Dignity Letter — September 2023
charity_ support and volunteering concept - close up of volunteers s hands holding red heart at distribution or refugee assistance center
Dear Friend,

In this edition of our Dignity Letter, we are sending strength to all who have been caught up in recent tragic disasters and conflict around the world, including floods in Libya and the earthquake in Morocco.

We are especially thinking of our friends on Maui who have suffered an unspeakable wildfire disaster. Please read more below.

We encourage our Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) friends, colleagues, and partners to find many dignifyng ways to support all those who are suffering from these global crises.
During these especially difficult and anxious times, we hope the topics in this letter strengthen your courage and energy to keep working for dignity in the world!

  • A Message of Love to Our Friends in Hawai'i
  • You're Invited: Celebrating Seeds of Dignity — 20 Years of Global Collaboration!
  • World Dignity University Initiative Colloquium — Video and Papers for You!
  • Turning Courage and Compassion Into Action — News from the HumanDHS Community
  • Dignity Press Presses Onward — Howard Richard's Book in Support of a Dignity Economy
  • Celebrating Francisco Gomes de Mato's 90 Years of Speaking Dignity
  • Western Institute of Social Research Is Accepting Students
  • Thanks to All of Our Sharegivers!

Please note: Rather than sending numerous Dignity Letters throughout the year, HumanDHS sends fewer, longer letters. We warmly welcome your feedback about this approach.
A Message of Love to Our Dignity Friends in Hawai'i
heal a broken heart
As a community, we were shocked by the wildfire that took lives and livelihoods, devastating a cultural center and a historic treasure, the remarkable Banyan tree in Lahaina.

Our 2009 HumanDHS Conference took place in Hawai'i during the 50th anniversary of Hawai'i's controversial annexation by the United States. We will never forget learning about the efforts of the Hawai'i Pono'ī Coalition, formed to educate all people about Hawai'i's true history, the Native Hawaiian people, and the culture that makes Hawai'i a place like no other.

Last February, Chipamong Chowdhury, our nomad monk, sat with the historic Lahaina Banyan tree (see picture). All of us join him in expressing our sorrow: "It is heartbreaking to see how the 150-years-old Banyan tree has been completely destroyed by fire in Maui!" Chipa also notes there are reports of life in the roots of this tree, despite the fierce impact of the fire.

We hope the Banyan roots and the deep roots of the Hawaiian people unite this community in courage, love, and strength throughout the difficult days ahead.
Please find ways to support the Hawaiian people.
"Never cease to act because you fear you may fail."
- Queen Lili'uokalani
quote from the Hawai'i Pono'ī Coalition
at the University of Hawai'i 2009, Honolulu
A heart shaped glass rests on a sandy beach with the reflection of the evening sun.
Practices of a Hawaiian:
Having the sensitivity and awareness to assist without being asked
Evelin Lindner, Princess Lehuanani,
and Linda Hartling
Lahaina Public Library
Annual Dignity Workshop: 20 Years of Collaboration!
You are Invited!
Workshop 2019
Annual Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict

Friday, December 8, 2023
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
(New York City time)
You are Invited!
Celebrating 20 Years of Connection and Collaboration!

We look forward to welcoming you to our annual HumanDHS workshop! Our "dignicommunity" is celebrating 20 years of global collaboration!

Reflecting on two decades of dignity work, we would love to hear your stories. How did you transform cycles of humiliation? How did you plant seeds of dignity to save lives and the planet?

Please Note: This workshop will be a hybrid meeting. Zoom registration is open; in-person participation is limited.

Our first Workshop on Transformation Humiliation and Violent Conflict was convened by the highly esteemed Morton Deutsch on July 7th, 2003 at the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, which eventually became the Morton Deutsch-ICCCR. This launched us into our first global dignity conference in Paris at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (Sept 12th-13th, 2003).

Since then we have hosted two events each year, bringing together colleagues and friends who share a deep commitment to cultivating the dignity of all people and the planet. In addition to our New York City workshop, we host one global conference in a different world region each year, which has led us since 2003 to Europe (Paris, Berlin, Oslo, Dubrovnik), Costa Rica, China, Hawai'i, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, New Zealand, South Africa, Rwanda, Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, Indore in Central India, and the Amazon in Brazil.
A Labor of Love ❤️

One of the most remarkable aspects of our dignicommunity is that our efforts have been a labor of love, maintained entirely by all who share their time and energy as a gift. We are an entirely pro bono, self-funding, 501c3 not-for-profit endeavor.

Some may be surprised to learn how this approach preserves our intellectual independence, organizational sustainably, and social and economic inclusivity (e.g., we do not charge registration or membership fees). We happily accept donations, but we do not spend time and money seeking money. This is not an easy path, yet it sustains the essential integrity of our work for dignity .

How do we fund our events? We divide expenses equality and invite those who can to contribute according to their ability — dignifunding is our way for than 20 years!
Dignity Press: Publications from Global Voices!

Our community collaborations have inspired the development of the Dignity Press, with more than 30 books that explore the dynamics of human dignity and humiliation from diverse standpoints and global perspectives. Contributing authors are from all over the world. We are especially thankful to Uli Spalthoff's remarkable support of Dignity Press publications and technical contributions the World Dignity University initiative.
Book or tree of knowledge concept with an oak tree growing from an open book and letters flying from the pages
A World Dignity University Initiative for a World of Dignity!

The World Dignity University initiative (WDUi) aims to become a global role model of excellence in scholarship, dignifying dialogue, and intellectual cooperation across disciplines, institutions, communities, and national boundaries, while striving to put dignity at the heart of learning! Under the inspirational leadership of David Yamada, we look forward to cultivating ongoing conversations and ideas for action to realize the vision of the WDUi.
Practicing Dignity Through Dignifying Dialogue

Most of all, we are inspired by the ongoing conversations, collaborative activities, and global efforts in activism that have grown out of HumanDHS connections and dialogue. We applaud the New York Dignity Now group (since 2015) under the stewardship of Michael Britton, Janet Gerson, and Elaine Meis. We also applaud the Hameln Dignity Now Dignity group, that has been meeting in shared leadership since 2019.

What is more, we celebrate the countless micro and macro efforts cultivated by our HumanDHS members who risk their lives and livelihoods to create a more dignifying world for all of us (please see more examples below).
We wish to express our deepest appreciation to the Morton Deutsch-International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR), especially Director Peter Coleman, Associate Director Danielle Coon, President Thomas Bailey, and all of our friends at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City. The MD-ICCCR has been our visionary institutional partner since our very first workshop.

We Hope You Can Join Us
to Celebrate 20 Years of Dignifying Collaboraton!
Conceptual peace and cultural diversity symbol of multiracial hands making a circle together around the world the Earth globe on blue sky background. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.
Celebrating Seeds of Dignity: A 20-Year Celebration!
You are Invited!
Zoom participation is open; please submit your registration below.
In-person participation is limited; please email your request here.
   Registration closes Monday, December 4, 2023
World Dignity University: Collaborative Colloquium
Collaborative Colloquium:
In this interactive video, we hear an inspiring presentation by Stephanie Knox Steiner, Ph.D., assistant professor and coordinator of the Peace Education Master’s Program at the UN-Affiliated University for Peace in Costa Rica. Who was joined by two of her students.
Thanks to all who joined us!

Reimagining and
Re-Enchanting Education:
A Circle of Praxis from the UN University for Peace and the World Dignity University Initiative
Thanks to all who joined us in June for our World Dignity University initiative (WDUi) Collaborative Colloquium in partnership with the United Nation-Affiliated University for Peace in Costa Rica!

We were thrilled with the enthusiastic interest in this event! For those who couldn't attend, please enjoy the video.

We also invite you to read the following articles available online in The Peace Chronicle: Magazine of the Peace and Justice Association, (Vol. 15, No. 2, 2023).

The program was introduced by HumanDHS Global Advisory Board Member Philip Brown, with Board Director Janet Gerson facilitating dialogues that included distinguished contributors Chief Fonkem Achankeng I, Mara Alagic, Chipamong Chowdhury, Linda Hartling, and Evelin Lindner. Thanks to all who joined us!
WDU Globe
How does the World Dignity University initiative work?

The work of the WDUi grows organically and incrementally, at what we call the "speed of dignity." This means, in contrast to the market-driven competitive pressures of today's higher education systems, the WDUi strives to realize a "go-slow" approach, creating space for deep reflection and thoughtful collaborations that honors the personal and professional responsibilities of all involved. This is part of our efforts to learn our way to a new future of dignity!
Turning Courage and Compassion Into Action
"We are living in a time of great destruction and despair.
People are disconnected from one another and Earth.
Humanity has forgotten who we can be.
It’s time to reimagine humanity.
It’s time to reimagine us."

Please see the full 12-minute video here or watch the 2-minute trailer.
Introducing a New Short Film
Reimagining Humanity
By Darcia Narvaez
The goal of Darcia Narvaez's new film — Reimagining Humanity — is to expand human imagination about human potential, as it is based in deep history and transdisciplinary science.

"We have not always been so stressed, disconnected and mindlessly destructive. For most of our species existence we have lived in cooperative companionship."

The film is a project of The Evolved Nest, a nonprofit with the goals to "restore human nature to its cooperative orientation" and "restore humanity's connection to nature."
This video is a powerful and moving account of one man's experience of terrorism.

It is a reminder of the human cost of war and the importance of
never forgetting the victims.
Remembering the Attack
on the UN in Iraq
Francis Mead Reflects on Surviving
On the afternoon of August 19, 2003, the United Nations headquarters in the Canal Hotel in Baghdad was badly damaged by a devastating bomb attack. The blast resulted in the death of 22 people, including the then High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello. The bomb was targeting the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

Among the survivors was Francis Mead, who was working for UNICEF at the time. In this video, Mr. Mead watches footage of the bombing and shares his memories of the attack. He talks about the chaos and confusion of the moment, the fear and pain he felt, but also how he still believes in humanitarian work and why it is valuable.
Two Powerful Articles on Dignity and Global Responsibility
By Prince El Hassan bin Talal
Prince El Hassan bin Talal inspires our entire global community with his visionary advocacy and dignifying leadership. Please see the following recent articles:

Free Speech vs. Hate Speech

In "Free Speech vs. Hate Speech: The Journey Towards Coexistence Requires Dialogue," Prince Hassan reflects on the impact of deeply destructive speech and the need for responsibility:

"At a time when the world faces complex and ominous challenges, including conflict and climate change, we must reinforce the universal and inalienable right to human dignity for all. It is our collective duty to speak out against intolerance and hostility, advocating instead for harmony and cultural affinity...In essence, we must revive the concept of 'responsibility of expression'" (Middle East Eye, January 31, 2023). Please read more...
Global diversity or earth day and international world culture as a concept of international people cooperation as diverse hands holding together the planet.
Preventing a Looming Food Crisis

In "Refugees in Jordan: Addressing Funding Shortages to Prevent a Looming Crisis," Prince Hassan describes the significant cuts to the World Food Program that pose a severe risk to the safety, health, and dignity of thousands of refugees. He urges governments and international organizations to reconsider funding cuts, stating, "Turning a blind eye to the plight of refugees is tantamount to forsaking our shared responsibility to humanity and human dignity" (Rome MED; ISPI, August 2023). Please read more...
Nomad Monk/Storyteller
One of Our HumanDHS
Board Directors
Nomad Monk Continues His Journey to Meditate in All 50 U.S. States
Chipamong/Bhante Chowdhury invites you to connect with him on his journey to meditate in all 50 States in America. This is a truly unique way to spread love, peace, and dignity in the world.

You can enjoy his lively and inspiring travels by following his pictures, YouTube videos, and words of wisdom posted on Instagram.
New Book!
After the Rain Began
A collection of poems by Chief Fonkem Achankeng I
With a Foreword by Professor Tatah Mentan
Congratulations to Chief Fonkem Achankeng I — also known to many of us as Professor Michael Fonkem — who has published a powerful book of poetry titled After the Rain Began.

The poems in the book speak to the overwhelming empirical evidence of colonial violence, repression, suffering, and impunity as a standard functional procedure. They reflect the dynamics of annexation, recolonization, occupation, assimilation, resistance, nationalism, and genocide as part of the history of Southern British Cameroons, a.k.a., Ambazonia people in postcolonial Republique du Cameroun (Babcock University Press, 2023; ISBN 978-978-599919-7-0).

Chief Fonkem Achankeng I is highly admired for his efforts to bridge Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Westernized thinking.
Please see all of Evelin's 2023 pictures here.
Founding President Evelin Lindner Continues Her Listening and Learning Journey:
Creating Connections and Cultivating Solidarity
July: Evelin Lindner participated in the 19th General Meeting of the European Association of Social Psychology, "European Social Psychology and Its Responsibilities: Dignity and Humiliation" in Kraków, Poland. She contributed to the Symposium titled "Recent Developments in the Study of Humiliation: Conceptualization, Antecedents, and Consequences at the Interpersonal and Intergroup Level," convened by Saulo Fernández from Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED).

September: On September 11th, Evelin Lindner gave a talk in Hameln, German titled "Raus aus der Sackgasse! Wege vom Protest zum Handeln"[Translation: "Leave the deadlock! Paths from protest to action" or "Exit from the dead end! Paths from anti-protest to pro-action."]

Special thanks go to Michael Boyer, Georg-W. Geckler, and the DignityNowHameln group for organizing and supporting this talk!
New Book!
Doing Harm:
How the World’s Largest Psychological Association Lost Its Way in the War on Terror
By Roy Eidelson
In Doing HarmRoy Eidelson recounts the crisis that faced professional psychology when U.S. psychologists were called upon to assist with war-on-terror operations that included abuse and torture. A years-long struggle unfolded between dissidents committed to preserving the profession’s do-no-harm ethics and powerful decision-makers ready to embrace the “dark side” agenda of the military-intelligence establishment. It’s a fight that still continues today, with relevance well beyond psychology. Please read more or to order...
Michael Perlin
Celebrating Michael Perlin's Work for Dignity and Compassion in the U.S. Judicial System
More than 140 Publications!
Michael Perlin — HumanDHS Global Advisory Board Member — is a writer extraordinaire! He has authored and co-authored over 140 papers on topics advocating for dignity, justice, and compassion in support of some of the most vulnerable populations caught up in the U.S. judicial system.

You are invited to read two examples:

These papers are downloadable by signing up for a free account on SSRN, an open-access online preprint community providing valuable services to leading academic schools and government institutions.
In this video, Chidi Oti Obihara, Co-founder of COP26ClimateActionPlan, green finance expert, and environmentalist, and Jojo Mehta, Co-founder and Executive Director of Stop Ecocide International, provide up-to-date coverage and analysis of all the latest happenings in the world of ecocide law advocacy.
Welcome to the Ecocide Report!
A Video Podcast Series for the Whole World
The Ecocide Report is a new video podcast series for supporters of the growing movement for ecocide law!

In this episode, Chidi Oti Obihara and Jojo Mehta recap some Ecocide Law highlights from June-September 2023, including recent proposed and progressing ecocide bills in the Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Catalunya, and Mexico.

Among other efforts, there was the backing of a resolution against the crime of ecocide that was passed at the recent Global Greens Conference in South Korea, the launch of the Ocean for Ecocide Law network, as well as support of ongoing discussions in response to ecocide that is a consequence of violent conflicts around the world.

"...ecological destruction during conflict — that damage can sometimes last both way beyond the conflict in time but also way beyond the borders in terms of space...the environment is often the silent victim of conflict." — Jojo Mehta

Deb Roy, MIT Media Arts and Sciences Professor; Mónica Guzmán, Senior Fellow with Braver Angels; and Peter Coleman engage in a conversation about conflict resolution and constructive dialogue.

To learn more, please read Peter Coleman's book, The Way Out, and also view this video from our 2022 World Dignity University Initiative workshop.
Can We Learn to
Talk to Each Other?
Peter Coleman at the Aspen Ideas Festival
Americans of all political leanings and ideological persuasions can agree on at least one thing: In this era of hyperpolarization, we don’t know how to talk about the things on which we most vehemently disagree.

This video is a dialogue about effective ways to move beyond social and political polarization. It features Peter Coleman at the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival hosted by the Aspen Institute.
New Book!
Modern Populism:
Weaponizing for Power and Influence
By Deepak Tripathi
With a Foreword by Richard Falk
Congratulations to Deepak Tripathi on his new book, Modern Populism. It discusses the link between populism and identity politics against the backdrop of populist leaders asserting the identity of their own group, while maintaining the separation from others. Former BBC correspondent and commentator Deepak Tripathi explains how populism has a long history with early discernible origins in the Tsarist Russian Empire and North America in the nineteenth century, spreading to Latin America, Europe, and elsewhere in the following century.
Mayday! Mayday!
Maternal Mental Health Matters
By H. Steven Moffic
Steven Moffic — an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry — reminds all of us of the urgency of maternal health in his article for World Maternal Mental Health Awareness Day, posted in the Psychiatric Times. His remarkable online writings offer a wealth of insights on mental health care relevant to current issues. Please enjoy reading many more articles here...
Even in Paradise...
Reflections by Writer and Therapist Carol Smaldino
Carol Smaldino, author of the Dignity Press book, The Human Climate: Facing the Divisions Inside Us and Between Us, continues to share her wit and wisdom on Medium.com, an online platform for publishing "insightful perspectives, useful knowledge, and life wisdom with the world."

In her recent article, Carol observes, "As a therapist I’ve often said that worse than shame is the shame about feeling shame; worse than depression is the depression about feeling depressed." She goes on to note, that "...being compassionate is completely incomplete without self-compassion." Please read more...
Encouraging words for writers:
David states,
"At age 84 now, I have taken a solemn oath that henceforth I will end my career as a writer."
Two New Books Launched!
By David Y. F. Ho
Psychologist and writer David Y. F. Ho is pleased to announce the launch of two new books in 2023:

Both books are published by Peter Lang. You can order review copies and find additional information on its website.

Professor David Yau Fai Ho has authored numerous scholarly contributions in psychology, psychiatry, and education. He has held professorial appointments in Asian and North American universities, and has conducted many training workshops for professionals in educational as well as business organizations.
We Love Sharing News From Our Dignity Community!

We are always happy to hear dignity news, even when we can't include everything in this Dignity Letter. If you would like to share your dignity news — positive progress, courageous action, promising practices, and alike — we warmly invite you to send it to our attention: humandhs@humiliationstudies.org.
Dignity Press Presses Onward!
Available in Print and Digital!
Economic Theory and Community Development:
Why Putting Community First Is Essential to Our Survival
Howard Richards' book, Economic Theory and Community Development, inspired a recent talk by HumanDHS Director Linda Hartling.

The talk questioned the long-held American presumption that "time is money," by highlighting the necessary care work that goes unpaid and underpaid in most societies. Linda wonders, "If time is money, where is the money for this enormously important relational work, that is, where is the support — economic or otherwise?" Linda joins Howard Richards and Evelin Lindner in urging that "It's time for a Dignity Economy," which, as Linda emphasizes, is "an economy that never confuses worth with net worth."

In addition to the book above, we invite you to visit dignitypress.org for a complete list of publications.
Dignity Press books explore the dynamics of human dignity and humiliation from diverse standpoints and global perspectives. Contributing authors are from all over the world.
Celebrating a Life of Speaking Peace through Dignity
90 Years of Dignifying Lives
Celebrating the Words and Wisdom of
Francisco Gomes de Matos!
Feliz aniversário,
dearest Francisco!

There will never be enough words in the universe to thank Francisco Gomes de Matos for his prolific linguistic gifts of inspiration to the HumanDHS community!

Francisco is a peace linguist in Recife, Brazil and co-founder of ABA Global Education, as well as the World Dignity University initiative. He was nominated for the 2021 Teacher of Peace Award by Pax Christi U.S.A. Please view his remarkable video biography here (in Portuguese).
Please also see Francisco's book, Dignity: A Multidimensional View, available from Dignity Press. It is a groundbreaking book on the multifaceted dimensions of dignity explored through rhymed reflections to share his "thought-and-action-provoking perceptions.
We invite you to see all of Francisco's ABA Global Education posters here.
More Dignity Learning Opportunities

Our Collaborative Educational Partner...
Western Institute of Social Research
Announces the Availability of Degree Programs in 2023
The Western Institute of Social Research (WISR) offers 100% online, affordable personalized learner degree programs – Ed.D. in Higher Education and Social Change; M.S. in Psychology, leading to LMFT/LPCC certification in California; and M.S. in Education and Community Leadership. The school's highly qualified faculty members offer personalized instruction and guidance by Zoom, including one-on-one sessions and small seminar formats to vigorously support students in completing degree curricula that meet the student's personal needs.

Students study and complete courses at their own pace; they can enroll in any month of the year; and the faculty are skilled at helping all students integrate their personal interests into their coursework. Very few schools these days offer this much freedom and individualized support.

WISR's work is based upon the core principles of social justice, action-research, multiculturalism, and diversity/inclusiveness. Please contact John Bilorusky, Ph.D., at johnb@wisr.edu or online. Dr. Bilorusky will happily contact you by telephone to answer your questions and help to determine if a degree at WISR is a wiser choice for you.
Dignifunding: Thanks to All of Our Sharegivers!
planet earth with thank you in different languages
We are grateful to all who sustain HumanDHS with action gifts and economic support!

HumanDHS does not have a paid staff, administrative assistance, or IT services. We are an "extreme, lean, green, but not mean" community, essentially a "do-it-together-with-dignity" community. We do not charge registration fees for events, yet we appreciate thoughtful contributions (according to one's ability).

If you would like to contribute, we warmly welcome your kind support:
A Musical Gift to Our Entire Community!
The Dignity Anthem
by Michael Boyer
An amazing Dignity Anthem was kindly created by Michael Boyer. Michael is a creative artist who is a member of the Dignity Now group in the city of Hamelin in Germany. He hopes the song will inspire more dignifying adaptations and translations. Since 2019, Michael has generated a spectrum of social media channels with his Digniworld initiative.
Wishing You a World of Dignity!
Evelin Lindner, MD, PhDs, Founding President
Linda Hartling, PhD, Director
David Yamada, PhD, Director, WDUi
Uli Spalthoff, PhD, Director of Project Development and Systems Administration 
Michael Britton, EdD, PhD, Board Member 
Richard Slaven, PhD, Director of Dignifunding
Jane Hilken, MA, Publication Advisor
WDU Globe
Dear Friend, you are kindly receiving this email because you have expressed interest in the collaborative efforts of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies community. Thank you for adding humandhs@humiliationstudies.org to your address book so these messages will be sure to land in your inbox. If you no longer wish to receive our emails, you can unsubscribe using the links below.