Report from the Charter for Compassion Peace Call September 16, 2014

Report from the Charter for Compassion Peace Call September 16, 2014

Audio Recording of the Conference Call

A G E N D A

0:00      Welcome (Marilyn Turkovich) 
0:05      Terry Greene 
0:25      Questions and Answers 
0:40      Group Break Out Sessions 
1:10      Popcorn Session   
1:20      Announcements 
1:25      Adjourn

An Orientation to the Compassion Peace Section on the Charter's Website

We'd like to encourage you to visit the Charter's Peace section on the website. Here you wll find links to our global peace partners.

While you are at the the Peace section, take note of the Compassion Peace Reader.  Each of our sector's has it's own Reader. You'll find that the Peace Reader is currently divided into eight chapters: Visiting and Revisiting History, Peace Building, Practicing Peace, Human Rights and Children's Rights, Women in War, Women in Peace, Restorative Justice, Juvenile Justice, and Peace, Economy and Social Justice. Each of these articles have a series of articles and the Compassion Peace Reader is added to weekly. There is also a new section that has resulted because of our Conference Calls.  It is the Annotated Bibliography.  Over the last calls somany of you wrote and gave us the names of books, we thought we would organize these into a new page on the website that would continue to grow along with our work and conversations.

P R E S E N T A T I O N

Marilyn:  Welcomes everyone and introduces the speaker, Terry Greene. Terry lost her brother on 9/11/2001.  He was a passenger on Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania.  She is Project Director of the “September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.” She has worked with people in Sudan, Rwanda, S. Africa, Palestine, Russia, and people who have lost loved ones in the Madrid train bombing and other terrorist attacks.  She has been involved in peace education for quite some time. She works with a group that helps mothers who are incarcerated.  It is very fitting that she is here to share with us today.

INTRO

It is wonderful to join you today. My thanks to Marliyn Turkovich who is such a great support and leader for peace education, as well as her colleagues. It has been 13 years since the fateful attacks of September 11th 2001. Those years have taken all of us on complex and difficult journeys. I will share with you some of my experiences and that of others directly affected by 9/11, but at the same time I want to acknowledge that we all live in the shadow of 9/11 and our joint reflections on its meanings in our lives and to our countries and our world will truly shape the future.

ABOUT DON

My brother, Donald Freeman Greene, Donny, was among the passengers aboard United Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers retook control of the flight. Don was a kind, intelligent, strong, caring man. He was a hero to those of us in his family long before 9/11 in the way he lovingly took care of his children, wife, and the rest of his family with such tremendous joy. Don was an engineer and Vice President of a company which creates instruments for flight safety. He also sat on the Board of the Corporate Angels Network (CAN), a nonprofit which flies cancer patients for free to treatment across the country using volunteered corporate flights. When I heard of his death I was in absolute shock. A black hole had opened in our family and the world had lost a man who was an enemy to none and an asset to all.

INITIAL REACTION

At first all my thoughts went to supporting our family get through the tragedy. The strength shown by Don’s children and wife, has given me strength as did the evidence in NYC and across the nation and world as people at first united to support one another across the full diversity of America. My sister Bonnie was part of the swell of people who immediately responded by providing what assistance they could. She arranged for CAN to fly blood donations to the ground zero site.

In the aftermath of the attacks, I found it unbearably painful to listen to news reports replaying the devastating footage. When a news analyst cornered a 9/11 family member and tried to reassure her “not to worry, America would fight back” the woman expressed my sentiments in replying, “Our family would not be comforted by revenge, we do not want this to happen to any other family, anywhere.” Seeing that others also wanted to prevent more harm, rather than strike back, gave me some comfort and made me realize I must add my voice.

I immediately wrote a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe, published September 22, 2001, urging our country to remain strong in our dedication to compassion and human rights, as was demonstrated by Americans and others around the world following 9/11, as a counter to

terrorism. I wrote this letter as I started learning that as many united in support of one another, others were turning to fear and anger.

GROWTH IN HATE CRIMES/PREJUDICE

Right after the events of Sept 11th, hate crimes rose dramatically against fellow Americans who were of Middle Eastern descent or who practiced the Islamic faith. Despite the assertions of President George W Bush:

“We are not at war with Islam, which most Americans respect as a religion of peace.” – 9/16/2001 and “There are thousands of Muslims who proudly call themselves Americans, and they know what I know -- that the Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion." – 9/28/2001

Innocent Arab Americans, Muslims Americans, Sikh Americans, and Asian-Pacific Americans, all became targets of backlash violence.

LONG TERM SOLUTIONS – LOOKING BEYOND REVENGE

Having lost my brother on 9/11, I was not interested simply in revenge. It was essential to me that we be effective in preventing future incidents. I had a young son who was six at the time and Don’s children were close in age. My focus turned to how the world could possibly become more secure for my son and Don’s children, and for children around the world. Many eminent and experienced national security advisors have documented that proactively addressing root causes of violence through social and economic development, advancement of human rights, and engagement in effective dialogue and conflict resolution are not only viable, these methods are much more effective and sustainable than military solutions.

THE WARS

As our country prepared to go to war, I had grave concerns. How could killing terrorists, who are willing anyway to die for their beliefs, lead to peace and security? One couldn’t kill all of them, and as their fighters are killed alongside of countless innocent civilian casualties (estimated at several hundred thousand to date – most of them innocent women and children), their martyrdom becomes a recruiting tool and their ranks swell. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. warned, "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. … Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....” Note that there was no presence of Al Queda, the terrorist group which launched the 9/11 attacks in Iraq at the time we went to war with that country. Today Al Queda has a large presence in Iraq and we see new threats, such as ISIS taking hold.

PEACEFUL TOMORROWS

Through September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows I found like-minded individuals. Named after the remarks of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.,

"The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.”

Despite the passing years, Peaceful Tomorrows membership continues to grow and our mission remains relevant. With international partners from across the world, we comprise well over 200 family members, including living in 31 states and seven foreign countries, who having lost loved ones on 9/11 have joined together to turn our grief into action for peace and justice. We are a predominantly volunteer organization, driven by passion and a commitment to honor our loved ones by ensuring that no one is harmed in their names.

MISSION

  1. To promote dialogue on alternatives to war, while educating and raising the consciousness of the public on issues of war, peace, and the underlying causes of terrorism.
  2. To support and offer fellowship to others seeking non-violent responses to all forms of terrorism, both individual and institutional.
  3. To call attention to threats to civil liberties, human rights, and other freedoms in the U.S. as a consequence of war.
  4.  To acknowledge our fellowship with all people affected by violence and war, recognizing that the resulting deaths are overwhelmingly civilian.
  5. To encourage a multilateral, collaborative effort to bring those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks to justice in accordance with the principles of international law.
  6. To promote U.S. foreign policy that places a priority on internationally-recognized principles of human rights, democracy and self-rule.

ACTIVITIES/CONCERNS

I find my activities as a member of Peaceful Tomorrows has only grown over time. Our members mourn deeply the ongoing loss we feel for those who perished on 9/11, and also for the many ways the tragedy has been compounded by the response to it in our country and others. We mourn as well that the patriotism, which has strengthened in me since the attacks, has not been applied to protect America at its core – our values and system of government. We have abandoned those principles of civil liberties and human rights, from constitutional rights of freedom of religion to the right to a fair and speedy trial and humane treatment, as principles we can no longer afford.

HOPE

Yet despite the mounting losses and increased hate and divisions, through Peaceful Tomorrows I have found great cause for hope. The people I’ve met and the work this group has done show another way. We have been joined and inspired by so many from all walks of life who recognize that we must learn to stand united with, not against, one another for the sake of our common survival.

INP

In 2006, in the week leading up to the fifth anniversary of 9/11, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows convened a meeting of more than 30 extraordinary individuals from around the world who were personally affected by violence but each rejected the idea of retaliating with further violence. Instead, they have successfully built bridges between groups previously in conflict, and have formed organizations to promote justice, reconciliation and genuine peace. The seeds planted at that conference grew into the International Network for Peace, a truly international network of organizations from 17 different countries. Joining those of us 9/11 families who suffered from terrorism are victims of nuclear bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Palestinian and Israeli mothers joined together out of a common grief at losing their children in conflict, Afghani women awaiting the implementation of human rights and freedom from gender-based violence, victims of genocide in Rwanda and Sudan who feel the world turned a blind eye as millions died.

Together we work to break cycles of violence and teach others about the avoidable costs of war and terrorism – the civilian casualties, families torn apart, hopes denied, children dying or living in fear – that we so seldom hear. At the same time, their successes promoting conflict resolution and healing offer a vision of peace that is achievable and sustainable.

Recently, Peaceful Tomorrows’ members have also been in the news advocating to put an end to hate crimes that have been perpetrated against Muslims, Sikhs, and those looking to be of Middle-Eastern descent. We believe that America’s constitutional guarantee of religious freedom applies equally to all citizens, regardless of race, creed or color.

Peace starts in our communities. For the recent 13th Commemoration of 9/11, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows sought to honor our loved ones who perished on 9/11 by fostering peaceful communities that embrace alternatives to hatred and violence. Toward that end, we held a symposium September 6th in an effort to impact and empower communities to

serve as ambassadors of peace. Raising the consciousness of the public to the threats of guns in our society and promoting cultural awareness through discussion of Islamophobia were topics discussed.

Why Gun Violence

Core to our mission is to break the cycles of violence and to acknowledge our common experience with all people affected by violence throughout the world, as all of us work together to create a safer and more peaceful world for everyone. The members of Peaceful Tomorrows organized the session on Gun Violence as a way of connecting with the tragic and preventable losses of lives stemming within our very own communities. Every year since 9/11, more individuals are killed in the United States due to gun violence than all who perished from the attacks of 9/11. Approximately 10 times as many. According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in the United States while several times that many are injured. This figure has risen by almost 3,000 persons more a year than in 2011.
  • More than 90 people are killed each day in a firearm incident.
  • 40% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35
  • Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds.
  • And the primary cause of death among African Americans of that age group

We hope to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 by helping prevent more innocent civilians from dying needlessly. We heard from many prominent panelists, including Reverend Mathew Crebbin. A Senior Minister of the Newtown Congregational Church and Coordinator of the Interfaith Clergy Association in Newtown, CT where there was a tragic school shooting, community activists in the inner-city New York neighborhood of Harlem who have seen too many youth die or be incarcerated, and MSNBC analyst Lisa Bloom – all of whose expertise and experience can help lead us to more peaceful tomorrows. The panel presentations will soon be posted on our Youtube channel which you can find from our website.

Why Islamophobia?

Terrorism aims to inspire irrational fear. In the aftermath of 9/11 many worldwide declared that we would stand united and not succumb to fear. Sadly, the reality is that fear and a culture of revenge and violence has taken hold in some corners. We are saddened by those who would spread divisions between an us and a them – no matter which us or which them. Since 9/11 our families have despaired as hate crimes have been perpetrated against Muslims as well as Sikhs and others appearing to be of Middle Eastern descent. We stand united to firmly assert that this must end. The last thing our families want is more victims of any faith or background, anywhere in the world due to any form of violence. We will not have further innocent lives lost in our loved-ones names. Support of our 9/11 families is not revenge and hate, it lies in interfaith understanding, unity, and hope.

That is why we are launching our campaign to promote our call for unity and interfaith tolerance through advertisements posted on New York City public transit. These counter messages that, to our dismay and anguish, have recently been posted on public transit by groups that spur hatred and intolerance against those who practice the Islamic faith. That is not patriotic, it is against our fundamental American values and first amendment rights to practice freedom of religion that are most vital to protect and not cede to terror. We hope that many will join us in helping raise money and otherwise supporting this effort.

Peaceful Tomorrows is committed to taking our message of "turning our grief into action for peace" to ever-wider audiences. You can help us by visiting our website and signing up to help with our many campagns or simply sharing our messages on social media – which goes a long way. There, as well as on the Charter for Compassion pages that profile our organization, you will find many resources that can be shared. These include : stories of our members and partners that we call Our Voices/Our Choices with each member’s profile and links to some of their articles and video appearances. Our Resources for Educators page includes our videos and PowerPoints about us, our book, DVD, and free download of The September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows issue of The Change Agent – which has lessons developed by and for adult learners and that is also used in high school classrooms.

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "Nonviolence is the greatest force that humanity has been endowed with." And as founding member David Potorti puts it, “We believe that peaceful tomorrows begin with what we do today."

Tragedy takes away but it also gives us something. The powerful lessons brought by tragedy are no less than it teaches us what is truly meaningful in life - the relationships we build rather than wealth or power we amass. The bridges we build rather than destroy. That a life well-lived is one where we give more than we receive and most importantly that we do our best to leave the world a better place than it was when we entered. It is when we follow these lessons that we counter terrorism. For terrorism thinks that destruction is power, that it is in some distorted way improving the world.

There may be other members of Peaceful Tomorrow on the call. Thank you for joining us and we look forward to our discussions.

Q U E S T I O N   A N D   A N S W E R

May: Of Egyptian origin and just became an American citizen.  Wants to say it is amazing to see your strength.  It is very difficult to be in-between the two worlds.  Sees fear in America and how it is perpetrating a backlash.  It is very scary.  Sometimes people wonder, when do we reach the tipping point?  How do we make our voices heard?  There is more and more negativity and violence by the day. 

Terry: Great question. All I know if that we have to keep trying.  Take each step at a time.  It is a long journey.  We had peace gathering each day of the Gaza conflict.  Many are joining the Charter.  We are not covered that often by the media.  It gets down to the people to people connections.  As individuals, the majority of us actually want to live in peace.  She has been collaborating with the youth in Afghanistan who have lived their whole lives in war and have found ways to spread their messages.  There are definitely powerful interests that want to expand violence. I don’t have the answer.  I just know where I get my inspiration.  

B R E A K O U T   S E S S I O N S

  1. Our Voices/Our Choices: Many resources exist that profile the choices made by others faced with the choice between retribution and reconciliation. How can we use our own voices and choices to lead towards more peaceful tomorrows? 
  2. Forging Connections among Persons Affected by Violence: How can forging personal connections help to break cycles of violence? What powerful connections can we facilitate among colleagues, friends, students, people in our immediate groups across geography, religion, background, or experience to break beyond boundaries? What links can we make among issues that seem separate, such as: How does 9/11 connect with gun violence and incarceration in our communities? Why is it necessary that September/11 families try to address the rise of hate crimes against Sikhs and Muslims? 

P O P C O R N    S E S S I O N

Marilyn: Importance of the Charter’s cities program.  It’s one way we can continue our message to address some of the prominent issues.  Encourage people who are interested to start the dialogue in their communities. 

Sande:  Wonderful conversation.  What can we do to strengthen our connections and illuminate our efforts?   Hard to get media and PR around the work we are doing.  A different approach is necessary- simply have fun in what we are doing- have creativity.  The Compassion Games are currently underway: www.compassiongames.org. People are showing up in critical mass.  We can change our approach to bring more lightness. In her group, Elaine is the author of the book “Peace Prophecy: Vision 2013” (http://www.peaceprophecy.com/):6 steps - helping teach children about how to explore peace and live peacefully. 

Barbara: mentioned many sectors at the Charter.  Many issues cover more than 1 sector. 

Marilyn:  The Charter sectors include education/Compassionate Schools, business, interfaith/spiritual, science/research, environment, arts, restorative justice, peace, health 

Terry: We should seek out someone who seems to be the enemy and connect with them.  She mentioned Arthur’s contribution in her group about a program in South Africa.  http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2014-04-06-south-africa-and-israel-a-mandate-for-more-engagement/#.VBhn8JRf_90. Media has a lot of strong walls to regulate news but we can use the tools of social media to get the message out. 

Elaine: Thank you to all of you working for peace and especially to Terry Greene. 

R E C O M M E N D A T I O N E D    R E S O U R C E S

PEACE painting by Austin artist Mary Beth Maher. Mary Beth allowed us to use the illustration for this report.  She provides the various languages for the word peace in her painting: PEACE -English; мир - peace/world Russian; VREDE Afrikaans; XOLO Zulu; PAZ Spanish; PACE Italian; PAIX French; FRIEDEN German; SANTHAPEAP Khmer; SHALOM Hebrew; ZALAAM Arabic; SHANTI Hindu.

Afghan Peace Volunteers

The Afghan Peace Volunteers are a grassroots group of ordinary, multi-ethnic Afghans seeking a life of non-violence. We seek non-military solutions for Afghanistan.

They seek to practice non-violence in the following areas:

  1. Non-violence towards the earth and environment
  2. Non-violent economy
  3. Non-violent conflict resolution, abolishing weapons and war
  4. Non-violent education
  5. Non-violent self, community and humanity

In 2008, about 50 university students participated in a 3-month Peace Workshop at Bamiyan University in Bamiyan Province, facilitated by a Singaporean medical doctor and humanitarian worker Dr Hakim ( Dr Teck Young, Wee ). The university students concluded that ‘peace in Afghanistan is not possible.’

But, 16 of the Bamiyan University students from six different ethnic groups agreed to live together for a semester to demonstrate the possibility of ethnic unity.

From this effort, youth from different valleys and villages in Bamiyan gathered to raise their voice of peace and to protest against war, violence and killings in Afghanistan. One of their first protest-actions was a tent vigil at Bamiyan Peace Park, which the youth had helped establish. The tent vigil was held to ask U.S. President Obama to bring genuine peace and reconciliation to Afghanistan. They ended their tent vigil when the then U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, promised to deliver their message to President Obama.

AKTIV Integrity: Games for a Life of Integrity
 
Practice Active Integrity with DelightDesign Games for Peace--ages 6 through 106

As people play together they hone and gain Integrity's life skills such as peacemaking, honesty, respect, responsibility.

You are invited to collaborate in bringing the six beautiful, well-tested, “Aktiv Integrity” games into the world.  The colorful art of their copyrighted prototypes is hand-painted and scanned into electronic form.  Playing with these games induces participants into active life skills of integrity, such as truthfulness, respect, responsibility, peacemaking, compassion, and positive choice-making.

Compassion Games

Compassion Games make our communities safer, kinder, more just and better places to live.

Compassion Games International (CGI) is a year-round non-profit initiative with the fiscal sponsorship of the Compassionate Action Network (CAN). Our mission is to inspire, activate, celebrate, and share compassionate action.

The primary way we do this is through two affiliated and complementary programs:  (1) the Global Compassion Games, staged from Sept. 11-Sept. 21 annually; and (2) the Compassion Relays, which are open year-round.

The Compassion Games came into being in response to a community challenge issued in 2012 from Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Ky., to Seattle, Wash. In response to the challenge, the “Compassion Games” and a new possibility of “coopetition” (cooperative competition) was born. In a few short years, the Games have engaged cities, community groups, families and individuals in several countries.

The Jerusalem Peacemakers

Jerusalem Peacemakers promotes enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, creating cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Holy Land and all living beings; a network of independent interfaith peace-builders dedicated to encouraging understanding and reconciliation in the Holy Land.

Jerusalem Peacemakers are dedicated to crossing divides, encouraging understanding and bringing people together; contribute to peace with justice and a decent life for all people in the Holy Land.

Jerusalem Peacemakers are people supporting people, with a humanitarian and interfaith emphasis; work together to help loosen up rigid beliefs, bridge the gulf between peoples, and to help people recognize they’re we are all in this together and that polarization and violence do not work.

La Onf
http://mettacenter.org/blog/la-onf-nonviolence-in-iraq/

La Onf (“No Violence” in Arabic) is a network of Iraqi civilians and civil society organizations who are working together use nonviolent action to bring peace to Iraq. La Onf was established in 2005 by a group of activists in Baghdad. This year they are organizing their third annual Week of Nonviolence, with nonviolent actions taking place throughout Iraq starting on October 10. The work of La Onf was featured in the documentary Masalla, Activists in Iraq. La Onf’s website is entirely in Arabic, but more information can be found through the Peaceful Tommorows site. You can also see images from the 2007 Iraqi week of Nonviolence on this page and on this page at the site of Un Ponte Per, and Italian group who is supporting La Onf.

Music in Common
http://www.musicincommon.org

Music In Common, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen, empower, and educate communities through the universal language of music. 

By producing publicly accessible concerts, school programs, and multimedia productions with an interest in underserved communities and areas where there is a history of conflict, Music in Common (MiC) provides a platform for the exchange of ideas and collaborations that can lead to positive social change.

In October 2005 musician, writer, and producer Todd Mack organized an informal backyard jam in honor of his friend and band mate Danny Pearl, the late Wall St. Journal reporter.   Fueled by a resonating belief in the power of music to bridge divides between people, that backyard jam has grown into an internationally touring non-profit organization with innovative community-building programs that serve as a call to action in communities around the world.  To date, MiC has served thousands of people in more than 200 communities across the US, Middle East, and Far East and operates multiple programs locally, nationally, and internationally.  

Unity in Peace
www.unify.org

About the Unify World Peace Campaign

Please join us for a Global Synchronized Meditation at 12 noon Pacific on September 21st on the International Day of Peace. This year there is an unprecedented wave of activity emerging as hundreds of organizations are hosting marches, musical celebrations, meditations and other events. See the map below to find something awesome happening in your region. If there isn't something happening already, create an event and be a part of the Global Unified Field of Peace!

Voices Compassionate Education

This is the fourth year that Voices has compiled a new edition of Words and Violence under the stewardshipof Barbara Kaufmann. The emphasis in this edition is on Mother Earth, and how resilient she has been in the wake of our endless "bullying." We've all heard stories of climate change, deforestation, global warming, pollution, and the misuse of our natural resources. This new edition helps concretize the planet's reality, and offers hope for a new beginning, providing ways to take our concern and move us to action.

"Who will save us now?" is our invitation to examine the problem of "Bullying the Planet" and to find the antidotes for becoming the solution. As we consider this poignant question we come face to face with a trilogy written by environmental journalist, Richard Schiffman. Schiffman introduces us to the "Five States of Environmental Grief," forces us to consider still another question, "Are the Oceans Failed States?" and concludes with exposing us to the issues of "Hunger, Food Security and the African Land Grab." In a second trilogy, this time written by Chicago Tribune columnist Robert Koehler, he unmasks his life mission and invites us to join him in undoing the mythology of violence. Walk Softly, speaks from the Indigenous voice and what marginalized peoples may have to teach us about balance and how to protect the context from which we live. He explains why We Can’t Afford to Lose Another Decade and why and offers a reasonable request in asking us to grow up and act In Partnership With Mother Earth.

Poet and author of Harlem Renaissance Encyclopedia, Aberjhani, contrasts the philosophy of shared community with guerilla decontextualization—the insidious and deliberate art of manipulation in order to discredit and nullify in Creative Flexibility and Annihilated Lives.

We enter a day-long healing chamber where we begin Awakening the Dreamer, a process of waking from the modern trance, healing the grief, and creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just world.

Artist and storyteller Carol Hiltner, who works with the Altai of Siberia guides us on a journey with those who have been pushed aside in favor of modern progress and with Maia Rose, we learn their story from the inside out in Mother Earth Cannot Be Bullied.

Barbara Kaufmann asks us to become aware of something that we repeatedly do every day and that may have completely escaped our attention which not only teaches children how to bully, but demonstrates it repeatedly in Teach Your Children Well. Then educator, author and admitted tree-hugger Kate Trnka takes us on a fanciful journey with her students as they explore the magic that awaits them in the forest as they communicate with trees and get to know them intimately in If These Trees Could Talk, Park I

Lesa Walker, M.D. leads us through some classroom exercises, antidotes and compassion games in Bullying the Planet: Is There an Antidote? Community Activist and Environmental Guru Karen Plamer shares ideas for organizing a community and teaching kids about eco-responsibility with her game “Let’s Save the Earth” as she finds out Can Educating Them to Be Stewards be Easy, Educational, Engaging and Fun?

We then discover HIStory’s mystery person: Someone Who Was Singing Earth’s Song Long Before It Was Fashionable To Become Her Voice.

Voices Education is the education arm of the Charter for Compassion International. The Charter is committed through its work and network of partners to bring compassion to the earth and all living things that call this place "home." You might want to visit the Charter's site, and explore the Compassionate Environment Reader while you are there.

54Peace

http://www.54peace.com

There are 3 parts
WHAT to do
HOW to do it
WHEN to do it
#1 WHAT to do;  almost anything.... keep it simple, and within your comfort range. 
Although the primary concept here is to MEDITATE, one can sing, chant, dance, clap, play an instrument, or almost anything.

#2  HOW to do it; First and foremost, be safe and courteous.  The idea is to focus your thoughts, energy, soul, spirit, consciousness, or whatever you would like to call it, on building a PEACEFUL world and reducing suffering for all.

#3  WHEN to do it;  The idea is to put aside between 1 - 5 minutes of time.  Whatever you choose to do (meditate, chant...), would start at the BEGINNING, or "top" of the hour, as in 1 P.M. (13:00hr) and finish 5 minutes later.  Pretty simple - right?

Here is the amazing thing... imagine being one of MILLIONS.  Imagine no more time zone or date line worries, just donate 5 minutes of your time, as many times as you can during the day...any day.

D O C U M E N T A R I E S

Encounter Point
http://www.justvision.org/encounterpoint

Just Vision highlights the power and potential of Palestinians and Israelis working to end the occupation and build a future of freedom, dignity, equality and human security using nonviolent means. We tell their under-documented stories through our award-winning films, multimedia tools and targeted public education campaigns that undermine stereotypes, inspire commitment and galvanize action.

We drive attention to compelling local role models in unarmed movement-building and demonstrate to journalists, influencers and students – in the US, Israel, Palestine and beyond – what is possible when leaders at the grassroots choose to act. We create disruptive media in order to change the terms of the discussion in press, community and policy circles. We also energize activists on the ground by connecting community organizers and civil society leaders to supportive audiences.

Our overarching goal is to contribute to fostering peace and an end to the occupation by rendering Palestinian and Israeli nonviolence leaders more visible, valued and effective in their efforts.

The Two-Sided Circle
http://www.theparentscircle.com/Twosided_en.aspx?ID=60#.VBhrCvldWSo

The Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF) is a joint Palestinian Israeli organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost a close family member as a result of the prolonged conflict. Joint activities have shown that the reconciliation between individuals and nations is possible and it is this insight that they are trying to pass on to both sides of the conflict. Moreover, the PCFF has concluded that the process of reconciliation between nations is a prerequisite to achieving a sustainable peace. The organization thus utilizes all resources available in education, public meetings and the media, to spread these ideas.

The PCFF was established in 1995 - by Mr. Yitzhak Frankental and several bereaved Israeli families. In 1998 the first meetings were held with a group of Palestinians families from Gaza who identified with the call to prevent further bereavement through dialogue, tolerance, peace and reconciliation. The connection with the group in Gaza was cut off as a result of the second Intifada.  

From 2000 the PCFF expanded to include Palestinian families from both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These new members have substantially influenced the activities of the PCFF and shaped the character and functioning of the organization

The Parents Circle - Families Forum is registered as an association and is managed jointly by the professional staff, Israelis and Palestinians working in two offices: the Palestinian in El'ram and the Israeli in Ramat Ef'al, Tel Aviv.

Although the PCFF has no stated position on the political solution of the conflict, most of its members agree that the solution must be based on free negotiations between the leadership of both sides to ensure basic human rights, the establishment of two states for two peoples, and the signing of a peace treaty.

The historic reconciliation between the two nations is a necessary condition for obtaining a sustainable peace treaty.

B O O K S

Eckman, Paul. Moving Toward Global Compassion (Paul Ekman Group, 2014).

Why isn’t everyone concerned about the welfare of all people, everywhere? Is global compassion a gift, like musical talent, a virtue of the few? Or might we all have the potential for global compassion within us, dormant? Moving Toward Global Compassion explores these possibilities, and offers a new take on empathy and altruism. In the closing chapter the Dalai Lama discusses these ideas with the author.

Fisk, Robert.  The Great War for Civilization (Vintage, 2007).

A sweeping and dramatic history of the last half century of conflict in the Middle East from an award-winning journalist who has covered the region for over thirty years, The Great War for Civilisation unflinchingly chronicles the tragedy of the region from the Algerian Civil War to the Iranian Revolution; from the American hostage crisis in Beirut to the Iran-Iraq War; from the 1991 Gulf War to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. A book of searing drama as well as lucid, incisive analysis, The Great War for Civilisation is a work of major importance for today's world.

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point (Back Bay Books, 2002).

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

Keyes, Ken. The Hundredth Monkey (Devorss & Co., 1984).

This unique e-book edition of bestselling author Ken Keyes, Jr.'s book, The Hundredth Monkey, reproduces the entire text of his classic work on the danger of nuclear weapons and power plants in a compact, searchable, and easy-to-read format. The publisher has added a lengthy Introduction and an Afterword to reinforce the fact that nuclear power remains a threat--and why--and shows a possible connection to the UFO phenomenon.

Goleman, Daniel.  Emotional Intelligence (Bantam Books, 2005).

Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman's brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our "two minds"—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny.

Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart.

The best news is that "emotional literacy" is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society, has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.

Menacol, Maria Rosa. The Ornament of the World (Little Brown and Company, 2003).

Widely hailed as a revelation of a "lost" golden age, this history brings to vivid life the rich and thriving culture of medieval Spain where, for more than seven centuries, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in an atmosphere of tolerance, and literature, science, and the arts flourished.

Waller, James. Becoming Evil (Oxford University Press, second edition, 2007).

The first edition of Becoming Evil spoke unforgettably to a world shell-shocked by 9/11 that faced a new war on terror against members of an Axis of Evil. With this second edition, James Waller brings us up to date on some of the horrific events he used in the first edition to illustrate his theory of extraordinary human evil, particularly those from the perennially troubled Balkans and Africa, pointing out steps taken both forward and back. Nearly a third of the references are new, reflecting the rapid pace of scholarship in Holocaust and genocide studies, and the issue of gender now occupies a prominent place in the discussion of the social construction of cruelty. Waller also offers a reconfigured explanatory model of evil to acknowledge that human behavior is multiply influenced, and that any answer to the question "Why did that person act as he or she did?" can be examined at two levels of analysis-- the proximate and the ultimate. Bookended by a powerful new foreword from Greg Stanton, vice-president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, and a devastating postscript that addresses current outbreaks of genocide and mass killing, this new edition demonstrates that genocide is a problem whose time has not yet passed, but Waller's clear vision gives hope that at least we can begin to understand how ordinary people are recruited into the process of destruction.

Experiencing a week of compassion activities
The Tenzin Gyatso Institute, The Charter for Compassion, and Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) are delighted to announce "Compassion Week" in San Francisco from November 10 – 16, 2014.


Please become a Member of the Charter for Compassion. Step forward to support the compassion movement materially -- with your money, your time, your connections, your special areas of expertise, and your high expectations.

Become a Member of the Charter for Compassion


About Us

  • charter brand transp blue mediumCharter for Compassion provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.

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