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Affirmed Cities

Tucson, AZ, USA

Serving the Southern Arizona region, the purpose of The Compassion Coalition of Tucson is to support regional compassion programming by collaborating in the creation and marketing of various initiatives sponsored by our respective organizations. The first community action of The Compassion Coalition was to draft and submit a resolution of compassion to the Tucson City Council, which was unanimously passed on April 7, 2015. More than a simple moniker for the city of Tucson, the forthcoming initiatives generated by this resolution will function to expand collaboration in our city and restore compassion as a central ethic in all spheres of community life.

Their next event is partnering with the Loft Cinema to bring the film “Kindness is Contagious” to the Tucson theater on July 16th.

In addition to creating and coordinating this coalition, Rev. Teresa Cowan Jones is the director of Sacred Space, a local weekly gathering in Tucson whose mission is to cultivate compassion that leads to social justice so that all beings may thrive.

Sacred Space is co-sponsoring, with the Tucson Mayor’s Office, the inaugural launch of the Mayor’s Book Club, with the mayor and former city manager participating in a small group to discuss 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong. The mayor, upon Sacred Space's suggestion, is populating the group with people among whom social and spiritual capital needs to be built in order to move regional issues forward. The Mayor’s Book Club will also invite city-wide reading of the book and invite people into book clubs for which facilitator training has been developed. Sacred Space will be coordinating the book groups through partner organizations and have already facilitated five groups.

Compassion Education, through 8-week courses, is also offered in the area through various organizations.

Compassionate City Resolution

WHEREAS, compassion is a unifying value and ideal that guides and compels people of all backgrounds, perspectives, creeds, and cultures to treat all living beings with equity, civility, respect, and justice; and

WHEREAS, we acknowledge our responsibility to make compassion a clear and empowering force for children, families, neighborhoods, and communities; and

WHEREAS, compassionate actions and policies produce positive benefits in all sectors of civic and community life, including safety, education, religion, public health, business, politics, and international relations; and

WHEREAS, Tucson residents are a diverse spectrum of racial, ethnic, cultural, social, and religious groups of all ages who demonstrate compassion in their homes, schools, businesses, community organizations, and border areas; and

WHEREAS, Tucson’s compassion and resilience was never more powerfully expressed than in the tragedy caused by the shootings of 19 of its citizens on January 8, 2011; and

WHEREAS, there are still many instances where individuals and groups fail to live compassionately and with civility thus reaffirming our commitment to broadening compassion in all sectors of our community; and

WHEREAS, Tucson and Arizona have previously demonstrated their commitments to compassion through the 2011 Tucson Mayor's Accord for Civility adopted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Arizona congressional delegation, and through the 2003 resolution of Arizona as a Golden Rule State by the Arizona legislature; and

WHEREAS, the International Campaign for Compassionate Communities Initiative is a global network of 258 cities, including Washington, D.C., that challenges its partners to make the ethic of reciprocity (i.e., Golden Rule) the central moral principle in all sectors of public life including government, education, religion, business, law enforcement, healthcare and nonprofit organizations; and

WHEREAS, joining the Compassionate Communities Initiative deepens the quality and commitment of Tucson in affirming and stimulating compassion in community services, projects, and policies,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Tucson City Council and Mayor hereby affirm the Charter for Compassion and authorize Tucson to be registered with the International Campaign for Compassionate Communities Initiative in which citizens, government, and institutions work together to embrace and apply compassionate solutions and encourage community service to meet the needs of families, friends, communities, and neighbors.

Contact: Teresa Cowan Jones; Email:



Compassion Coalition Website

Sacred Space Website

Sacred Space Facebook

Radio Interviews with Teresa Jones

Religious or Not, Seekers of Understanding Gather in Sacred Space (via Arizona Daily Star)



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