Federation joins‘relaunch’ of Compassionate Louisville

In 2011, Mayor Greg Fischer declared Louisville a “Compassionate City.”
This month, he and other leaders of the city’s faith, education and business communities, went a step further.
Fischer formally rolled out Compassionate Louisville as a 501.c3 organization during a Nov. 7 press conference at Semple Elementary School.
“Compassion is one of our core city values and is part of our legacy in Louisville,” Fischer said, “from the life and work of compassion champions like Justice Louis Brandeis, Thomas Merton, Muhammad Ali, Anne Braden and others, the creation of Compassionate Louisville will champion our cause of compassion, make it sustainable and ensure it lives on beyond any administration.”
Dr. Muhammad Babar will chair the new organization and Matt Goldberg, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, will serve on its board.
“The idea is there are so many acts of compassion going on around the city,” Goldberg said. “We wanted an organization to keep tabs on all the wonderful things going on in the city.”
Other organizations represented on the board are the Mayor’s Office, Global Game Changers, the University of Louisville, the Muhammad Ali Center, Community Foundation of Louisville, Spalding University, Norton Healthcare, Center for Interfaith Relations, WE Day Kentucky, Charter for Compassion, Greater Louisville Inc. and the Jefferson County Public Schools.
Eventually, Compassionate Louisville will go live with a website, where acts of compassion can be showcased. Faith-based and civic groups will be able to contribute their compassionate acts to the database.
“All the good deeds the Jewish community is doing will be highlighted,” Goldberg said.
He described the Nov. 7 press conference as a “relaunch” of the Compassionate Louisville drive, something that began with a Texas-based organization. Louisville applied in 2011 to the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities, receiving its Compassionate City designation.
The city is part of the ICCC. See its website at charterforcompassion.org/communities.
The Compassionate Louisville board has yet to meet, but according to Babar, the organization will support and empower existing local organizations that are doing year-round compassion work.
It also will create connections and partnerships to support the needs of the community.
“Our vision is to create a place where all people in our community have the opportunity, desire and support to engage in year-round service and compassion,” said, Babar, who chairs Muslim Americans for Compassion. “Our purpose is simple: to empower all people to flourish.”

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