Newsletter Nr. 18 (December 2011, subsequent to our 18th Annual Conference, our 2011 NY Workshop)
Compiled by Evelin Lindner, in New York City, USA (December, 2011)
(Note: This newsletter is written in American English, since this conference took place in the U.S. In our outside-of-the-U.S. workshops, we often use British English.)
What Is the Aim of Our Work?
World Dignity University
Messages from You
(Important note to our conference particants: During our conferences, we always make an effort to ask for your permission to have your pictures posted on this website. However, you may have overheard or misunderstood our question, or you may have changed your mind since, either in total or for specific pictures/videos, please let us know! Thank you! Since we wish to walk the talk of dignity, it is very important for us to do our utmost in respecting everybody's privacy. We do not wish to gather written permissions from you during our conferences, since we value the building of mutual trust in relationships, and we would like to refrain from contributing to an ever more bureaucratic and legalistic society. Again, thank you so much for kindly holding hands with us in respectful mutuality in this matter!)
The pictures come in four main webgalleries:
Morton Deutsch is the honorary convener of our workshops. He is the founder of the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR), our host at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City. In 2009, we celebrated his influential, important, and eminent life and life-work with the first life-time award of the HumanDHS network.
Please click on the picture above to see it larger.
Pictures of all of Day One of the workshop, Thursday, December 8, 2011.
Public Event on Day One of our workshop, Thursday, December 8, 2011.
In the spirit of our motto of Unity in Diversity, the evening began with Fred Ellis and his children, singing songs from many cultural backgrounds.
• Please click on the picture on the left or here to see more photos from Evelin's camera.
• Please click on the picture on the right here to see more photos from Dee Sloan's camera.
Michael Britton gave the Don Klein Memorial Lecture on Day Two of our workshop, Friday, December 9, 2011.
Michael uses Don's metaphor of a scrim, a transparent stage curtain, where one believes that what one sees is reality only as long as the light shines on it in a certain way: see Don's explanation.
• Please click on the picture on the left or here to see more photos from Evelin's camera.
• Please click on the picture on the right or here to see more photos from Dee Sloan's camera.
Round Table 2 on
Day Two of our workshop, Friday, December 9, 2011.
Michael Britton, Philip Brown, Grace Feuerverger, Michael Perlin, David Yamada, Reinaldo Rivera, Adriano Sverko, and Tonya Hammer were honored by the Beacon of Dignity Award.
December 7, 2011 Board of Directors meeting, and pre-workshop meeting.
We were kindly invited to the End-of-Year Conflict Resolution Holiday Party, hosted by the Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at The School of Continuing Education at Columbia University.
We thank Peter T. Coleman and his colleagues for making our annual "Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict" possible.
Please click on the pictures above or here to see more photos.
December 10, 2011, post-workshop gathering.
Please click on the pictures above or here to see more photos.
We had a wonderful workshop in New York City! It was titled:
2011 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict
(representing the Eighteenth Annual HumanDHS Conference)!
S. Mike Miller and Jean Baker Miller received the HumanDHS Life Time Award on Friday, December 9, 2011, on Day Two of the 2011 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict! Let us celebrate them and their extraordinary life-work, and express our gratitude to them for their invaluable continuous support to our HumanDHS initiative!
Please let us continue by sharing with you our deep gratitude to Linda Hartling. Without her wisdom, love, care, and huge investment of time since 1999, when we met via email, and then, in full intensity, since our first conference in 2003, our network and our conferences would not be there.
Please welcome and celebrate Linda’s leadership! In November 2008, Linda relinquished her administrative responsibilities at Wellesley College to devote more time in service of HumanDHS and she is our new HumanDHS Director! (Evelin remains the HumanDHS Founding President). A big welcome to you, dearest Linda!
Rick and Linda moved across the North American Continent and found a physical home for the Pacific Rim Branch of HumanDHS and the first HumanDHS Dialogue Home in Portland, Oregon. Everyone is invited to visit! And please send all of your relevant books to be included in the HumanDHS library!
May Linda and I express our sincere gratitude and appreciation now to all of you who co-created our 2011 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict representing the Eighteenth Annual HumanDHS Conference! You ALL made our workshop a unique and extremely exiting experience! Many said afterwards that it was, as all our workshops and conferences, extremely intense, stimulating, and nurturing, however, that this workshop was of particularly high quality in all these aspects!
As we already begin discussing plans for next year's workshop, we want to extend a special thank you to those who so graciously completed the Appreciative Enquiry note cards at the conclusion of the workshop. As Linda explained during Day Two of the workshop, this information is important to us as we begin to reflect on what we could do differently next year and in future years. Your willingness to participate in this process is very important to us, as we very much want this workshop to continue to be a collaborative meeting. We extend our warm thanks to each of you for being a part of the co-creation of what we do.
Our workshops are closed conferences, only upon invitation. We could have had many more participants and unfortunately had to say "no" to many of you who wrote to us and wished to participate. We would like to express our regret to all of you who did not have the opportunity to participate. We will try to broaden our activities (and resources!) in the future! Please bear with us and give us your support so that we can grow in constructive ways!
Now we would like to thank Morton Deutsch, our honorary convener, and Peter T. Coleman, Founder and Director of the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Columbia University and their wonderful team, together with our other generous host Jean-Marie Guéhenno, who is the successor of Aldo Civico, and Andrea Bartoli as Director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR), and member of the Columbia University Conflict Resolution Network (CU-CRN), now AC4. Particularly loving thanks go to Joseph Dillard, whose wonderful support with reserving the room went beyond all expectations! We also wish to give special thanks to Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Academic Director of the Master of Science Program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the School of Continuing Education at Columbia University.
Furthermore, we wish to thank Judit Révész. We were able to build on the work she did for our first workshop in 2004, and without her continous support throughout all the years since 2001, our work would not be possible. She untiringly guards our Contact page!
Please let us furthermore express special thanks to Philip Brown and Michael Britton, and to Rick Slaven, Tonya Hammer, Dee Sloan, as well as Adriano Sverko, who so wonderfully helped to keep our workshop in shape, and documented the entire conference. The leadership of Philip Brown and Michael Britton was crucial. Tonya Hammer kindly accepted our invitation to lead the organizing team of this workshop. Rick Slaven did not just take care of our finances, he also always creates a unique atmosphere of humor, modeling our motto of "taking ourselves lightly, even when we take our work seriously." Thank you, dear Phil, Mike, Rick, Tonya, Dee, and Adriano! We are overwhelmed by the generous support that was extended by the participants of the workshop and would like to express our deep gratitude!
Our special thanks, as always, to Linda M. Hartling for setting the frame of appreciative inquiry in and Donald Klein's spirit. Our warmest thanks furthermore to our moderators Michael Britton & Ariel Lublin, Beth Fisher-Yoshida & Emanuela Del Re, Philip Brown & Stephanie Heuer!
May we end by thanking our presenters for their inspiration at our Public Event on the afternoon of Thursday, December 6. Aida Shahghasemi presented Iranian music, and Fred Ellis came with his pupils!
Finally, Michael Britton moved us all deeply on Friday morning in his Don Klein Memorial Lecture for Don's originally planned lecture The Humiliation Dynamic: Looking Back... Looking Forward. Don showed us how to live in awe and wonderment. We will always need your wisdom, dear Don!
A very very warm thank-you to all!
Evelin & Linda, on behalf of our entire network.
Please read more in newsletter12.
HumanDHS is primarily grounded in academic work. We are independent of any religious or political agenda. However, we wish to bring academic work into "real life." Our research focuses on topics such as dignity (with humiliation as its violation), or, more precisely, on respect for equal dignity for all human beings in the world. This is not only our research topic, but also our core value, in line with Article 1 of the Human Rights Declaration that states that every human being is born with equal dignity (that ought not be humiliated). We agree with Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, who advocates the building of bridges from academia as follows, "I have always believed that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential for public policy. It is possible to affect public policy without being an advocate; to be passionate about peace without losing analytical rigor; to be moved by what is just while conceding that no one has a monopoly on justice." We would like to add that we believe that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential not only for public policy, but for raising awareness in general.
The World Dignity University initiative is strongly committed to:
making sure the development of the WDU is globally inclusive
avoiding duplication of the achievements of others who have already worked with similar issues.
Rather than competing with existing institutions, our goal is to join hands in the spirit of mutual respect and equality in dignity to create something much more powerful than what we would accomplish if we worked independently. We already have connections with highly regarded academic institutions through our network of scholars on our Global Advisory Board.
respecting unity in diversity: The views expressed on this website, as in any of the HumanDHS publications, do not represent any official HumanDHS position. All HumanDHS publications present the views and research findings of the individual researchers, educators, and authors, with the aim of promoting the development of ideas and discussion about major concerns of human dignity and humiliation studies and related fields.
diverse online courses/seminars/talks/workshops will be shaped by the members of our various teams and boards, particularly our Education Team members, with their diverse expertise and approaches, supplemented with face-to-face gatherings, for example, at our annual meetings.
Please see more on www.humiliationstudies.org/education/education.php, and the Pdf file of the description of the World Dignity University initiative.
Our overall aim is to invite all educators of this world who share our values to contribute with topics related to dignity, for lectures, courses, seminars, workshops. Students are invited to contribute with their ideas and wishes for topics. Learning is reciprocal. A student can also teach and an educator can also learn, and we invite everybody to be both.
We envisage building two data bases of video clips, one collection of topics on offer, and another for topics sought. Our overall aim is to nurture our World Dignity University initiative as a growth process, as an invitation into a movement that emerges, thus manifesting our core principle of unity in diversity also through the way we go about and the structure of our work. Sometimes, we also use the metaphor of a tree.
In other words, we would be extremely happy if all of you who read these sentences now, and who share our values, would feel inspired to contribute to the World Dignity University initiative! We would love you to create similar video dialogues as you see here. It would be wonderful to have your reflections on why you think dignity is important and what you could contribute to a World Dignity University!
We envisage to proceed as follows:
1. Let us assume you wish to contribute with a topic to the WDU initiative, and you present it in a video clip.
2. Let us assume that ten students from all over the world click on your video, indicating that they find your theme interesting.
3. This motivates you to give a lecture of one or two hours, having it video-taped, so that we can place it on the World Dignity University website.
4. The next step would be that you develop a seminar/course/workshop on your theme. You could help your students to gather for an initial face-to-face meeting, followed by one or two semesters of online teaching, and a final face-to-face meeting (you might want to help your students find the funding for their travels, or, if this is not possible, those who cannot afford the travel cost could participate via video). In that way, unity in diversity will be expressed through manifold themes and manifold ways of teaching and learning.
5. For those students who wish to work for a degree, please see Ragnhild Nilsen's experience.
Message from Jacqueline Howell Wasilewski, November 18, 2011: "News from the Ainu community in Japan: they will be starting their own national political group this coming January 2012. Maybe the World Dignity University could send them supportive greetings since Evelin participated in the dialogues that also included some of the Ainu who organized both the 2008 International Indigenous Peoples Summit in Hokkaido just before the G8 Meeting in Hokkaido that year which resulted in the Japanese government finally recognizing the Ainu as Indigenous People in Japan and this new political group (I'm not sure they are calling it a "party," but it is to make sure that Ainu have a voice at all levels of Japanese politics)."
Adriano Sverko had hust finished a 2 hour movie (in 2 parts), World on Edge, a discussion on climate change, changing eco systems, globalization, and population explosion, similar to the discussion on how we are getting a second diminishing horizon in the post modern era.
Mariana Vergara contributed with:
- WDU Amazon Rainforest Initiative (Pdf from Powerpoint)
Dear participant in our workshop! You contributed to bringing dignity and love into our workshop, and due to your presence, it was an unforgettable experience! Your contributions spoke to the need to begin with ourselves if we are serious about bringing more dignity into the world. The motto of unity in diversity provides a path toward dignity, and we would therefore like to invite you to send us your reflections in connection with our workshop. We will place them here, just below this paragraph, so that we all can see the diversity of impressions that emerged, and the diversity of ways in which we touched each other. Thank YOU!
Evelin (posted December 12, 2011):
I would like to convey my deep gratitude to all participants in this workshop.
May I use this opportunity to clarify that Linda and I work full time for our Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network, and that we do so pro bono. We donate our entire life time. We are not being paid for our work. Also Rick, Tonya, Phil, Michael, and all other supporters of the workshop donate their free time. This workshop is a labor of love. It can only flourish and inspire, if all participants are aware of this fact. There is no monetary motivation involved in our work.
First, this means, unfortunately, that we can not obtain funding for your work.
Second, this also means that we would be very thankful if you were to shoulder part of the work load of this labor of love in the future. We are reaching the limits of our physical carrying capacity everyday. In other words, if you feel that this workshop could have benefitted from your ideas for improvement, we would be extremely grateful if you were to approach us and offer your support for next year. We would appreciate very much if you began by inquiring about the experiences we have gathered so far, and why certain aspects of our workshop have evolved as they did.
Since 2003, we have had two annual conferences, always one in December in New York City, and the other outside of New York City at varying times during the year. Each conference has had a very distinct flavor. So far, our NY Workshops on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict have been larger (65 participants), more formal, structured, as well as more outward oriented than our outside-of-the US conferences, which have been smaller (15-25 participants), more open, informal, and more geared toward weaving our network closer together within.
Again, I would like to extend my deep gratitude to you all for transcending traditional patterns of "we versus them" and moving toward co-creating our path in a spirit of mutual respect for equality in dignity. Our conferences are not intended to be singular events, they are parts of an ongoing process of building a global dignity community.
I am writing this after two days of ca. 12 hours work each, subsequent to our workshop, without pause, first editing our photos (removing red eyes, etc.), then including the pictures into our workshop website and updating the site, then updating the website of all of our past workshops, and, last but not least, preparing this newsletter. The next step will be to prepare my thank-you emails to you.
Rita Anita Linger (sent on December 13, 2011):
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” - Leo Biscaglia
Hello Evelin and Linda,
I have been savoring this amazing experience since returning home. I know you weren't aware but I was sick the entire time suffering from a type of stomach virus. Once I realized, after talking to the Dr. that I wasn't contagious, I decided to attend but was just about to cancel my reservation. I'm so glad I worked through the illness. Spiritually this was one of the most wonderful and invigorating experiences ever. When describing you both to my husband I said "It is like Mother Teresa meets Leo Biscaglia"... You Evelin have a very similar presence to Mother Teresa and you Linda remind me so very much of Leo (one of the men who inspired me to live as I do). The two of you together are indeed binary stars...guardians of one another.
I believe that your work is divinely inspired and Evelin after hearing of your parents and their experiences, I now understand why you are a ceaseless advocate for human dignity. One of my favorite movies is "Its a Wonderful Life", my favorite part is when the lead character experiences what life would be like if he were no longer on the planet. In thinking of you Evelin, I ponder that, and am so glad that you are here. No one is doing this work in quite the way you and Linda are. I bow deeply to you both, and feel blessed to be a part of this work. I anticipate being connected to you both for life. I am not one for long term committments, this is really a first for me :-) I am at your service, whenever you need a facilitator, moderator, disccusant or anything else. Thank you for including me as a member of your team! I plan to do all I can to try and get to Oslo in August if that is possible.
Thank you for all you bring to the world and for all you give to others... Everyone who attended and participated has been altered in some way, the world is a better place because we were all present and have such viseral takeaways.
I am in the process of writing a professional and life guide called "Open Handed Fist - Leading With Authenticity, Integrity and Spiritual Pathos". Basically is it how you get people to work with you without humiliating them or creating a fearful environment. I dont anticipate it being finished until 2013, but would love to have it reviewed by you both and possibly be published by Dignity Press. In the meantime, I will send you some of my articles. Feel free to use them for whatever purpose you choose.
From the heart please know I am in a state of constant gratitude and can truly say I love you both deeply and sincerely. Thank you for your love in return. Special thanks to Annette for bringing us together!
Namaste, Rita Anita
David Yamada in his blog (December 14, 2011):
Does your organization nurture growth-fostering relationships?
David Yamada in his blog (December 9, 2011):
Building a global society that embraces human dignity
Yaqub Faraz (sent on December 13, 2011):
Yaqub Emmanuel Faraz is an Assistant Professor at the Govt Degree College in Taxila, in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan.
Very Dear Eveline and Linda, I owe a debt of deep gratitude to the whole team for conducting such a thought provoking workshop. You have been rendering most valuable services for the downtrodden and persecuted people. The way you handle the whole program is entirely tremendous and remarkable. It left unmistakeable impact on the participants. To me it was the dream that came true. I really learnt a lot. It can enhance and uflift our work for the dignity of this mankind. I attended many conferences throughout the world but this workshop was totally different. People had great interaction and understanding. The thing that impressed me was that every one was fully involved in all the programs. No one felt aloof. It was the pratical demostration of human dignity. Democratic and positive discussions were held. In short, everything was marvellous. You both ladies are of strong nervous and vigrous spirit. If it is possible, please send me more pictures.
We would like to end this newsletter by thanking you again for all the wonderful mutual support. You contributed sogenerously, therefore let us give our warmest thanks to ALL OF US! We very much look forward to our upcoming two conferences in 2012!
Please be warmly invited to our next HumanDHS conference in Oslo, Norway, in August 2012!
Linda & Evelin, December 2011