Toledo joins Compassionate Cities movement; April events plannedWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Nick Batt, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
“It’s all about ordinary people making a difference.”
That’s how Judy Trautman, a retired teacher and co-chair of the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio, describes the Compassion Networking Convention scheduled for noon to 8 p.m. April 25 at the SeaGate Convention Centre, 401 Jefferson Ave.
As a part of Compassionate Cities movement, the convention, which is free and open to the public, will bring together an assortment of community action, nonprofit, government, civic, corporate, arts and faith-based groups.
Based on the writings of Karen Armstrong, an inter-religious scholar and winner of the 2008 TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Prize of $100,000, the movement seeks to build healthy local communities by spotlighting and supporting existing groups and institutions.
Toledo’s convention, which will include more than 100 participant organizations, will provide an opportunity for these groups to network among themselves and raise awareness of their resources for the community.
From Belfast to Cincinnati, more than 25 cities from all over the world have accepted the challenge to become a Compassionate City. Another 196 are in the process of becoming Compassionate Cities.
Among the critical community issues to be addressed are Safe Homes/Streets, Food Sufficiency, Arts, Education, Care for the Suffering, Youth Engagement, Inter-Cultural Relations, the Arts, Health Care, Employment and Housing.
Toledo and Lucas County have adopted resolutions supporting the goal of making continual efforts to make the community more compassionate. Mayor D. Michael Collins recently declared April as a Month of Compassion.
The Lucas County Commissioners in their resolution designating the county as a compassionate community stated “compassion programs could ultimately save cities and counties tax dollars.”
Collins, Toledo City Council and the Lucas County Commissioners will hold a signing ceremony at One Government Center with a news conference and reception on the morning of April 25. Collins’ proclamation, quoting from the Charter for Compassion, states that “any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred, or disdain is illegitimate.” Trautman will receive the documents on behalf of the Compassionate Cities Campaign. In addition to the convention, the initiative will sponsor a series of community service days throughout the month.
The culmination of the month will be the 13th annual MultiFaith Council Banquet, set for 4 p.m. April 27 at the Franciscan Center at Lourdes University, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvanis. The keynote speaker will be Fr. Jim Bacik, Catholic priest and theologian. Campus tours, educational displays and an optional Buddhist meditation are part of the program. In addition, the banquet will honor the 2014 Heroes of Compassion: Rep. Teresa Fedor, Janice Grimes, Alice Mosiniak, Dr. Anne Ruch, Yusuf Ali and Melinda Sutton. Prior recipients include familiar names such as the St. Vincent dePaul Society, Cherry Street Mission, Judge Charles Doneghy, local businessman John Shousher and Wanda Butts, who founded The Josh Project to teach inner city kids to swim after her son Josh drowned at the age of 16 in 2006. CNN named her one of its Heroes in 2012
The MultiFaith Council includes a number of faith-based groups. Trautman and her husband, Woody, co-chair the council, which seeks to promote inter-religious dialogue, respect and understanding. Trautman said Toledo is quite welcoming of newer, more diverse religious communities. She points to the experience of thousands of ordinary citizens who encircled the Toledo Islamic Center when it was attacked after 9/11. The community “needs to re-brand itself,” she said, and raise awareness of all the resources available for those in need.
Trautman said compassion needs to build on its success while not ignoring the problems that still exist and this month and these events are the first steps in an ongoing process.
For more information contact Trautman at email@example.com or call (419) 475-6535.
Tags: Alice Mosiniak, Cherry Street Mission, Compassion Networking Convention, Compassionate Cities, Dr. Anne Ruch, Heroes of Compassion, Janice Grimes, Jim Bacik, John Shousher, Judge Charles Doneghy, Judy Trautman, Lourdes University, Melinda Sutton, Multifaith Council of Northwest Ohio, Rep. Teresa Fedor, St. Vincent dePaul Society, The Josh Project, Toledo Islamic Center, Wanda Butts, Woody Trautman, Yusuf Ali