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June 4, 2013

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Global Dignity Day 2013!

by Peter Skillen

A Call for Participation!gdd logo

Dear Educators!

On Wednesday, October 16th, 2013, schools and organizations from around the world will once again celebrate Global Dignity Day (GD).

“…every human being has the universal right to lead a dignified life.”

What is Global Dignity?

Global Dignity (GD) (www.globaldignity.org) is an independent, international, non-political and non-partisan organization focused on empowering individuals with the concept that every human being has the universal right to lead a dignified life. Established in 2005, by HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant and Professor Pekka Himanen, GD is linked to the 2020 process of the World Economic Forum, in which leaders from politics, business, academia, and civil society join efforts to improve the state of the world.

DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 30JAN09 - HRH Crow...

HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Founder and Chairman of Operation Hope speaks to the students during a special ‘Dignity Day’ session at the Swiss Alpine School at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

2012 Success Story!

Last October, 9,000 students in Canada from Nunavut to British Columbia joined 350,000 students in over 50 countries to celebrate human dignity and to empower all those around us to live with mutual respect, tolerance and kindness. Culminating with a national videoconference on Parliament Hill, which linked 1,200 students from coast-to-coast, we were thrilled with the enthusiasm and support that GD received from all walks of life.

“9,000 students in Canada from Nunavut to British Columbia.”

English: Yonah Martin, Canadian Senator from B...

English: Yonah Martin, Canadian Senator from British Columbia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this respect, we had the privilege of rolling-out GD with our National Role Models (2012) who included: Founder of TakingITGlobal, Jennifer Corriero, NDP MP Niki Ashton, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Senator Yonah Martin, Jeffrey Copenace from the Assembly of First Nations, traditional Inuit researcher, Curtis Konek, Ryan Hreljac, the Founder of Ryan’s Well and our national event’s keynote speaker, Wesley Prankard, the Founder of Northernstarfish.

What is Required?

There is no cost to take part in GD and events have been designed to range anywhere from 15 minutes, to two hours, or even a full day. What’s more, GD celebrations are flexible and easy to integrate into any classroom setting. This year’s “Many Faces of Dignity” campaign celebrates the varied and diverse interpretations of human dignity and how these forces play out in our lives. By extension, this provides students with the opportunity to explore issues like youth empowerment, anti-bullying, cultural diversity and beyond.

“GD celebrations are flexible and easy to integrate into any classroom setting.”

In the attached agenda, you will find an overview of GD, complete with learning objectives. Throughout the GD process, students will learn about the importance of dignity in their own lives and the lives of others. From there, they will learn how to express what dignity means for them and they will learn how their own dignity is mutually dependent on the dignity of others.

Students Can Make a Difference!

Overall, it is our hope that by acknowledging existing inequalities, students will see that they have the ability to impact and enrich the lives of others through their own actions and choices, thereby promoting awareness and a social consciousness during a key time in their development.

“…promote awareness and a social consciousness…”

I encourage you to consider championing this global movement and help us to transform young lives, revitalize communities in Canada’s North, and mobilize young people from around the world to act for global change.

Register Your School

Please register your school / organization by visiting here

and share this invitation with any individuals, groups and organizations who may be interested in supporting, volunteering or encouraging more people to participate in this important movement. Visit www.globaldignity.ca for more info. (New site will be up REAL SOON!!!!)

Thank you for supporting our youth!


Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn about the importance of dignity in their own lives and the lives of others.
  • Students will learn to express in their own words what dignity means for them and their lives.
  • Students will learn about how their own dignity is mutually dependent on the dignity of others.
  • Students will name something they are for and what they want to do during the course of the next year to strengthen the dignity of others.

Connections to Education:

Character development must be a whole school effort.

Character development supports student achievement because it: develops the whole student as an individual (as an engaged learner and as a citizen); contributes to respectful, safe, caring and inclusive school environments that are prerequisites for learning; creates learning environments that are positive and collaborative so that teachers spend less time disciplining and more time doing what they do best – namely, teaching.

The increasing diversity of Canada’s population creates an opportunity for us to determine the beliefs and principles we hold in common. When school boards engage a wide cross-section of their communities in building consensus on character attributes, they are, in essence, engaged in a process of finding common ground.

The principles and attributes of character development are universal, based in equity and transcend differences as well as other demographic factors. Empathy for others and respect for the dignity of all persons are essential characteristics of an inclusive society

Connections to 21st Century Skills:

Global Awareness

  • Learning from individuals representing diverse cultures, religions and lifestyles in a spirit of mutual respect

Communication and Collaboration

  • Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
  • Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes and intentions
  • Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade)

Global Dignity Principles:

  • Every human being has a right to a dignified life;
  • A dignified life means the opportunity to fulfill your potential. This means having a humane level of healthcare, education;
  • Dignity means having the freedom to make decisions about your life and to be treated with respect with regard to this right;
  • Dignity should be the basic guiding principle behind all actions;
  • Ultimately, our dignity depends upon the dignity of others.

Global Dignity Day Overview (approx. 2 hours total):

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 11.38.57 AM

Kindly register your school by October 10th at the latest if you intend to participate.

Sincerely yours,                                       

Giovanna Mingarelli
Chair, National Steering Committee
Global Dignity Day Canada
giovanna@globaldignity.ca
 
Peter Skillen
National Steering Committee
Global Dignity Day Canada
peter@globaldignity.ca


Read more from PBL, Pedagogy
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jun 4 2013

    Peter,
    This is a great post and thanks for summarizing the info about how to have a Global Dignity Day at your school! I’m going to share this and see if any UGDSB educators would like to participate – I’d love to support a project like this! Maybe we could skype you in to help us out?
    Brenda

    Reply
  2. Jun 5 2013

    Brenda,
    That would be awesome!
    I’d be delighted to help out.
    There are so many ways to become involved – it doesn’t have to be a full day commitment. This provides flexibility for those who are subject to challenging schedules!

    Reply

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