January 26, 2015 Compassionate Austin Meet-up

Summary of the January 26, 2015 Compassionate Austin Meet-up **

Monday January 26, 2015, 6:30-8:30 pm, The Windsor Park Austin Public Library; 5833 Westminster Drive, Austin, Texas  78723.

**The meeting is dedicated to the memory of Keith Wright- a wonderful Compassionate Austin member and community advocate for compassion.  We will miss his kind and gentle presence. His dedication to compassion led to the University Presbyterian Church signing the Charter for Compassion and being the 1st church in Austin to become a Charter Partner. (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/statesman/obituary.aspx?pid=173892560) 


6:30-6:45 pm:   Welcome and Brief Introductions/ Dedication to Keith Wright — Lesa Walker/ Jessie Metcalf

6:45-7:05 pm:   David Breaux and the Compassion Tour (January, 2015)- collaborations with the Interfaith Action of Central Texas – iACT, the Amala Foundation, Kenneth D. Thompson Sr. – KAZI 88.7 FM, StoryCorps, etc.  —  David Breaux

7:05-7:25 pm:  Amanda and Jaden Winn and The Kindness Journey- Austin visit (http://thekindnessjourney.com/about/) —  Amanda and Jaden Winn

7:25-7:45 pm:  Cunningham Elementary School’s Ashoka Innovation grant to support Compassionate Austin — Amy Lloyd (principal) and Cunningham Elementary students

7:45-8:00 pm:  The Compassionate Austin Needs Assessment and the UT School of Public Health (Austin Regional Campus) and other community partners — Lesa Walker

8:00-8:10 pm:  The 1 Billion Acts of Peace campaign (nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize) and Compassionate Austin’s participation — Lesa Walker

8:10-8:20 pm:  The February 1-7 2015 World Interfaith Harmony Week/ Compassion Games (http://compassiongames.org/) – $25,000 prize to be awarded — Lesa Walker

8:20-8:30 pm:  Closing/ Next Steps/ Interest Sign-Up — Lesa Walker/ Group


Summary Notes (provided by Lesa):

**Announcement:   Jessie shared that, due to time constraints, she will no longer be able to serve as the group’s leader.  She is still passionate about Compassionate Austin and will continue to be involved.  We are thankful to Jessie for her enthusiasm and continuing contributions.  Lesa Walker will resume group leadership at this time. 

We honored Keith Wright, one of our members who passed away recently. In our short time as a group we had come to know Keith’s wisdom, caring, and passion.  He believed in the powerful message of the Charter for Compassion and the vision of Compassionate Austin.  We hope to work with his family to establish a tribute to Keith (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/statesman/obituary.aspx?pid=173892560)

David Breaux spoke of his Compassion Tour (https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecompassiontour/) and his activities in Austin during the month of January, 2015- including a gathering at Arpeggio Grill organized by Martha Ward, an interview by Kenneth Thompson on KAZI 88.7 FM, a StoryCorps interview, collaboration with Simone Talma Flowers and the Interfaith Action of Central Texas with the “Red Bench” at the MLK Festival at Huston-Tillotson and at the University Methodist Church Red Bench event, a presentation at the Amala Foundation’s Sanctuary, and standing on the streets of Austin, gathering peoples’ thoughts about compassion in his journal. People at the meeting had a chance to write in his journal.  Thank you to all of David’s hosts during the month of January!!

One of the wonderful ripple effects of David Breaux’s visit has been the initiation of Compassionate Austin’s collaboration with Compassionate San Antonio (http://sacompassionnet.org/) and Compassionate Louisville (http://compassionatelouisville.org/).  We hope to continue to strengthen these connections.  Mayor Fischer of Louisville has written a letter to Mayor Adler regarding Compassionate Austin and the Compassionate Cities movement.

Jaden Winn (12 yrs old) presented about The Kindness Journey (http://thekindnessjourney.com/). He is on a year-long journey around the US and will be in Austin during the month of February. He introduced his mother Amanda Winn. He has already visited Cunningham Elementary and hopes to visit other schools while he is here.  He had a StoryCorps interview earlier today with a 5th grade student from Cunningham.

Amy Lloyd, Principal of Cunningham Elementary School (AISD), and Cunningham’s art teacher, Ms. Frazier, presented about the school’s recent award of an Ashoka Innovation Grant to support Compassionate Austin. Cunningham students will help promote Compassionate Austin through an “I Am Compassionate Austin” campaign, will design a 3D art piece on the school grounds to represent compassion, and will help design the Compassionate Austin website.  We hope that the school’s “Microsociety” will help champion Compassionate Austin and that the school’s Mayor and City Council will help bring a resolution to the Austin Mayor and City Council to proclaim Austin as a Compassionate City. Cunningham is an Ashoka Changemaker School and is partnering in this grant with another Changemaker School in North Carolina that hopes to encourage their city to be a Compassionate City.

Lesa Walker, Founder and current Leader of Compassionate Austin, talked about the Compassionate Austin Community Assessment.  She will be presenting practicum and thesis opportunities to UT School of Public Health Students and is interested in engaging students from other colleges/universities as well.

Dave Sullivan attended the meeting and shared his background and expertise in city planning.  He is involved with Imagine Austin (http://www.austintexas.gov/department/our-plan-future), Code Next (http://www.austintexas.gov/codenext), etc.  He will be a valuable contributor to the Compassionate Austin Community Assessment process.

Lesa also presented about the 1 Billion Acts of Peace campaign (http://www.1billionacts.org/), nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Compassionate Austin is a member of the campaign.  We are trying to encourage people to sign the Charter for Compassion as an act of peace (contributing to the 1 billion acts).

Compassionate Austin will participate in the February 1-7 World Interfaith Harmony Week/ Compassion Games.  We will try to encourage as many people as possible to sign the Charter for Compassion.

Several of us will be attending the Interfaith Action of Central Texas Red Bench event tomorrow night (1/27/15) (http://interfaithtexas.org/rb/).  All are welcome.  These events are monthly.

People attending the meeting were offered the opportunity to sign the Charter for Compassion and to sign up to indicate their areas of interest in Compassionate Austin.