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Affirmed Cities

Seattle, WA, USA

Call of Compassion NW is a resource for compassionate action at the grassroots in our region.

We all know those who are oppressed or underserved in our midst: impacted by addictions, homelessness, racism, domestic abuse and the like, and we often are confronted by the question: "but what can I do?" The reality is It Begins With Us! When we engage the underserved in our neighborhoods and communities, the Call of Compassion NW Network will be there to help us, by:

  • Bringing people together for conversation and to get to know one another.
  • Facilitating dialogue and developing relationships of trust.
  • Shaping goals that address the issues and incorporate community assets in the solutions.
  • Managing project teams that are accountable to achieve sustainable outcomes.


Our Vision

“A world where all of us experience compassion as the fabric of life.”


Our History

Call of Compassion NW is part of a worldwide emergence of what has become known as the Compassionate Communities Movement, inspired by the 2008 Seeds of Compassion event in Seattle, anchored by the deep wisdom of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

More than 154,000 people attended the Seeds of Compassion 5-day community-focused event, experiencing and exploring the relationships, programs and tools that nurture and empower compassion in everyday life.

It was the Charter for Compassion – made possible by a TED Prize awarded to Karen Armstrong – that inspired our Seattle Mayor and Council in 2010 to affirm the Charter, and commit as a partner to the Ten Year Plan for Compassionate Cities.

Call of Compassion NW is drawing on its legacy to support its commitment to awakening compassion in ourselves, our relationships, and our world. We have sponsored a series of conversations and gatherings, which began with our first Regional Compassionate Communities Conference on March 14, 2014. Inspired by internationally recognized TED Prize winner and keynote presenter Karen Armstrong, this gathering was dedicated to everyone in our community who is uncomfortable with the suffering of others, and ready to take action. Participants shared stories with people directly affected by inadequate access to food, shelter and clothing, quality education, affordable healthcare, protection from violence and the opportunity to earn a living wage.

We created dialogue around real needs, identified necessary solutions and made personal commitments to join together to do something about them. We invited people representing a broad cross-section of our community, including those who slip through the cracks of our public safety nets for housing, education, safety, healthcare and employment.

They helped us all learn how to work WITH them rather than FOR them and together we confronted the real challenges of compassion through interactive dialogue within individual areas of interest. Attendees left with fresh ideas and renewed commitments to break through emotional and political logjams, along with connections and collaboration with members of the compassion community devoted to expanding the culture of compassion in our region.

We continue to sponsor conferences, summits and community dialogues; we value our relationships with neighborhoods and have learned that sustainable change requires strong community relationships, a unifying goal, commitment to tangible and measurable outcomes, creativity, accountability and fun.

After months of engaging in the community and meeting with like-minded leaders, we were inspired to refocus the organization on the community needs and relationships we had gotten to know. Call of Compassion NW is the successor organization to Compassionate Seattle, and we are bringing a fresh Vision and Mission and a new hands-on Board ready to serve the Northwest in reducing the burdens on those most severely impacted by poverty, power and privilege in our midst, and on the planet.


Useful Links

Seattle Compassionate City Proclamation – April 24, 2010 (PDF)

Seattle Proclamation for Earth Week – April 18-26, 2015 (PDF)

Call of Compassion



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