Declare Dignity

This 18 minute video explains the concept of Dignity through the words and experience of the researcher and conflict resolution master, Dr. Donna Hicks. This definition of dignity and its ten essential elements underlies the framework “Belonging through a culture of Dignity” by Floyd Cobb and John Krownapple and provides background for deeper understanding of the ways in which dignity is essential for all.  In this video, Dr. Hicks explains the difference between Dignity and Respect, and outlines 10 elements for honoring dignity (Acceptance of Identity, Recognition, Acknowledgement, Inclusion, Independence, Safety, Fairness, Benefit of the Doubt, Understanding and Accountability).  Dr. Hicks cites research that the brain experiences psychological and physical pain in similar ways, and draws attention to the ways in which unaddressed psychological pain, often that over generations, produces anger, withdrawal and distrust.  

While this video provides background in understanding the concept of dignity – it does not expressly link dignity to equity or focus on marginalized groups. For deepest understanding, watch this video considering the current and historic oppression of Black people in the US and consider how violations of the dignity of Black people throughout the last 400 years, and most recently the murders of Black men, women and children by police, might shape students’ perceptions of belongingness and sense of violations of dignity in schools. Use this video to help educators go deeper into exploring what it means to have one’s own dignity honored or violated and what it might look like to honor or violate a student’s dignity – and subsequently how students from different historically marginalized backgrounds might respond.

Resource by Donna Hicks, TEDxStormont


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