Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Keith Runyon


My passion in life, and how it connects to the theme of "The Power of Love and Compassion in Governance":

I am now entering my second career after spending 43 years with my region’s largest newspaper as writer and editor. My focus today is centered on the aspects of civic life that foster compassionate and constructive behavior and change. Specifically, I have been involved with the Center for Interfaith Relations as a “loaned executive” coordinating publications and communications about the annual Festival of Faiths. In that role, I have also drawn upon my wide ranging contacts to recruit speakers and develop content for an 125-page catalogue of this year’s conference, “Sacred Earth Sacred Self.” (If you would like a free copy, please send me an email with your address to

My other major effort currently is to serve as a consultant to the Compassionate Schools Project, a pilot program developed by the University of Virginia School of Education to instill skills in young students that will enable them to be resilient and to cope with anxiety. The curriculum will be based on self-awareness, focused attention and interconnectedness using techniques that neuroscience has shown effective in calming the mind. These include: 1) mindfulness; 2) body awareness and flexibility-- modeled after fitness practices used at gyms across America; 3) social emotional learning, like labeling feelings; and 4) strategies for improved nutrition. The pilot program is being tested in the Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville’s unified school system), with more than 100,000 students representing a diverse, multiracial population. It will last for five years and be subject to close monitoring in association with the University of Louisville.

I look forward to other ways in which my skills and objectives can be utilized in my community.

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