Created in 2008 by religious historian, scholar and best-selling author, Karen Armstrong, the Charter for Compassion is a global, cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life. Over 2 million people worldwide have signed the Charter. Grounded in a self-organizing structure of best practices, the Charter for Compassion organization engages individuals and communities in collaborative partnerships in compassion.
The Sisters, Associates and Companions of the Divine Compassion affirmed the exploration of Charter for Compassion in 2020, and began to organize internally to develop a local initiative. In 2022, a Collaboration for Compassion (CfC) Advisory Committee, including Sisters, Associates, Companions and Alumnae, was established, and early research about establishing a Community of Compassion pilot program in White Plains began.
In 2023, the Divine Compassion Community, including Sisters, Associates and Compassion, became members of the Charter for Compassion organization.
During the past year, members of the CfC Advisory Committee have met with government officials, nonprofit and membership organizations, corporate citizens and more to:
- Identify “discomforts” in the White Plains community—those issues that are causing pain and suffering to individuals or groups or the entire community—which can be addressed and relieved through compassionate action.
- Find out what is already being done, or has been done, to address the most challenging issues in White Plains, and learn what has worked and not worked, and, recognize and acknowledge those successes.
- Invite people to join us in creating a Community of Compassion in order to give voice and services to people in need in White Plains.
We learned that homelessness is one of the top three issues of concern in White Plains. With insight and guidance from a diverse group of stakeholders, it was decided that a Community of Compassion in White Plains should focus on giving voice and, ultimately, collaborative and comprehensive services to those experiencing homelessness in the White Plains community.
In December 2023, we gathered representatives from several entities in White Plains, including government officials, health care, faith-based, nonprofit and corporate representatives to identify priority focus areas for the initiative.
In January 2024, our proposal to create a Community of Compassion initiative in White Plains was reviewed and approved by the Charter for Compassion organization. In February 2024, representatives from the Charter provided guidance on best practices for consideration as we move forward. Our Collaboration for Compassion committee in White Plains will continue to meet to set goals and plan for the launch of this initiative.
To learn more or join us in our efforts, visit https://charterforcompassion.org/. Individuals, families and businesses/organizations are welcome to join the Charter.