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Announcing the Global Compassion Council



March 2014 Newsletter

Charter for compassionCharter for Compassion International was formed in January 2014 to help build a global compassion movement. The organization is inspired by the Charter for Compassion, created by Karen Armstrong and the Council of Conscience in 2009, and inherits major contributions made by TED.com, the Fetzer Institute, the Compassionate Action Network, and others. Charter for Compassion International provides an umbrella for people 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.

A newly inaugurated Global Compassion Council is the governing body for the Charter for Compassion International. Recruited from around the world, the Council is a confluence of leaders of the movement in the realms of government, business, education, philanthropy, religion & spirituality, health care, the environment, peace, and social justice. The chair of the Council is Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, a long time activist devoted to peace and social justice. Among many other “firsts,” she was the first woman to be Executive Director of the US office of the World Council of Churches; and the first woman Director of Religion at the historic Chautauqua Institution, a center for religion, education, the arts, and recreation.

The Cities Initiatives

We’re excited to report there are now 204 active city initiatives!  These cover six continents in 39 different countries, from small hamlets and townships to mega-cities. Karachi and Lahore recently initiated their city campaigns.  Sweden is working to be the first compassionate country in Scandinavia.  There are a dozen city initiatives in the Netherlands. In Jordan, in South Africa and now in Israel and Palestine, we are planting small seeds. 

There are 23 mega-cities in the world, 5 of them having over 20 million people, others upwards to 35 million; poverty is now moving from rural areas to cities.  By 2030, over 2 billion people in the world will be living in slums. Over 90% of the urban population of Ethiopia, Malawi, and Uganda, three of the world’s most rural countries, already live in slums. We need to be working on all fronts, in small villages, townships, regional areas, but most importantly we need to see that cities join efforts across the globe. 

We are 7 billion global people.  In 2008 we were just over 6 billion and there were 20 mega-cities.  With this global migration to cities comes massive environmental problems, homelessness and uncontrollable urban sprawl.  We are not in a position to ignore this, nor can we solve it as individuals.  We must work across city, national, regional and international lines.  We must expand the nature of the compassion dialogue—it must become everyone’s dialogue—or at least we must start with those who are ready to listen.  Do you live in a city that has a compassion city initiative?  If not, would you consider joining with friends and relatives to begin an initiative?  We will help get you started.  Come join the compassion movement!

The First Compassionate City Revisits Its Commitment to Compassion

Seattle WA (USA): You are invited to Seattle’s first Regional Compassionate Communities Conference. It is dedicated to everyone in our community who is uncomfortable with the suffering of others and ready to take action. You will hear TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong’s keynote presentation on her theme that “Compassionate Cities are Uncomfortable Cities”.


You will share stories with people directly affected by inadequate access to food, shelter and clothing, quality education, protection from violence and the opportunity to earn a living wage.  You will engage in dialogue around real needs, identify necessary solutions and make commitments to do something about them.

This will not be your typical conference! 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, will, together with the broader community, confront the real challenges of compassion and find hope with kindred spirits willing to act to heal pain and suffering in our midst.

These organizations are partnering in this ground-breaking event: Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Charter for Compassion International, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Real Change, Youth N Action / WSU, Un-leash the Brilliance, Center for Mindfulness, Queen Ann UMC / The Well, St. Patrick Church, and Discover Giving. More are joining every day.

Friday, March 14, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.  Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 Tenth Avenue East; Seattle, WA 98102; Online registration: $30.00 by March 7; $40.00 at the door; Students $20.00. Lunch included. Fee Reductions and Scholarships are available to those who need them (includes free ticket for Karen Armstrong’s 7:30 pm program).  To register for the conference, click here.  

On March 14, 7:30 – 9:30 pm, Karen Armstrong will be the featured speaker for a public celebration of compassion, also located at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle. The annual Compassion in Action awards will be presented this evening. Tickets are $10.00 with online registration by March 7; $20.00 at the door. To register for this event, click here.

Vancouver BC (Canada): Karen Armstrong will be participating in the 30th anniversary of the TED Talks the week of March 17.  Consult the website for updates of talks and events.  Karen is included in TED2014 as one of the most intriguing speakers of all time.

Atlanta GA (USA): At 7:00 pm on April 3rd, 2014 a “Compassion Celebration” will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College to acknowledge the actions people have undertaken to launch the Compassionate metro Atlanta campaign. Karen Armstrong will give the keynote address and will be awarded the highest honor that Morehouse College presents for peace, reconciliation and non-violence.


Compassion Relays and Games

Last week we issued a newsletter to announce the Compassion Relays!   The Relays have begun!  Anyone, any age, can participate in the Relays, now and year-round.  The Relays mobilize each of us for compassion.  We seek, discover, and practice compassion in our daily lives.  We share acts of compassion and pass on compassion person-to-person and group-to-group around the world.

Be sure to check out the Compassion Relays overview!  The overview provides links to FAQs and specific Relays invitations and instructions for individuals, schools and youth groups, organizations / businesses, community groups (community, interfaith, faith-based, other) and government entities.

Remember these two key links for the Compassion Relays!

1)  Find basic information about the Relays

2)  Report your acts of compassion and your Relays experience via the Compassion Map.

Stay in Touch! Do you know that in addition to our Charter for Compassion Facebook page we have a Charter for Compassion Book Club page, a Charter Partner page, and our Voices Education Project page for educators? There is also a Compassion Games FB page.  We also have Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and our own YouTube Channel with over 150 videos.  How do you find links to all of these?  Visit our Charter for Compassion website.

It’s All About Communication!  We are getting serious about movement building and we know the heart of networking is getting the word out.  So we are distributing weekly sector partner newsletters, with a general all member newsletter every six weeks. We are following the newsletters with sector partner calls a week or two after the newsletter is received. 

If you are a partner and aren’t receiving your sector partner newsletter, let us know.  If you are a city organizer and aren’t receiving the newsletter, let us know. We have found that there are occasions when only one partner or organizer is listed in our records, and it would be useful for each person involved to individual receive communications directly from the Charter – so be sure to have each person sign up.

Here is our newsletter schedule and corresponding partner call list.  Each newsletter features a link to register for the call.



Newsletter Date

 Partner Call


March 12

  March 26


March 19

  April 1


March 26

  April 8


April 2

  April 15

Religion, Spirituality, Interfaith

April 9

  April 22


April 16

  April 29

All Member Newsletter

April 23



April 30

  May 6

Want to Sport Compassion? Check out what some of our partners are offering.








 Soha Clothing

 Sonadei Clothing

 Compassion Bracelets



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Charter for Compassion  |  Initiated by the TED Prize  |  contact@charterforcompassion.org

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