In 2009, Hilda Pang Fu founded the nonprofit organization Luminari to bring a variety of people together and make the region a more prosperous, vibrant, and culturally enriched home to its citizens.
“It is right to treat everyone with dignity and respect, but it is also the smart thing to do. The economy is global – we need draw from all of the talents, abilities, and perspectives we have in the region and country regardless of backgrounds, race, sexual orientation, and gender. We can’t afford to not take everyone seriously,” Hilda said.
Nominated by Candi Castleberry-Singleton, chief inclusion and diversity officer, UPMC, Hilda has been chosen as the July Dignity and Respect Champion for her work as the president and founder of Luminari, which was founded to foster activities to broaden minds, inspire innovations, and promote community engagement.
“Hilda Fu’s organization, Luminari, is about changing children’s lives. The innovative “I Want to be an Ambassador!” camp introduces Pittsburgh students to foreign languages, conflict resolution, and even real foreign service workers during a field trip to Washington, DC!” Candi said.
The seven-day “I Want to be an Ambassador!” camp is targeted towards rising 8th to 12th grade students with the purpose of bringing their attention to the art and skills of diplomacy and how to apply them immediately to their daily lives.
“With the “I Want To Be An Ambassador!” camp, Hilda has found an inspiring way to expose students to the art of diplomacy, and to challenge them to become better negotiators by letting them see for themselves that differences are barriers to progress only if we allow them to be,” Candi said.
The camp has proven to inspire, educate, and help the students explore and further their skills.
“One of the purposes of the camp is to inspire our young people to consider different perspectives as they attack an issue. I think this is something we need, but haven’t seen in a while. The participants were excited to be challenged in this way,” Hilda said.
Hilda feels that if everyone treated each other with dignity and respect, the community would be a much more pleasant place to live in.
“It will create more vibrancy to the region. If we lived in a community that only has one set way of doing things, it would be quite boring.”
According to Hilda, treating others with dignity and respect is so obvious that she doesn’t have to give it a thought.
“Dignity and respect are the basis of diplomacy, the foundation of building sustainable working relationships. I think treating others with dignity and respect will help us to not shut the door on different perspectives. Thus, we won’t be missing important ideas and information.”
The Dignity & Respect Campaign is an awareness campaign designed to join individuals, community leaders, community organizations, educational institutions, businesses, and corporations under the common notion that everyone deserves dignity and respect.