Compassionate Austin is a growing grassroots movement united to promote, strengthen, and celebrate compassionate action in Austin, Texas and surrounding communities.

Compassionate Austin Hallmarks!

Austin City Council Resolution- designating Austin as a Compassionate City!

Compassionate Austin Co-op!


The Co-op is an innovative initiative to foster greater connection and collaboration among organizations that promote practical “3D” compassionate action (caring for Others, Self, and the Earth) in the greater Austin area!  Co-op Members assert, and are recognized for, their role in creating Compassionate Austin.  **Click for a spreadsheet of Co-op Member organizations (grouped by topic and focus).

Huston-Tillotson University!

Huston Tillotson-SEAL-COLORnew copyHuston-Tillotson University is part of the Compassionate Austin Leadership and is also a member of the Compassionate Austin Co-op.  Huston-Tillotson University is a historically black institution, offering associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree to a diverse population of students. Huston-Tillotson University is Austin’s oldest institution of higher learning.  Huston-Tillotson has a set of principles called IDEAL (Integrity, Diversity, Excellence, Accountability, Leadership).  These principles guide all things and people of Huston-Tillotson, from operation to students to faculty and staff.

Central Texas Collective for Racial Equity!

The purpose of the Central Texas Collective for Racial Equity (formerly the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities (IRSI)) is to provide tools to help our region reduce our enduring disparities in various arenas, including wage earning, health, education and criminal justice.  The Collective is accountable for setting goals, promoting and stewarding anti-racist strategies guided by and rooted in the IRSI recommendations and measuring progress.  Contact:  Kazique J. Prince.

Citizen Discourse!

Citizen Discourse (a Compassionate Austin Co-op Member) has trained facilitators and a thoughtful citizen literacy curriculum that helps groups connect, develop enhanced communication skills, and further cultivate a culture of respect. Drawing from research in the fields of social psychology and brain science, Citizen Discourse’s methodology applies experiential learning, peer-to-peer sharing, practice, and reflection to support conversations around identity, values, purpose, and life skills like how to navigate confrontation, manage anxiety, and more.  Contact:  Karen Gross.

Compassion 2020!

Citizen Discourse has partnered with United Way for Greater Austin on Compassion 2020.  It is a campaign for empathy and action.  At the heart of the campaign is a social contract, the Compassion Contact, which we hope folks will sign and share with others.  Sign the contract, be a Compassion Activator, share your story, become a sponsor. 

The New Story Festival (and ONLINE New Story Journey)!

Signature Festival- Medal Badge        New Story Festival Logo - white- no date

This is the Signature Community-Wide Event of Compassionate Austin!  The onsite Festival is typically held annually.  The Festival transformed into the ONLINE New Story Journey in May, 2020, providing a dynamic and ongoing social experience.  We invite everyone to come together for courage, creativity, and the common good.  Join in the community-wide celebration, inspiration, and activation of “3D” compassion: caring for others, self, and the Earth!!

Offers & Needs Markets!   The Markets are a powerful way to share resources and make meaningful connections in Austin.  Come together from all walks of life to support each other and create a more caring, interconnected, and thriving community.

Blog Talk Radio show, Dr. Mara Karpel & Your Golden Years!  The radio show is for all who want to live healthfully, passionately, and purposefully, all the way into old age.  Dr. Mara Karpel interviews expert guests, national musicians and artists, and those involved in healing the local and the global communities.  Compassion is a key pillar of living a passionate life!

Sparked in Austin!

Sparked 2

“Sparked” game events are held all over Austin and encourage people to build connection and community through story-sharing. The game is an amazing way to connect with others in a meaningful way! Most folks who come don’t know each other, and many have connected because of the game!  SPARKED is a board game created to bring people together to connect, celebrate and uplift each other. No matter how many times you play or who you play with, it’s always memorable. The game leads to passion-filled conversations and amazing connections.

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership!  Austin is a city of social innovation.  We have exemplary changemakers, modeling and leading positive social change via inspired entrepreneurship.

Community Design and Innovation!  Austin has robust interest and leadership in design-thinking (which has empathy and compassion at its core).  We have leaders who are advancing creative capacity building and inclusive civic engagement and design to address inequities and bias in order to create a city in which ALL may thrive.

Community Alliances!  Austin is constantly evolving with growing diversity of businesses, cultures, etc.  We support new and innovative models of collaboration, alliances, and liasons among organizations, businesses, schools, faith and interfaith communities, and individuals to mobilize and increase “3D” compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth) throughout our community.

The OpenIDEO Austin Chapter!  We launched the OpenIDEO Austin Chapter in December, 2017 as a volunteer forum for design-thinking to address local and global challenges.  In Austin we have created a unique model by being both a Compassionate City and an OpenIDEO City Chapter. We are the 1st city in the world with this innovative “mash-up.” Through design-thinking for social good, we strive to create a city powered by empathy, compassion, and social innovation!  To join, click HERE and then click on “Follow Chapter.”

Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT)!  CIT is offered in Austin and neighboring communities.  CIT is a multi-part training program that cultivates basic human values as skills for the purpose of increasing individual, social and environmental flourishing.

Compassion~Connect 11:11!  We invite you to set your phone to chime every day at 11:11 am. Then, at that time pause a few seconds to energetically, mentally or spiritually, send a good thought to someone, or send a text, or give them a call. This tradition was started a few years back in the Men’s Fellowship Network circle and has since begun spreading throughout Austin. Imagine the effect if everyone in Austin were to do it! Imagine the wave of good that would ripple around the world if all people were to do it.

Compassion Games!  We rally Austin for the Games.  Anyone can participate!  We join with others around the world in compassionate action, power-up our compassion skills, and inspire others through friendly “coopetition”!

Recognition Spotlights! 

Signature Festival- Banner BadgeRecognizing the New Story Festival as the Compassionate Austin Signature Festival & Hallmark for excellence in celebrating, inspiring, and activating compassionate action!

Crop- New- Sig Catalyst

Recognizing the Austin Independent School District as a Compassionate Austin Signature Catalyst for excellence in Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness education!

Display your role in creating Compassionate Austin!

EVERYONE!  Share and report individual and group actions, events, projects, etc. on the Compassion Report Map.  The Map provides a platform for us to measure, benchmark, and increase-over-time our collective impact in our community!

Compassion Report Map Image- 4-24-17


Sign Up!     Compassion Up!     Measure Up!

Scientific research documents the health, educational, social, and economic benefits of compassion. Compassion is a skill set that can be learned and strengthened through practice AND compassion is measurable.

We are a city of social innovation. Social innovation does not exist without compassion. Compassion is what brings people to the table. If we want our community to thrive, we must engage EVERYONE in compassion.  The stronger our compassion, the more people mobilize to help meet our community’s pressing needs.

“Compassion is the power source for social innovation!” (Lesa R. Walker, MD, MPH)

Knowing this, we owe it to ourselves and future generations to make “compassion” a household word.  

Join the movement!

  1. Sign Up!
    • Acknowledge the importance of compassionate action!
    • Attend the New Story Festival (transformed into the ONLINE New Story Journey)!
    • Become a Member of the Compassionate Austin Co-op!
    • Join the OpenIDEO Austin Chapter!
    • Participate in Compassion~Connect 11:11!
    • Donate to the Compassionate Austin Fund!
    • Sign up for the Compassion Games!
    • Sign the Charter for Compassion and become a partner!
  2. Compassion Up!
    • Strengthen compassion skills through practice;
    • Tap the power of compassion to identify and meet needs; and,
    • Celebrate compassion and honor successes
  3. Measure Up!
    • Measure progress and impact as individuals and as a community.                                                                                                                                                                 

Contact us:

Website Dedication:  This website is dedicated in memory of Reverend Dr. Clarence Keith Wright, a wonderful contributor to Compassionate Austin and a true champion of compassion.  In Keith’s own words, “Compassion on!

Reverend Dr. Clarence Keith Wright

Reverend Dr. Clarence Keith Wright

About the Cover Image (The Treaty Oak): https://www.utexas.edu/education/resilience/treaty.html

Treaty Oak- 2015

Treaty Oak- 2015