Our Purpose: To build trust for a strong, effective government of care at all levels, public and private, by strengthening caring citizen excellence - #GovernWithCare

The Empathy Surplus Project was formed on August 27, 2009 as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the State of Ohio. We are a 501(c)4 tax-exempt organization. We are modeled after Rotary International.

We now know from the latest insights of the brain that there are two components to law making: material and cognitive. The material component are the political nuts and bolts of a law or policy, and the Empathy Surplus Project does not endorse candidates or ballot initiatives.

The cognitive component to law making is the good idea that has to be in the brains of human beings for a law to make sense. To help build trust for a strong, effective government of care and responsibility to its residents, the guiding principles of the Empathy Surplus Project focus on the cognitive component of law making. We will:
  1. Support the latest brain research by Dr. George Lakoff and colleagues that strengthens caring citizen excellence;
  2. Promote local development of caring citizen excellence that respects, protects, and promotes human rights through a federation of neighborhood Caring Citizens' Congresses;
  3. Help those congresses implement their caring policy directions; and 
  4. Build an empathy surplus in our expanding spheres of influence through partnership with effective government, ethical business, and other civil society organizations.

CaringCitizenCongress.jpgOur Declaration

I am a caring citizen.

I occupy compassion.

I here highly resolve that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

I am a person with human rights.

I care for my own Safety and Happiness and that of others.

I am the solution to expanding life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And for the support of this declaration, joining caring citizens known and unknown, we mutually pledge to one another our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor

Our Values

Empathy, Responsibility and Strength - Empathy and responsibility for self and others, basic human rights, are strengthened when people govern both privately and publicly with these values, caring for one another, leading to freedom and fairness for all.

Protection, Fulfillment and Fairness - When you care for someone, even people you don't know, you want them to be protected, their hopes and dreams fulfilled, and to be treated fairly.

Freedom, Opportunity, and Prosperity - Fulfillment in life comes from being free. Our communities must have sufficient prosperity for its residents to have the opportunities to care for themselves and each other.

Community, Service, Cooperation - Children are shaped by their communities. Shared responsibility requires serving and helping to shape that community. That service above self requires cooperation.

Trust, Honest, and Open Communication - Effective cooperation requires trust. Building trust, or a trust / brand, requires the consistent, honest, and open communication of these core American values in all aspects of our lives.

How to Join

There are several ways to participate and the first way is to email your contact information to info@empathysurplus.com. The members of the Empathy Surplus Project are neighborhood think-and-do-tanks called Caring Citizens' Congresses. You join the Empathy Surplus Project by joining a neighborhood congress and / or one of its working groups. Don't have one in your neighborhood and want to start one? Email your contact information to info@empathysurplus.com. Don't have time to participate and still want to support our work? Why not become a Monthly Freedom Investor?

The Caring Citizens' Congress: Your Neighborhood Think-And-Do Tank

The First Caring Citizens' Congress of Wilmington, Ohio (FCCC), is our first congress. A community of practice it's weekly assemblies are attended by members and fellows from Wilmington, Ohio; Sugarcreek Township, Ohio; and UC Berkeley Campus. This is made possible by web cam technology. 

To start a congress in your neighborhood, you will first join this congress and / or one of its working groups. The weekly gathering lasts an hour. Half of weekly time together is spent in discussing and reflecting on what we're leaning from Dr. George Lakoff about how to apply the latest insight of the brain to our policy direction concerns in our sphere of influence. 

When our average weekly attendance gets to twelve, the congress will petition the Empathy Surplus Project governing board to begin a process to create two organizations out of this first one. The FCCC will keep its identity and the new congress will create its new identity. Here is the Facebook link of the FCCC.

Caring Policy Directions

Cognitive policy is about what the public has to have in its brain in order to support material policy - the good idea. Caring Citizens' Congresses focus on cognitive policy called caring policy directions. The Empathy Surplus Project helps promote the policy directions of its member congresses. Currently there are three policy directions of the First Caring Citizens' Congress:

  1. Health and healthcare as a human right;
  2. Caring economies filled with ethical business; and
  3. Poison-free communities.

Our Four Empathic Activities

We are a 501(c)4 organization focused on building an empathy surplus in our world through respect for and protection and promotion of human rights and human well-being. We are a neighborhood think-and-do media group, modeled after Rotary, committed to building trust for effective governance in our personal spheres of influence with Four Empathic Activities: 

  • We will inwardly digest and use the values of empathy and responsibility for self and others in daily conversation “in order to form a more perfect Union.”
  • We will invest in our peaceable public assemblies and weekly pledge “our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor” to strengthen compassion occupation and identify caring policy directions.
  • We will invite our neighbors and public officials to join us for the sake of freedom and human dignity now and forever.

Sample Agenda of Weekly Congress in Its 1.5 Hour Session

The agenda is similar to weekly civic organizations everywhere like Rotary, Kiwanis, or Lions only smaller for the sake of fostering conversations that matter in these communities of practice.

  • Gather in convening venue (usually a public place with wi-fi). There are currently three. Weekly peaceably assemblies fulfill the "Investment" component of the 4-Occupy Compassion Exercises.
  • Join Google Hangout that connects participating venues.
  • 1st 30 minutes spent in fellowship and a meal.
  • 2nd 30 minutes focuses on the "Inward Digestion" component of the 4-Occupy Compassion Exercises. It begins with the Caring Citizen Declaration; and continues with discussion of this week's reading or video presentation by Dr. Lakoff or colleagues. The subject matter is always on framing the local debate around our values of empathy and responsibility for self and others. Once a quarter a live program could be substituted for the presentation with discussion as usual.
  • 3rd 30 minutes is spent focused on our individual and local efforts at the "implementing" and "inviting" components of the 4-Occupy Compassion Exercises. It ends with adjournment and the recitation of our 4-Occupy Compassion Exercises.

Congressional Ambassador to Council of Compassion

The first ten Congresses will provide one ambassador each to the Council of Compassion, the governing body of the Empathy Surplus Project. Don’t have a neighborhood Congress? Become a new Congress envoy and occupy compassion in your neighborhood.



Contact a Member for more information

Clinton County, OH

New Vienna, OH

  • Gary Evans, adjunct - gary.evans@empathysurplus.com - 937-481-1134

Wilmington, OH

  • Angie Calendine, adjunct - acalendine@cinci.rr.com - 937-725-9482
  • Kathryn Palmer, adjunct - kathryn@cinci.rr.com - 937-302-6836
  • Karen Reed, delegate - karensr47@gmail.com - 937-776-1983
  • Miriam Speaight, delegate - mrspeaight221@yahoo.com - 937-302-6343
  • Chuck Watts, delegate - chuck.watts@empathysurplus.com - 937-725-4317

Green County, OH

Beavercreek, OH

  • Stan Musick, adjunct - stan39@outlook.com - 937-232-5775

Bellbrook, OH

  • Anita Lewis, adjunct - anita.lewis@empathysurplus.com - 937-902-0964

Montgomery County, OH

Centerville, OH

  • Nancy Evans, adjunct - nancekate@gmail.com - 937-654-6884

Warren County, OH

Clarksville, OH

  • Samantha Fox, adjunct - swhisenhunt@live.com - 513-405-9336
For information email info@empathysurplus.com


Subpages (1): Fellowship Program