Dignity and Reconciliation


Dr. Donna Hicks has 20 years of experience as a facilitator during international conflicts in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Columbia, Cuba and Northern Ireland, and the United States. Her unique focus on dignity, and the essential role it plays in resolving conflict, has transformed work environments for the world’s most prominent companies, non-profits, and governmental agencies. Past clients include the World Bank, United Nations, US Navy, and the Senate of Columbia.
As a co-host with Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the BBC show Facing the Truth, Donna was a key member of a three-part television series which brought victims and perpetrators of the Northern Ireland conflict together to find resolution. She is an associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and has educated the nation’s brightest minds at Harvard, Clark, and Columbia Universities. In 2013, she spoke main stage for the TEDx Stormont conference, themed “Imagine,” on the topic of dignity. Donna is the author of the bestselling book, Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict, published by Yale University Press, with a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


Dr. Donna Hicks reviewed her concept of dignity as the key to understanding conflicts. She provided additional detail for a number of the examples she uses in her book, Dignity. In that book, she describes how she became aware that dignity is rarely mentioned in the literature of conflict resolution, and yet dignity – how people treat each other – plays an enormous role, particularly after formal issues are resolved. Her work is grounded in neuroscience, and builds on our innate sense of personal dignity to bring together parties who previously were in conflict. Dignity violations arouse our fight-or-flight response and harm our sense of our own self-worth; yet we are often unaware of the ways in which we violate the dignity of others. When we authentically honor another person’s dignity, we can move from positions of mutual distrust to something approaching reconciliation. Keep Reading







Donna Hicks: Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict

Dominque Moisi.  “The Geopolitics of Emotion.“ Foreign Affairs.

Facing the Truth, BBC Documentary with Donna Hicks and Archbishop Desmond Tutu