Mayor of Compassionville!

by | Nov 5, 2014 | Cities - Mayors, Stories of Compassion, Unity Games, Ways to Play


Photo credit: Michael Shumate

We first met Nashville’s Dina Capitani while in Louisville to celebrate their 1 Year Anniversary of becoming a Compassionate City. We were, simply put, in absolute awe of her spirited determination and fierce commitment to prove that Nashville was the most compassionate place on Earth.  We quickly learned not to underestimate Dina’s sweet disposition and gentle spirit; she is on a clear mission to convince everyone around her why the Compassion movement is so critically needed in her town. With her passion, people are listening and taking her vision seriously.

As the Executive Assistant with the Metro Human Relations Commission, Dina identified the Compassion Games as a strategic effort to activate key partners who can work with citizens in hands-on projects to make the community a safer, kinder, more just place to live. Compassion, she recognized, is simply good for the health of a city. This may be the reason that Forbes named Nashville the #2 City of Compassion in the US in 2012.

Championing the Compassion Games in Louisville – or should we say “Compassionville” (Compassionville is Nashville’s team name)(artwork ala artists Mark Eatherly, Massood Taj and Kathy Tupper), Dina led her city to take part in 22 events during the 11 day challenge of the Games. The Compassionville team were #1 this year in “Dollars Raised for Non-Profits,” raising an astonishing $228,876.  (You can see the fundraising project list and descriptions at

Video created by the Scarritt-Bennett Center

Dina says she is committed to changing what it means to compete, and believes that it’s the reporting that makes the Games so important. “It’s part of playing the Game, and how can everyone win if everyone doesn’t play?” She recognizes how important it is to share what has been done in the name of compassion. The reports inform others where, she says, “compassion is alive.” Dina recently told a Nashville community newspaper, “What you focus on expands, so when you focus on the good, it inspires people.”

Ms. Capitani is also quick to credit and give special thanks to Tom Negri, Deb Palmer George, The Metro Human Relations Commission and Mayor Karl Dean for supporting the Compassionate Nashville campaign!

Dina isn’t just a committed and powerful community builder; she is also a talented singer and songwriter. Even so, she was surprised that the song she had written in honor of the compassion went on to become the theme song of the Compassion Games, serving as an anthem for meetings and local events. Dina’s song has clearly captured the spirit, values and essence of the Games! (Rap lyrics written and performed by Bobby Solomon)

Listen to this incredible track below!

It’s clear that Dina is living the Compassion Games in body, mind, and creative spirit!

The Compassion Games Music Challenge

Good music is good medicine. And good medicine is a thing we need more of. That’s why we are so impressed and moved by the gift of this song. We are proud to announce that this catchy and meaningful song is this year’s anthem, and Dina’s inviting all musical compassionistas to collaborate on an album!

 If you’re an artist or a musician, we invite you to create or dedicate a song to compassion. Hip hop, reggae, folk, gospel, whatever the genre, we want to hear it, share it, and spread that musical medicine. Our intent is to compile these pieces as part of a Compassion Games album, and share it with all who strive to live and play compassionately in the world.

 We also want to thank Dina for encouraging us to add an Arts and Culture League in the few weeks leading up the Games. This opened the proverbial gates for the wonderful 6 Degrees of Creativity out of Ohio , the Compassion and Insight Center out of Boise, Idaho, and the other 9 Teams that signed up to play with compassionate so creatively with such short notice.

 We’ve learned that we can always count on Dina to identify what needs to be done in this work. She is a voice of clarity and reason, and is often the first to jump into the fray to make something happen. She’s just getting started with more ideas and contributions to come, that she hinted at with a twinkle in her eye. Until then, enjoy our new song and hold on for what more will come from the brilliant Dina Capitani and Compassionate Nashville.

(Lyrical Excerpt from Dina’s Compassion Games Theme Song)

“Those we used to call our enemies,


turn to friends through empathy.

We’ve been playing games for infinity,

now we extend compassionate energy.

We encourage healing in our circle,

turn away from actions that are hurtful.

We can help each other leap hurdles,

and it’s personal, it’s universal.

If you suffer, then we suffer,

we need sisters, we need brothers.

Abundance floods our cupboards

there’s no reason anyone should hunger.

A rope is stronger with multiple strands

so we’re going to advance

and we’re holding hands

showing compassion as our ultimate plan!”

Rap lyrics written and performed by Bobby Solomon