View as Webpage

Facebook  LinkedIn  Email
World Dignity University Logo

Dignity Letter — April 2024

Giving a helping hand on the background of the dawn

Dear Linda,

Peace poet William Stafford (1914–1993) reminds us that, "justice will take us millions of intricate moves." At times it may feel like we are not moving at all.

This edition of the Dignity Letter brings to the forefront some of the millions of intricate moves being made every day by courageous members of our Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) community.

In the face of the immense challenges and suffering that exist in our world today, from ongoing violence, to humanitarian crises, to the devastating impacts of environmental degradation, members of our dignity community keep going, even as our hearts break.

We, as a community, are working tirelessly to address the root causes of the suffering we see around the world. We recognize that the challenges we face are complex and multifaceted, and that no single organization or individual can solve them alone. That's why we are committed to fostering a collaborative global community of people and partners that strengthen the courageous actions of all involved.

We hope the dignity work described in this letter will inspire your efforts! Please read it at your convenience, whenever you need added strength and inspiration.


Opportunities to Connect!

Special Events

  •    From Humiliation to Dignity: Is a World Without War Possible? Oslo — April 3
  •    2024 Dignity Conference in Madrid — September 17th – 20th, Hybrid
  •    Celebrating the 2023 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict

World Dignity University Initiative: Programs and Resources

Books, Dignity, and Dialogue Series - New!

  •    Humiliation Trauma: The Deepest Loss — April 19th, online
  •    Testimonies of Peace Education From the University of Peace — May 9th, online


  •  Dignity Resources Database — Invitation to Contribute
  • New Research — Humiliation, Shame, and Suicide

Good Ideas and Good News in Troubled Times

  • Dignity Developments From Our HumanDHS Community and Friends

More Good Ideas and Good News!

Please note: Rather than sending numerous Dignity Letters throughout the year, HumanDHS sends fewer, longer letters. We warmly welcome your feedback about this approach.

Opportunities to Connect!

This lecture, followed by a dialogue, is open to the public, welcoming everyone, both from within the university community and those outside, who have an interest in the topic. Please see the university announcement here. A recording of the lecture will be available later.

Register Here
<a title="Ulemas7, CC BY-SA 4.0 &lt;;, via Wikimedia Commons" href=""><img width="512" alt="Ayuntamiento Madrid2" src=""></a>

You Are Invited!

Annual Global

Dignity Conference

"Global Vulnerabilities —

From Humiliation to Dignity

and Solidarity"

Madrid, Spain

September 17th – 20th, 2024

Welcome to Our 40th Annual Dignity Conference!

We aim to collaboratively shape our conferences, drawing on the principles of Open Space and emphasizing dialogue and dignity, which we term "Dignilogue."

Our conference format is very open, which allows for flexibility and self-organizing. We use our time collaboratively, inviting participants to join us without the need to give a formal "presentation," thus fostering a sense of community and dignity-building. Participants are asked to bring their authentic selves, be open to all possibilities, and contribute in a nurturing manner.

If you'd like to join us, please register below! You're welcome to attend the entire conference, as we strive to cultivate a global community focused on dignity-building.

There is no registration fee. We share minimal costs according to each participant's ability to contribute. Thank you for registering! You will receive additional details as this event enfolds.

Please visit the conference website for the latest details.

Local Hosts, Conveners, and Coordinators

Associate Professor Saulo Fernández

together with Professor Emeritus José Francisco Morales Domínguez

Facultad de Psicología, UNED

The conference is hosted by the Facultad de Psicología

The National Distance Education University / Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)

in cooperation with the World Dignity University initiative

Register Here

We invite you to join us in December 2024!

Celebrating Our

2023 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict

"The Urgency of Seeding Dignity: Honoring 20 Years of Global Collaboration"

We warmly invite you to visit our workshop webpage, where you can watch videos, browse photos, and discover the contributors who made this workshop another memorable event!

A heartfelt appreciation to our institutional hosts, Peter Coleman, the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, and Gottesman Libraries, for making this hybrid program possible.

Workshop Website

Thank you for letting us know if anything on the workshop webpage needs to be updated by sending us a message here.

World Dignity University Initiative

Books, Dignity, and Dialogue Series & Dignity Resources Database

We are excited to share with you two new World Dignity University initiative (WDUi) activities that we believe will be of great interest to our community.

  • The WDUi is launching new online events, the Books, Dignity, and Dialogue Series. This series will provide easy access to thoughtful dialogues on urgent issues of our time, led by highly respected members of our dignity community.

  • In addition, the WDUi is also inviting members of our community to contribute to a new Dignity Resources Database, which will include books, chapters, articles, films, or other resources relevant to nurturing dignity, as well as transforming cycles of humiliation. Our goal is to compile a database that showcases the outstanding work of our community.

Humiliation Trauma: The Deepest Loss

Book Talk with Sharon Steinborn

Part of the Books, Dignity, and Dialogue Series 

Friday, April 19th, 2024

Online: 10:00 AM Pacific time; 11:00 Mountain time;

1:00 PM Eastern time; 7:00 PM Europe

Sharon Steinborn, MA, LMFT, invites you to join her for a dialogue exploring the topic of her forthcoming book, Humiliation Trauma: The Deepest Loss. 

Drawing from extensive clinical experience, Sharon Steinborn notes that whenever humiliation morphs into trauma it leads to both internal and external losses that diminish our sense of value in the world. This loss of value impedes our functioning in an already complex world, leading to anxiety, depression, rage, and too often the desire to retaliate. Inability to resolve this very specific kind of trauma may have serious repercussions, disrupting one's ability to navigate and sustain important relationships with ourselves and with others.

There are ways to move toward healing humiliation trauma, which are not the same as eradicating the humiliation. Please join us to explore better management of this type of trauma, leading to a more hopeful life and healthier engagement in community.

This session will be hosted by Linda Hartling, Ph.D., HumanDHS Director, with contributions from Board Member Michael Britton, Ed.D.

Register for This Event

Testimonies of Peace Education From the University for Peace

Part of the Books, Dignity, and Dialogue Series

Thursday, May 9th, 2024

Online: 1:00 - 2:30 PM Costa Rica time; Noon – 1:30 PM Pacific time;

3:00 - 4:30 PM Eastern time; 8:00 - 9:30 PM Europe

In this interactive dialogue session, students and faculty from the Peace Education Masters Program at the University for Peace in Costa Rica will share testimonies of their experience in the program and their journey of transformative collaborative learning.

Based on our article for Feminist Pedagogy journal special issue on pedagogies for peace, t will share some of what we have co-created together this year and invite participants to co-create with us. It will be a space for emergence for re-imagining education for peace, unlearning separation and relearning interbeing, and the possibilities that become present when we disrupt hierarchies and foster collaboration.

This session will be led by students in the Peace Education Masters Program at the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, resident faculty member Stephanie Knox Steiner, and hosted by HumanDHS Global Advisory Board member Phil Brown.

Register for This Event
Book or tree of knowledge concept with an oak tree growing from an open book and letters flying from the pages


Dignity Resources Database

We are excited to announce that we are creating a searchable database of key dignity resources — including resources addressing dignity violations through humiliation (for example, books, chapters, articles, papers, presentations, or other resources authored, co-authored, or initiated by members of the HumanDHS/WDUi community).

Please allow us to extend a warm invitation to you to be among the first to submit references to this innovative database.

We are committed to maintaining this database to support educators, scholars, researchers, and other collaborators on topics related to advancing dignity, ending cycles of humiliation, and working for peace in dignity. To streamline the process, we have designed a user-friendly form to collect references from our diverse global community.

We are deeply grateful to renowned peace linguist Francisco Gomes de Matos, the co-founder of ABA Global Education and the World Dignity University initiative. His visionary leadership has been instrumental in sparking this exciting new project. There are simply not enough words to adequately convey our heartfelt appreciation for his invaluable contributions towards promoting peace, education, and human dignity worldwide.


Please also join us in expressing our gratitude to Becky Tabaczynski who is donating her time overseeing this important initiative. If you have feedback about this new database,

we would love to hear from you

Submit Your Dignity Resources Here

Recent Research

Humiliation, Shame,

Self-Harm, and Suicidality

Linda Hartling, HumanDHS Director, brings to our attention a new study that examines the experiences of humiliation and shame related to self-harm and suicidality in adolescents and young people.

The study, published in PLOS ONE, was conducted by a team of researchers: Anvar Sadath, Katerina Kavalidou, Elaine McMahon, Kevin Malone, and Aoibheann McLoughlin. Recognizing suicide as the second leading cause of death among young people globally, the researchers examined the association between humiliation, shame, and self-harm by carefully reviewing 33 relevant studies.

The paper emphasizes the need for more research. In particular, "To better measure the humiliation experience, we strongly recommend that future studies use specifically designed and validated instruments, such as the Humiliation Inventory [Hartling & Luchetta, 1999]." Please read more or download the paper here.

Citation: Sadath, A., Kavalidou, K., McMahon, E., Malone, K., McLoughlin, A., 2024. Associations between humiliation, shame, self-harm and suicidality among adolescents and young adults: A systematic review. PLOS ONE 19, e0292691..

Good News and Good Ideas in Troubled Times

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 the like — we warmly invite you to send it to our attention: [email protected].

Yours in Freedom Trailer

World Premier Documentary

Honoring Bill Baird

November 2023 — Terra Mater Studios

Yours in Freedom

Documentary Honoring Bill Baird's Courageous Efforts in Support of Women's Health

More than fifty years ago, Bill Baird achieved a groundbreaking triumph in his 1972 Supreme Court case, defying expectations and establishing the Right to Privacy for all individuals while guaranteeing universal access to birth control and strengthening reproductive self-determination for women.

This documentary captures Bill Baird's enduring struggle spanning over five decades in championing women's reproductive rights.

Please join us in celebrating Bill Baird — along with his wife, Joni Baird, and family — for their enduring courage and commitment to women's health!

Please learn more...


Western Institute for Social Research

Receives National Accreditation

The Western Institute for Social Research (WISR), a collaborating partner of HumanDHS/WDUi, has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), an agency with a century-long history. DEAC is acknowledged by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

WISR offers community-engaged adults access to top-tier, individualized, learner-focused online graduate education that is at the same time cost-effective. Emphasizing action-oriented inquiry, WISR integrates theory and practice to drive advancements in community development, educational reform, multiculturalism/diversity/inclusiveness, and social justice.

A special congratulations goes to President John Bilorusky and the WISR faculty and staff for their efforts to secure this important accreditation!

For more information, please contact: [email protected], or visit the WISR website.

Associate Director Isadora Caldas

Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution

On behalf of the entire HumanDHS community, Evelin Lindner was delighted to greet Isadora Caldas, the new Associate Director of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR).

Isadora Caldas is a conflict resolution specialist, educator, and lawyer from Brazil. Prior to joining the MD-ICCCR, she worked at a conflict management consulting firm and taught conflict resolution in primary schools. We very much look forward to working with her at the next Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Teachers College, at Columbia University in December. Please read more...

cropped-IIPE_LOGO_siteID-125x125 image

International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) 2024 Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal

Janet Gerson, IIPE Education Director and HumanDHS Board Director, shares with us that the International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) is hosting its conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, July 21-28, 2024.

The title is "The Pedagogy and Peace Politics of Change: Navigating the Tensions Between Tradition and Modernity." The conference will bring together educators from around the world for a week-long, residential learning community experience, focusing on an exchange of peacebuilding research, theory, and best practices.

Please learn more here...

metapolis_Youssef-Mahmoud image

The 2024 Summit of the Future

An article by Youssef Mahmoud

HumanDHS President Evelin Lindner brings our attention to a recent article by Youssef Mahmoud, "The 2024 Summit of the Future: An Opportunity for U.N. Regeneration in an Era of Radical Disruptions," in Metapolis magazine. He urges us to acknowledge that: "We live in a threshold moment, a liminal space in human history where the world we have known is dying and a new one is yet to be born."

Youssef Mahmoud is Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute and former United Nations Under-Secretary-General. He is also Co-Chair of the Home for Humanity Planetary Movement. (Picture source: Metapolis). Please read more...

Fostering Dignifying Workplaces for All

HumanDHS Board Director David Yamada

We are pleased to share David Yamada's latest publication, a short law review essay, "Four Basic Postulates Concerning Women and Workplace Bullying in the United States," appearing in the Florida International University (FIU) Law Review published by the FIU College of Law. You may freely access a PDF here.

Additionally, we are delighted to announce that David Yamada has been appointed to the Advisory Committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, in Washington D.C. The Advisory Committee is comprised of "social science researchers, legal experts, and nonprofit leaders who are focused on the topics of sexual harassment, sexual violence, bullying, discrimination, and bias, with an emphasis on how these behaviors occur in higher education workplaces and education environments."

Please follow David Yamada's efforts through his outstanding blog: "Minding the Workplace."

Dignity and Childhood

Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Dr. Lucien Lombardo

On April 12, 2024, Dr. Lucien Lombardo will be giving a keynote presentation entitled “Dignity and Childhood: A Child Centered Perspective” for the Eastern Iowa Early Childhood Conference: Building Community Awareness, Education and Partnership. The conference will take place at Clark University in Dubuque, Iowa.

The presentation will integrate examples from his "virtual" work with Future Leaders Initiative in Sierra Leone. Please read more...

2024 Abraham Halpern Humanitarian Award

Congratulations to Dr. Steven Moffic

Dr. Steven Moffic, award-winning psychiatrist, writer, and speaker, has been named the twelfth recipient of the Abraham L. Halpern, MD Humanitarian Award by the American Association for Social Psychiatry.

On May 6th, at the 2024 Humanitarian Forum during the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting in New York, Dr. Moffic will present a talk titled "The Abraham Halpern Humanitarian Award: Is It Really an Impossible Dream? The Social Psychiatric Integration of Religion, Spirituality and Humanism." Please see the details here...

Please read his recent article in Psychiatric Times, "What Can and Should Psychiatrists Say About the Presidential Races in the United States and Elsewhere?" Please also read "The Death of actor Robin Williams: Honoring H. Steven Moffic for National Doctors' Day" (2024).

The Journal of Mathematics and the Arts is a peer reviewed journal that focuses on connections between mathematics and the arts.

Journal of Mathematics and the Arts

Editor in Chief Mara Alagic

Global Advisory Board Member Mara Alagic continues her work as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts (Taylor & Francis, UK).

Mara Alagic holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Belgrade, is a Professor in the School of Education at Wichita State University, in the U.S., where she serves as the Graduate Coordinator for the Master of Education in Learning and Instructional Design (LID) program, and is involved in the transdisciplinary Disaster Resilience Analytics Center. 

Please

The Pursuit of Justice in China

Professor of History Qin Shao

In January, Professor of History Qin Shao was elected to be the President of the Chinese Historians in the U.S. (CHUS). CHUS was established by a group of Chinese students and visiting scholars in 1987. They were among the first group of Chinese students studying abroad after the opening and reform in China. Today, CHUS has about 120 members who are active scholars.

Additionally, Professor Shao shares her recently published chapter, “The Pursuit of Transitional Justice from Below: A Case Study from Shanghai.” This chapter explores how ordinary citizens in Shanghai are engaging in issues of justice, memory, and accountability related to past events and periods of turmoil.

Citation: “The Pursuit of Transitional Justice from Below: A Case Study from Shanghai.” In Daniel Leese and Amanda Shuman (eds.), Justice after Mao: Redressing Past Injustice under Socialism (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2023), pp. 73-96. Please read more...

More Good Ideas and Good News!

s9-bio-sw-beschnitten-1 image

Declan Kennedy, HumanDHS Global Advisory Board, is one of the permaculture pioneers in Germany.

He was one of the organizers of the “Organic Farming Convergence” congress from Steyerberg, Lower Saxony, October 2023.

Polycultures Instead of Monocultures

Permaculture Pioneer Declan Kennedy

Jost Maurin's interview with permaculture pioneer Declan Kennedy explores whether or not switching to organic farming solves the environmental problems of agriculture [interview in German].

Declan Kennedy suggests, "If you stop using chemical-synthetic pesticides and mineral fertilizers, nature will benefit. But even in organic farming, artificial fertilizers and pesticides approved for organic farming are often used, which destroy soil life and leave toxins in the soil, plants and groundwater. They then end up in the human body through consumption."

"In permaculture we try to imitate nature. [We] should create more small-scale structures, for example growing grain in vegetable fields. In such plant communities there is no need to fight pests at all. Apple trees should not grow alone, but together with many different types of fruit trees."

Please read more here...

Changing the World

A New Approach to Global Cooperation

John Bunzl introduces us to a new approach to effect change in the world. As he says, "With our world heading towards collapse, a way for us, citizens, to drive our governments towards global cooperation is vital!"

John Bunzl has developed the Simultaneous Policy (SIMPOL) campaign, which enables citizens to use their votes. Over 100 UK Members of Parliament and many others in the German, Irish, and other Parliaments support this campaign.

Find out more on the SIMPOL website. John Bunzl invites all of us to sign on and change the world together in dignity!

Please

Please enjoy this Y4P

video message!


“It takes all of us to heal this world!”

Jörg Altekruse encourages us to take a look at the inspirational efforts of youth4planet (Y4P).

Y4P is using creativity, music, film, and storytelling as driving forces to engage young minds to create a visible, physical impact locally, and align it with global principles and planetary boundaries.

Creative Action Teams (CATS) are trained as regenerators in schools and universities as self organized learning units to run meaningful campaigns based on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Please see the example of the CreatiVelo media bike designed to connect with other CATs to share in similar efforts.

Please

Two New Books

Exploring Dignity!

Education Behind the Wall: Why and How We Teach College in Prison, edited by Mneesha Gellman, Associate Professor of Political Science, seeks to address some of the major issues faced by faculty who are teaching college classes for incarcerated students.

Please read more here...

Indigenous Language Politics in the Schoolroom: Cultural Survival in Mexico and the United States, by Mneesha Gellman, showcases young people’s voices and those of their teachers and community members. The Indigenous language classroom enables students to understand, articulate, and resist the systemic erasure and destruction of Indigenous cultures.

Please read more here...

Video source:

Video source:

Movement for Life

Movement, Health, and Motivation

with Dr. Martha Eddy

Dr. Martha Eddy, Founding Director and Director of Programming and Research of Moving For Life & Dynamic Embodiment, reminds us of the importance of movement for our overall health and well-being. Movement provides a way to find inner solace as well as strength to move out in the world.

Dr. Eddy suggests that movement helps us get motivated to act. Breathing and connecting with nature, as in walking outdoors, are particularly powerful, gentle movements for initiating compassionate action, especially if you establish a mindset of kindness as you begin to move. This can have a profound impact on our mental and physical state, helping us to feel ready for engaging in challenging situations.

Dr. Eddy offers free classes on, a testament to her commitment to making movement accessible to everyone.

Please read more about Dr. Eddy's efforts here...

Friendship Without Borders

New book by Phil Leask

Congratulations to Phil Leask on his new book, Friendship Without Borders: Women's Stories of Power, Politics, and Everyday Life across East and West Germany. He is an honorary research fellow in the School of European Languages, Culture, and Society at University College London.

Book Description: "Across half a century, from the division of Germany through the end of the Cold War, a cohort of thirty women from the small German town of Schönebeck, in what used to be the GDR, circulated among themselves a remarkable collective archive of their lives." Please read more...


Friendship Bench — Zimbabwe


Friendship Bench Within Walking Distance — Everywhere!

New York Article:

Depressed? Here’s a Bench. Talk to Me

New York Video:

How City Benches Are Encouraging Conversations About Mental Health

The Friendship Bench Initiative

Creating Spaces for Healing Conversations

Our HumanDHS colleague and friend, Peter Pollard — an independent consultant on sexual trauma, conflict resolution, and restorative practices — is involved in a program in Colorado that is modeled after a community-based mental health approach developed by Zimbabwean psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda called the "Friendship Bench" initiative.

This approach uses park benches in neighborhoods to offer individuals an opportunity to have a conversation about their problems with a trained health worker who can guide them toward solutions. "On the streets of New York, the city supports a program...of having peers offer an ear to people who are suffering but are not in a position to seek professional therapy" (New York Times, 2019).

Please

Catch Your Kids in Time for Educating!

New Book by Hayal Köksal

Hayal Köksal shares her new book, Catch Your Kids in Time for Educating, as a "practical guide to quality education for future generations." She emphasizes the importance of collaboration of all parties in training qualified peace-oriented future leaders, who aim for love, respect, and empathy.

Please

songs-of-memory-new-book-cover-2 image

Songs of Memory Project

Victoria Vorreiter

Victoria Vorreiter is an American researcher, photographer, and musician who has spent two decades documenting and safeguarding the traditional wisdom and cultural practices of the highland peoples in the Golden Triangle — among others, the Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Mien, Hmong, and Karen ethnic groups. 

Her efforts have resulted in the Songs of Memory Project, a massive body of work and comprehensive collections that take many forms: books, films, recordings, photographs, presentations, articles, and multimedia exhibitions. Please download this PDF overview.

To complete the circle, Victoria has launched Cultural Crossroads Asia, a massive initiative founded on two pillars: the CCA Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand, that preserves material culture; and the Living Legacy Project that sustains ancestral knowledge through collaborative outreach programs in ethnic villages. May this circle be unbroken.

14110-front-597x900px image

Kathy Beckwith's Talk On Alternatives to War

Selected for TED Website of Good Ideas

Kathy Beckwith's talk on "war as an outdated premise" was selected to be included on, the primary website for the popular TED talk series. She observes that we are stuck in the idea that war is a "normal" logical option and contends that "It is time to abandon war; there are alternatives." Her book is available through Dignity Press.

Please view the talk here...

International Day of Peace

Poem by Dr. Ashok Chakravarthy Tholana

International poet Dr. Ashok Chakravarthy Tholana generously offers his poem honoring the 2023 International Day of Peace in a video. He invites us to share this poem with others.

Please watch the video here...

DigniFunding: Thanks To All of Our Sharegivers!

planet earth with thank you in different languages

We are deeply grateful to all who generouly sustain HumanDHS through 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:

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

Fatma Tufan, Senior Partner and Advisor

Rebecca Tabaczynski, Senior Project Leader

HumanDHS Board of Directors

WDU Globe
Visit our Website
Connect with Us!
LinkedIn Share This Email

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 [email protected] 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.