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October 19 2011

Young Global Leaders, Nobel Laureates Join Over 100,000 Students and Volunteers to Celebrate Global Dignity Day

Festivities commence with first Global Dignity Day Forum in Finland on October 19, 2011

HELSINKI/LOS ANGELES – The Global Dignity (GD) co-founders, and Young Global Leader alumni, HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway; Professor Pekka Himanen; and Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant today initiated the Fourth Annual Global Dignity Day celebrations with the inaugural Global Dignity Day Forum in Helsinki, Finland.

Activities included the global launch of the new Global Dignity website, the world premiere of “Dignity” a new song written and composed by evolutionary musician Dave Stewart and performed by up-and-coming lyrical hip-hop artist Nadirah X.

Event host Himanen, a philosopher and Global Dignity co-founder, noted that “The Global Dignity Day Forum is an excellent opportunity for participants to exchange ideas and thoughts about the importance of dignity and tolerance.”

“Everyone can agree on dignity, but it is still important to sit down and discuss how our interconnectedness can help us build a better world through Dignity,” HOPE Founder and business bestselling author John Bryant said.

The Forum took place for the first time in Espoo Barona Arena today from 6:00-8:15 pm (EEST). The Global Dignity Day Forum 2011 included speeches from well-known international leaders, including: Archbishop Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, former President of Finland and Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari and the Co-Founders of Global Dignity. The speakers shared their personal views and experiences on dignity.

“We learn how to be from other persons – a person is a person through other persons,” noted Tutu. “We are all members of one family – the human family. As they say in South Africa, “ubuntu,” or, “I am me, because you are you,”” shared Rev. Tutu.

“The Forum is a great kickoff to the Fourth Annual Global Dignity Day. We are looking forward to tomorrow’s events in Norway and around the world,” said HRH Crown Prince Haakon. “We expect this year’s Global Dignity Day to be the largest and most successful to date.”

On Thursday, October 20th 2011, youth around the world will unite to discuss the importance of dignity and self-esteem, and why it is important to incorporate into their lives. Since the founding of Global Dignity, more than 60,000 youth in 45 countries around the world have participated in sessions that promote dignity, tolerance and respect as well as build appreciation for cultural differences.

In 2011, Global Dignity expects to reach over 100,000 youth across more than 50 countries on Global Dignity Day through the leadership and efforts of its Country Chairs, scores of Young Global Leaders (www.younggloballeaders.org), and hundreds of other volunteers.

The three co-founders of GD have asked leaders from around the world to volunteer and venture into their local classrooms, houses of faith, non-governmental organizations, and schools to teach "A Course in Dignity." Volunteers and organizations participate in Global Dignity Day to raise the awareness of students to standards of living, with regards to health care, education, and humane treatment. GD is a growing mission that aims to inspire and encourage dignity for every person.

To participate in future Global Dignity events, please contact Shannon Campbell at Shannon.Campbell@operationhope.org.

About Global Dignity

Global Dignity is an independent, non-profit, non-political organization focused on empowering people with dignity. Established in 2006 by Young Global Leaders HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant and Professor Pekka Himanen, the initiative inspires respect, self-esteem and tolerance of diversity and promotes the idea that every human being has the universal right to lead a dignified life. Global Dignity has developed a course on dignity, including five dignity principles, which is taught in schools around the world on October 20th – Global Dignity Day. In 2011, over 100,000 students in more than 50 countries will participate in Global Dignity Day. To join the movement or learn more, please visit www.globaldignity.org.