Below is an excerpt from the letter announcing Common Hope’s nomination for the Dignitas Humana Award, which Common Hope formally accepted on September 13.
“Your work … to build communities in Guatemala and relieve poverty and its constraints on people’s hope has directly enriched the lives and improved the prospects of thousands. One of the many things that impresses us about your work is the way you are not only doing something for the poor but with them. Your work is intentionally designed to empower people to act to make a difference in their community, to recognize their own dignity and the dignity of their work and the hope it builds for families and communities.
Almost as significant is the effect your work has on the large number of Americans, particularly Minnesotans, who have given their time as well as their money, to partner with the people of Guatemala in this effort. It is clear from the testimonials of the people who give of themselves in this way, that this has been a powerful experience for them. They report again and again that they learned more from working with the Guatemalans than the Guatemalans could have learned from them. You have clearly fostered an experience of our mutual dignity as children of God. Neither partner looks at the world, themselves, or others the same way afterwards.”
—William J. Cahoy, Dean, St. John’s School of Theology·Seminary