On October 17th, 2012, schools and organizations from around the world will celebrate Global Dignity Day (GD).
Established in 2005 by Young Global Leaders HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant and Professor Pekka Himanen, Global Dignity is an independent, non-profit, non-political organization focused on empowering young people with dignity. It aims to inspire respect, self-esteem and tolerance of diversity, as well as promote the idea that every human being has the universal right to lead a dignified life.
GD is celebrated each October and has more than 350,000 participants in 50 countries around the world to date. This year marks the second year that Canada has participated nationally in this worthy initiative.
As part of our efforts to expand the initiative in Canada, we are engaging schools and youth organizations from coast to coast to coast – with a particular focus on Indigenous youth and children in Canada’s Northern communities.
When I first approached this year’s Global Dignity Day Chair (Nunavut) about being involved, his first reaction was: “Global Dignity Day. I think it could save lives here.”
He went on to explain that Nunavut remains one of areas with the highest youth suicide rates in Canada. It is his hope that the GD movement can re-connect many of the disengaged youth in the Territory with students from around the world, ultimately leading healthier and happier futures.
Due to the pertinent issues that Global Dignity addresses for youth in Canada, Global Shapers are becoming increasingly involved.
In fact, the Ottawa Global Shapers Hub has now taken on GD as a local-meets-national project. In honour of supporting the initiative, the Hub, in partnership with HazloLaw hosted a GD fundraiser at Ottawa’s City Hall on Friday, October 12th, to raise funds for both our Canadian and international activities. Central to the event was the Honorary Event Chair, Max Keeping, a highly respected Canadian Broadcaster and philanthropist.
To broaden the scope and reach of our activities this year, we’re also inviting a group of thought leaders, athletes and politicians of all political stripes from across the country to be involved. Some of the confirmed participants include Quebec Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, British Columbia Conservative Senator Yonah Martin, Manitoba NDP MP Niki Ashton, Mattieu Ricard, the scientist and Buddhist monk and Jennifer Corriero, the Founder of TakingITGlobal and former Chair of Global Dignity Canada. In addition to our partners from last year – including TakingITGlobal and Right To Play – we are also partnering with an inspirational new movement called The Heroa Project: dedicated to working with youth to realize the hero that lies in everyone.
As Canada’s Country Chair for Global Dignity Day 2012, I would like to invite all Global Shapers, educators, organizations and students across the country to champion 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.
For possible workshops and to register your school, please visit www.globaldignity.ca
Giovanna Mingarelli is a crowdsourcing expert and the founder of M&C Consulting. She is a Global Shaper in the Ottawa Hub.