It’s pretty easy to take the Dignity and Respect Pledge. In fact, you can do it right here.
Honoring those words, though, remains the challenge of a lifetime.
Last night, led by Mayor Hanna and Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Karen Nelson, Appleton launched a campaign designed to inspire a city-wide focus on inherent dignity and mutual respect.
Their presentation celebrated the city’s historic efforts toward those goals, and highlighted the critical need for a continued push.
Police Chief Todd Thomas talked about the city’s attributes and friendly atmosphere. “But, not for everybody,” he said. “Not yet.”
The Dignity and Respect program offers three steps toward resolving some of those issues.
You’re asked to take the pledge and then practice the 30 tips of everyday behavior. These include such simple tasks as smiling, saying hello and thank you, and more complicated concepts like building trust and cultural awareness. Lastly, you’re asked to model the seven pillars of Dignity and Respect, which begin with self-awareness and end with doing the right thing.
You can find all of these steps and pillars at www.dignityandrespect.org.
Nearly 30 years ago Ron Dunlap, a former Chicago Bulls player who became the first African American principal in the Appleton Area School District, began each morning at Lincoln Elementary school by telling his students that they should, “Treat people the way you wish to be treated and always carry yourself with dignity and respect.”
Last night, the City of Appleton offered us all some specific ways to start our days in much the same manner. I’m looking forward to seeing how far we can go.