Dignity Profiles

At our recent Ikeda Forum, “The Practice of Dignity: What It Means Today,” held October 2015, we invited participants to share reflections on how they practice dignity and what this timely and timeless quality means to them. Dignity is at the heart of our fourth core conviction. Photos by Marilyn Humphries.

Taylor Holland

Taylor Holland

"Recognizing the inherent dignity of each human being reminds me that I have something in common with all people even as I honor and give space to the vast diversity of lived human experience."

- Taylor Holland is our Fall 2015 co-op student from Northeastern University. She will graduate in 2016 with degrees in International Affairs and History. Taylor's hometown is Portland, OR.

Yuliya Vartanova

Yulia Vartanova

"I aim to practice dignity by avoiding judgmental thoughts and tendencies, and by recognizing that the only way I can strengthen and grow my own dignity is by honoring the dignity of others."

- Yuliya Vartanova was our Northeastern University (NU) co-op student for Spring 2011. She graduated summa cum laude from NU in 2013 with a BA in International Relations and Affairs, and currently is an events and conference coordinator at Abt Associates in Boston.

Kathleen Tracy

Kathleen Tracy

“I am currently caring for my aging mother who always cared for others even though she didn't see the value of her own life. It is my goal to give her the best care, showing her compassion and dignity, despite that she is losing her independence and control over fundamental life functions. I am determined to show her the greatest value so she, in turn, will see the dignity of her own life. Essentially it means I have to show joy in my life no matter how mundane the task I am doing. I believe this one change will affect the entire planet.”

- Kathleen Tracy is a retired elementary school principal currently
living in Windsor, Connecticut, with her mother.

Colleen Wong

Colleen Wong

"Dignity can refer to an intrinsic worth in simply being, or an ethical worth that is acquired through actions. The practical value of dignity lies in the connection between these two understandings, yet many people (particularly those in power) fail to acknowledge the former while operating with the latter."

- Colleen Wong will graduate from Boston University in 2016 with an undergraduate degree in her independently-designed major: Neuroscience, Religion, and Society.

Cherie Ching

Cherie Ching

“I uphold human dignity by recognizing the worth and value of all people, acknowledging them with respect and courtesy, in order to transcend our differences and understand the interconnectedness that exists. I am determined to apply this practice of dignity within my life and to my legal work so that I may offer quality legal service to all of my clients regardless of their background or circumstances. I want to recognize the human potential of every person I come into contact with, even when society is not able to, and/or when they themselves don't believe in their own worth.”

- Cherie Ching will graduate with her Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School in 2016. Cherie’s hometown is Pearl City, Hawaii.

Trudie Roberts

Trudie Roberts

“I think of a person’s dignity as the inner spark of human spirit through which we come together as equals. Upon meeting others with the conviction that “The light in me honors the light in you,” I am mindful of and careful to acknowledge their inherent value as a fellow human being. In my daily work as school administrator, this approach is critical for me when meeting with children and with their families. It is not my position to judge them, or to diminish their concerns, but to welcome them on the common field where we work together to solve problems and create peace.”

- Trudie Roberts is an "endlessly curious" elementary school principal
living and working in Ellington, Connecticut

Katherine Doerner

Katherine Doerner

“To me dignity is inherent in all living things, human and nonhuman. It doesn’t need to be earned, and it powers the idea that we all have the right to be treated with respect and value, regardless of whether or not we are valued by arbitrary litmus tests of society. Once we start to live in a way that embraces the idea of universal dignity, all aspects of our lives are transformed.”

- Katherine Doerner was our Northeastern University (NU) co-op student for Spring 2012 and continued part-time, helping to launch our video program. She graduated from NU with degrees in Anthropology and International Affairs, and currently works at Mass General Hospital doing fundraising and development.

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans

"The nature of our globalized world constantly makes us more conscious of and connected to people who are vastly different than ourselves. Thus, it is more important today than ever that we recognize the indisputable dignity of all people, even those we don’t understand. Only by believing in the worth of all humanity can we truly accept and love one another."

- Natalie Evans is our spring 2016 co-op student from Northeastern University. Natalie, who hails from Colorado, is currently pursuing a degree in International Affairs and Cultural Anthropology.

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