Marilyn began the call by reflecting on a brief history of the Charter's work with compassionate communities. She joined the Charter in January 2013 and at that time there were 47 compassionate cities. Today there are almost 300. January, 2014 the Charter became its own non-profit. Up until that time it was run by the Compassionate Action Network. Today there is a ground-swell of interest in the Charter. People resonating with the notion of compassionate communities. Migrated away from the term compassionate cities to compassionate communities, a more holistic and global term which includes small villages, hamlets, states, provinces, townships, etc. All are welcome.
About 8 months ago began the Charter started working with the University of Kansas on aCommunity Compassion Assessment process. Created Charter Tool Box. In English, Spanish, and Arabic, and soon will be available in French.
Check out Charter Tool Box on the Charter website. View the “Steps to Take” document that can help your community identify issues and move forward.
Please send in reports about what is happening in your communities so we they can be posted on the Charter website.
Issues to Consider When Creating a Compassionate Community Campaign
- Important to have a good team with which to work. Broaden perspectives of ideas, diversity of ethnicity, age, interests, etc.
- Bring in partners to the process. Each partner becomes a helpful "owner" to the campaign. Invite partners in all of the Charter's sectors: the arts, business, education, environment, healthcare, peace, religion/spirituality/interfaith, restorative justice and science/research.
- Charter is a network of networks. Facilitate connections.
The Charter will have a major tract at the Parliament of World’s Religions- Oct 14-19, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Great time for networking. Conference will attract about 10,000 people. There will be one day to focus on Compassionate Communities. Mayor Fischer from Louisville will be the Communities plenary speaker and host a panel of mayors from various Charter communities. Hope to have many Charter partners there who can share their activities. Please let us know if you will be attending. We will be planning a Charter meeting during the Parliament proceedings.
Elizabeth Thomas from Exeter, UK just recently gave a talk at Exeter's Pecha Kucha gathering. PechaKucha Night, now in over 800 cities, was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. PechaKucha 20x20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.Each PechaKucha Night is run by a city organizer. They are more like stewards, who look after the PechaKucha spirit in each city. All PKN organizers must have a regular day job and they run PechaKucha Nights only for the inspiration, love, and fun of it. They mostly come from the creative fields. The PKN organizer is usually supported by a big team of volunteers -- when it comes to putting on a PechaKucha Night, the more helping hands the better. Elizabeth is sharing her outline of the PechaKucha so that other Charter members can build on it and consider offering a PechaKucha on the Charter and Compassionate Communities in their own city.
Starting in June 2015, the Charter will be offering to its compassionate communities the opportunity to have a dedicated website through the Charter. We are working with two of our partners: Tekmeca and Good Mojo to offer the communities' its own URL, domain name, and hosting and with an initial 20 hours of customized design of the site. The cost for a year will be approximately $350 for all the complete package. As we move forward with this plan, we are exploring ways of how the Charter can help sponsor "free" or even lower cost sites for new communities who can not afford the cost of their own site.
The Charter for Compassion is beginning to take GIANT leaps forward in engaging Australia. There is a great deal of grassroots organizing and work a foot as Australia will be launching an all campaign for Australia to become a Compassionate Country. Jafer Murat is the lead organizer and anyone from Australia who is interested in joining the campaign can let us know at the Charter. As the Charter continues to work with the Australian campaign we will be creating a case study on how the campaign is being organized so it may be shared with other global communities.
Caren Goldman (Compassionate St. Augustine, FL, USA) Compassionate St. Augustine became a compassionate City, September 9, 2013. Oldest city in the nation. The campaign wants to establish a legacy of compassion. St. Augustine initiated the first community art project of compassion with the creation of a 30-foot monument in the public square. In addition there will be replicas placed throughout the city. Initiated a children’s program about compassion along with a have curriculum. Have over 500 children participating in the program in order to improve social-emotional intelligence. Have sister city in Avilies, Spain. Also, wrorking with human rights and environmental rights issues. Working with other compassionate cities in Florida.
Marie Ropery, (New York City, NY, USA) Question: Marie hasn't started anything yet- should she collaborate with someone else or start herself? Marilyn's response: try to pull together a team. There are people interested in NYC and at least one who has registered NYC as a Compassionate City. We will get you in touch with her. In addition, we can search the Charter database and can send people from NYC (who have expressed interest in the Charter) a letter to invite them to participate. Denver is working its way through neighborhoods. This might be a suggestion for others who are from large cities.
Charles Barker (Compassionate DFW, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, USA)- started cities campaign last year, culminating in Mayor’s luncheon. Fort Worth was first city to become Compassionate FW. Approaching 30 other adjacent cities last year. Richardson, TX is working on an initiative. Richardson City Council is affirming organizations in Richardson that have affirmed the Charter. Richardson is not planning to affirm the Charter as a city. Politics can be interesting. Each community is different- may need different grassroots approaches. Need to have flexibility. The DFW campaign is joining to help the nonprofit, “Feeding the Children Everywhere."
Bob Lawrence (Tulsa, OK, USA) Tulsa is till in the early formative stages of becoming a Compassionate Community- working with city’s Human Rights Commission. In process of writing the resolution for the Mayor’s office. David Breaux was in Tulsa for 2 weeks. Helped raise awareness in Tulsa. Marilyn: Thank you for recognizing David Breaux. He is a Charter Partner. His Compassion Tour is connecting communities.
Peggy Price (Huntington Beach, CA, USA) Signed Charter August, 2013. Played Compassion Games last year. Inspired by the art projects going on. Compassion Games in April- “Love This Place” Huntington Beach will use this theme year-round. Also, working on catching people doing good- will have notes to hand out.
Note: Marilyn: Compassionate Seattle has begun a project: Beloved Community. Take a look at it on the Charter's website. The full project will be launched in June. However there are Beloved Community cards available on the website in English and Spanish.
Lisa Metwaly (Minneapolis, MN, USA). Used to own restaurant “Kindness Café." Lisa is a flight attendant. Currently calling in from the UK. Doing project with the airline- “Kindness Travels”- gathering kindness stories- having conversation cafes. Does creative artwork. Would like to work with a Minnesota campaign.
Sherry Sloan (Ozarks, MO, USA) Just beginning the campaign. Recently had an act of violence in one of the local commnities. Likes “acts of kindness” and working with children. Learning a lot through the call. Wants to be connected with the Charter.
Materials sent in from Community Organizers
See the materials that are attached below as PDFs. Contributions from:
Kinross, Scotland, UK
Santa Maria, CA, USA
Seattle, WA, USA (2014 End-of-Year Report)