public and private life.  Read the full interview.

    © 2021 Charter for Compassion. All rights reserved.