By Emily Liebtag and Janice Walton

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Each day we are inundated with a multitude of stories–some good and some bad–from the news, social media, and word of mouth. Existing at the core of many of these stories is an element of dignity. To be more exact, human dignity is almost always interwoven into each story we read or hear. We see and hear stories of human dignity being elevated or destroyed. Unfortunately, far too often the stories are of instances when people are not demonstrating dignity towards one another. So what can we do–what can our students do–to ensure that human dignity is being elevated throughout the globe? One answer lies within an organization called Global Dignity.

Why Dignity

Since 2006 Global Dignity has engaged individuals, particularly young people, in powerful and immersive learning experiences focused on the universal values of our shared humanity: dignity.

When hearing the word “dignity” it is likely that many ideas and definitions pop into mind and as such it can be difficult to put into words what dignity actually means. The Global Dignity organization and leadership team believe, “every human being has a right to lead a dignified life, and that we all have a common responsibility, and opportunity, to strengthen the dignity of others.” They also believe every human being has the right to lead a dignified life and that leading a dignified life means having the opportunity to fulfill one’s potential, which requires an adequate level of healthcare, education, income and security. Listen and learn more from Co-Founder John Hope Bryant:

Global Dignity has grounded their work in what dignity means for oneself and for others. Over the past eleven years, they have engaged with over 1.4 million young people from more than 70 countries on how to do this through their signature event Global Dignity Day. Yesterday, October 18th, was official Global Dignity Day (see examples from participants below). Young people from around the world (and even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) explored what dignity meant to themselves and how they could extend dignity to others.

The Global Dignity organization recognizes that people all over the world ought to be exploring what dignity is throughout the year. Therefore, Global Dignity is working to provide resources and learning experiences for educators or facilitators seeking to work on dignity (stay tuned for future posts on these resources and how to get involved).

Consider how you already extend or teach dignity, join the conversation at #GlobalDignity and stay tuned for more soon:

  • How do you address dignity in your setting or context?
  • How are you working to lead a more dignified life?
  • Why is teaching dignity to young people important to all of our futures?

For more, see:


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Emily Liebtag
Emily is Director of Advocacy at Getting Smart. She believes every young person deserves a world-class education and partners with educators and education-focused organizations to try and help make that a reality. Emily usually is researching and reading about project-based learning, global education, teacher preparation and place-based education. Connect with Emily at @EmilyLiebtag.
Janice Walton
Janice is a Manager at Getting Smart. She advocates for and advises learning organizations focused on innovations in teaching and learning, and is known for her work in teacher leadership, global education, and STEM. You can connect with Janice on Twitter @JaniceWard09

4 COMMENTS

  1. The right to lead a decent life and the way to a decent life is an opportunity to accomplish a capacity. This requires adequate coverage of health care, education, income and security.

  2. this is so wonderful to read, greetings from Global Dignity in Finland and happy holidays.
    Thanks for this post, for me it is a nice reflection, like a look in the mirror on what we are doing for all these years ( 3 years in Finland) #globaldignityfi #insideoutHelsinki

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