VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Karen Armstrong, the world-renowned religious scholar, author, historian, and former Catholic nun, today announced the re-launch of CharterForCompassion.org– the online home of the rapidly growing Charter for Compassion movement.
The new site will feature resources for activists, news, and stories of compassion from around the world—coming from places as diverse as Kentucky and Pakistan. The aim is to create a platform for compassionate news, an incubator for compassionate ideas, and a hub for compassionate action to accelerate the pace of change in society.
"War, poverty, political partisanship, and economic injustice are all poignant examples of the dangerous state of human affairs and how desperately we need compassion in both public and private life," said Karen Armstrong. "But stories can touch us, teach us, make us aware of the ubiquity of human pain, and inspire us to act. Our hope is that by creating an online meeting place for the compassion movement we can inspire action and make the Charter's message universally heard, just as it is needed most."
In 2008, Armstrong won the TED Prize and was granted the opportunity to create the Charter for Compassion, a document aimed at restoring the Golden Rule—treating others as we wish to be treated ourselves—to the center of religious, moral, and civic life. The Charter was drafted by a multi-faith, multi-national council of religious leaders in 2009.
Since then, the Charter has become the heart of a global compassion movement, affirmed by more than 85,000 people, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, HH the Dalai Lama, HM Queen Rania of Jordan, and leaders in business such as Sir Richard Branson.
"You could make the case that compassion is the best idea humanity ever had," said Chris Anderson, TED Curator. "Through her TED Prize wish Karen has found a way to inspire individuals around the world to make space for compassion in everything they do. And now through the new Charter site, we'll be able to share inspiring stories of compassion for everyone to see."
Led by veteran journalist Kristen Miller, editorial content on the redesigned site will be updated regularly and feature inspiring international stories about communities and individuals that have affirmed the Charter.
To date, more than 80 cities have become involved in the Compassionate Cities campaign, 15 schools in Pakistan, Jordan and Canada have embraced the Compassionate Schools movement, and Compassion in Healthcare has started to spread from the Netherlands to the United States.
Examples of compassion inspired by Armstrong's TED Prize wish can now be found around the globe: in Karachi, Pakistan, one of the most dangerous cities on earth, students have initiated a Compassionate Schools campaign; in Amman, Jordan locals are launching a region-wide Compassionate Cities campaign; and in Louisville, Kentucky the mayor has called upon city residents to commit 50,000 acts of compassion and public service during Derby week.
"In cities and countries around the world extraordinary compassionate movements are taking root," said TED Prize Director Amy Novogratz. "From Amman, Jordan to State Correctional Facilities in Washington State, people are taking action, bringing the Charter to life. And now with the new Charter site we can spread the movement even further—to create a better, more compassionate, planet for future generations."
For the first time since the Charter's launch, Armstrong will present "The State of the Charter for Compassion" via Livestream on Thursday March 22nd. The presentation, which will follow her lecture "What is Religion?" hosted by Simon Fraser University's Center for Dialogue in Vancouver, will feature updates on the movement, inspiring true stories of compassion, an introduction to the new website, and a worldwide call to action.
The lecture and Charter update will be archived at both locations for future viewing.
To get involved go to: CharterforCompassion.org
About the Charter for Compassion: The Charter is a call to restore the Golden Rule to the center of religious, moral, and civic life through listening, understanding, and treating all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Not simply a statement of principle, the Charter is a summons to take creative, practical and sustained action to create a just economy and a peaceful world. Drafted in 2009 by a multi-faith, multi-national council of thinkers, leaders, and citizens as part of Karen Armstrong's TED Prize wish, the Charter has been affirmed by more than 80,000 individuals, communities, cities, and schools. You can view Armstrong's 2008 TED Prize talk and learn more at http://charterforcompassion.org.
About the TED Prize: The first award in 2005 was born out of the TED Conference and a vision by the world's leading entrepreneurs, innovators, and entertainers to change the world – one wish at a time. The reward: $100,000, the TED Community's array of talent and expertise, and the leadership of a TED Prize team led by Amy Novogratz. What began as an unparalleled experiment to leverage the resources of the TED Community to spur global change has evolved into one of the world's most prestigious prizes. From Bono's ONE Campaign ('05 recipient) to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution ('10 recipient), the TED Prize is helping to combat poverty, take on religious intolerance, improve global health, tackle child obesity, advance education, and inspire art around the world. Learn more at www.tedprize.org
Contact: Courtney Hamilton, 646.448.9925, [email protected]
SOURCE TED Prize