Creating space for transformative conversations

Twelve Days of Compassion with Karen Armstrong

2012 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue

March 19 to March 30, 2012

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue hosted a citywide conversation on compassion with world-renowned author and TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong as part of the 2012 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue. The Award recognized Ms. Armstrong for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in advancing understanding about and among world religions, and promoting compassion as a way of life.

Karen Armstrong is one of the most provocative thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world. In 2008, Ms. Armstrong was awarded the TED Prize in support of her call for a council of religious and spiritual leaders to draw up a “Charter for Compassion.” The resulting Charter applies shared moral priorities to foster greater global understanding, and has grown to a considerable international following.

Outcomes noted in our Community Impact Report include:


The Centre worked with a network of community partners to hold “Twelve Days of Compassion” over the period March 19–30. The resulting events created 5,500 person-hours of community engagement with live audiences and engaged hundreds-of-thousands more to explore the concept of compassion through regional and national media coverage.

About the Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue 

The Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue is presented to an individual who exemplifies, internationally, the spirit and programs of SFU's Centre for Dialogue. Recipients of the award have demonstrated excellence and accomplishments in using dialogue to further complex issues of public importance.

Select Media & Commentary

Compassion is...Key to Global Survival, The Vancouver Sun, front page story

In Search of Compassion, The Vancouver Sun, op-ed

Islamophobia: We Need to Accept the 'Other', The Globe and Mail Online, op-ed


Event Resource Highlights

Award Citation

Video: State of the Charter for Compassion Global Address (24:45)

Audio: CBC Radio Studio One Book Club - 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life (1:02:35)

Graphic Recording: Working Compassion Keynote (credit Avril Orloff,

Graphic Recording: Working Compassion Panel (credit Avril Orloff,

Vancouver School Board website: Compassion in Action Curriculum 

Community Impact Report