After many years working in high pressure international conflict resolution settings, Donna Hicks hit on the realization that beneath the specifics of every conflict were feelings on all sides of dignity having been violated. After the 2011 publication of her bestseller, Dignity: It’s Essential Role in Resolving Conflict, Dr. Hicks followed up with 2018’s Leading With Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People. She continues to be one of the world’s top authorities on the topic, helping people globally address the distrust that lies at the heart of conflict. Her engagement with the Ikeda Center includes: her participation in the Center’s 2003 Restorative Justice Seminar Series; her presentation to and dialogue with a capacity crowd at the Center in 2015; and her video and print interviews with the Center in 2014 and ‘15, respectively.
At her website, Hicks shares some her backstory, including this reflection: “It took more than half my adult life to figure out a way to talk about this yearning that we all have to want to be treated well. It’s important to us because we also want to live our lives in relationship with others in a way that makes us feel good about ourselves, feel good about others, and to be at peace with the world around us. It took nearly twenty years of working as an international conflict resolution specialist to crystallize my thinking about what dignity is, why it matters to us, and how we can use it to build healthy relationships with one another and to restore those that have broken under the strain of conflict.”