April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month!


Did you know April is also Distracted Driving Awareness Month? Respect your fellow drivers! Why not take this opportunity to make sure the road stays safe for everyone.

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:

· Texting

· Using a cell phone or smartphone

· Eating and drinking

· Talking to passengers

· Grooming

· Reading, including maps

· Watching a video

· Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.

Check out these statistics:

Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.

Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.

Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.

Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

So make sure you and your loved ones are driving safely and responsibly!

Get all the facts on distracted driving here…

Make Earth Day Every Day



April 22nd was Earth Day! Working in a united way to respect the planet is a great way to show your support for Dignity & Respect for all people. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Recycle

2. Bring a reusable bag to the grocery store

3. Use energy-saving light bulbs

4. Walk to work when the weather is nice

5. Run the dishwasher/washing machine only when it is fully loaded

6. Fully inflate your tires to save on gas

Can you think of any more tips?

Find some more Earth-friendly tips here: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/green-new-years-resolutions-10109

March’s Dignity & Respect Champion: Dwan Walker

Congratulations Dwan Walker , this month’s Dignity & Respect Champion!


When his sister, Deidre Walker, was killed in 2009, Dwan Walker knew he had to do something to make Aliquippa safe and welcoming for all. Before she died, Deidre gave Dwan the encouragement to take a stand.  He took that to heart.  He and his twin brother Donald both ran for public office in Aliquippa, and they won! Dwan is the first African American mayor of Aliquippa, and Donald is a member of city council.

Dwan took office on January 3rd and is determined to revitalize the city he calls home. He is continuously out in the community talking to residents, hearing their concerns and taking requests about how to make Aliquippa better. 

“I say there’s no idea or no dream that is too small. If someone makes a suggestion about the city, I respect anything they say and work with them to find a solution together. Many times people aren’t treated that way by public officials. My constituents tell me it’s a breath of fresh air when they come into my office,” he said

Dwan feels that treating others consideration and compassion can make an important positive impact in a community and Aliquippa is a prime example. He notices that since he took office, people are more open about sharing their ideas, hopes, and wishes, because they feel they actually have a say in how the town is run. Dwan makes sure he shows the utmost respect to everyone.  

Currently an account executive at FedEx, Dwan is a life-long Aliquippa resident with two daughters. In addition to being recognized as a Dignity & Respect Champion, Dwan has received other awards including the Jefferson Award for Public Service and the 2011 50 Men of Excellence Award. He is humbled by being selected a Champion and attributes his parents for teaching him at an early age to value all people. 

Do you know an individual who makes a positive impact and promotes an environment of inclusion? If so, nominate the person in your life you feel has made a difference for the Dignity & Respect Champion Award!

Lend A Hand All Year Long



The holiday season may be drawing to a close, but that shouldn’t curb our desire to Lend A Hand. Keep giving back all year long.

Make a New Year’s Resolution to support Dignity & Respect. Sign our petition and follow the tips! Then support Dignity & Respect by volunteering your time, donating food, clothes or funds, or just by helping out a friend or neighbor in need.

Lend A Hand this holiday season and make sure everyone is treated with Dignity & Respect. And if you have a charitable organization that you would like to spotlight, share it with us on our Facebook wall!

Season’s greetings and Happy New Year!

Have a Respectful Halloween



As Dignity & Respect Month draws to an end, we want to wish you a very Happy Halloween. Let us celebrate the last day of Dignity & Respect month by letting the lessons we have learned inform the season. Make sure you use Halloween as an opportunity to practice the Dignity & Respect tips. Just follow these short rules for a more respectful Halloween:

1. Respect the rights of those who do not want to take part

2. Be grateful for any treats by saying “Thank you.”

3. Do not play tricks on people like spraying someone with shaving cream or silly string – these can be frightening or even accidentally dangerous

4. Vandalism and throwing objects like eggs, toilet paper, and flour – can result in a fine or even a prison sentence

5. Make sure your costume does not exploit stereotypes or insult groups or people for a gag

6. Respect your body by not overindulging in sweets

Happy Halloween everyone!

Let Us Continue to Honor All Our Dignity & Respect Champions!

We will soon be announcing this winner of July’s Dignity & Respect Champions Award!  

But there is still time to nominate your candidate for August: We invite everybody to go to the Dignity & Respect Campaign’s website and nominate a person who you believe best promotes inclusion, dignity and respect in your community. And in the upcoming weeks, we would like to take time out to remember some of our past champions as well.


Last July, Linda Demoise was awarded this honor for her daily work with students as the academic support coordinator for Investing Now, an engineering tutoring program at the University of Pittsburgh for high school students as well as college students in Pittsburgh. Linda Demoise said her job is the perfect opportunity to give back, challenge young people, and help them shape successful futures for themselves in exciting fields.

Demoise works directly with Hands-On-Science programs for pre-college students, where children get a chance to visit universities and learn more about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Nominated by her colleague, Terri Kennelly-Cook, Demoise demonstrates her belief in treating all people with dignity and respect every day as she helps children to realize their potential, no matter their situation.

2011 National Veterans Wheelchair Games



The 2011 National Veterans Wheelchair Games are coming to Pittsburgh August 1-6, 2011!

This event showcases the athletic abilities of more than 550 wheelchair-bound veterans in 17 different events. It is the largest sporting event of its kind dedicated to showcasing the strengths of veterans who use wheelchairs due to spinal cord injuries, amputations and neurological diseases. The provide opportunities for both world-class champions and newly disabled Veterans to gain sports skills and be exposed to other wheelchair athletes.

But the Games need your help. Get involved now! Thousands of volunteers are needed so Volunteer for the 2011 Wheelchair Games here courtesy of our partners in dignity and respect Pittsburgh Cares. Or come to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on August 1st at 6pm for the Opening Ceremonies and show your support for these American heroes! And check out the Games’ website for a full schedule of events.

A Celebration of Authentic Self



Pittsburgh Black Pride will host a Celebration of Authentic Self from July 28th until the 31st. The event kicks off at 5:30pm at the August Wilson Center when Board Members of Pittsburgh Black Pride will host an open meet and greet featuring refreshments, live acts and special guest speakers.

The fun and festivities will continue all weekend long and feature the The Aggressive One & Ms. Fem Pageant at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, a picnic in Highland Park, The Domination Ball, and so much more! Events will be occurring all over the Pittsburgh area so be sure to check out Pittsburgh Black Pride’s website for a full schedule of events. A full access pass an be purchased through the website for only $50 so be sure to register today!

Dreams of Hope’s Summer Qamp!



Every young person needs a place where they can be themselves and share their real experiences and stories. For LGBTA teens and tweens, Dreams of Hope, our partners in dignity and respect, provides just this sort of safe space.

Dreams of Hope will host an overnight “Summer Qamp” from August 16 – 20th for LGBTA youth ages 13-17 at the Emma Kaufmann Camp on Cheat Lake near Morganton, West Virginia. Campers will have the opportunity to share stories and express their unique viewpoints through art and music. Camp activities focus on growing each camper’s artistic talents while exploring issues LGBTA young people encounter in their day-today lives and learning how to combat these obstacles.

Registration is still open and need-based scholarships are available. And if you would like to sponsor a camper and this fantastic cause, Dreams of Hope welcomes you to make a donation through their website, because every child deserves a chance to have their voice heard!

News from the Dignity and Respect Campaign!


The D&R Campaign was an exhibitor and sponsor of the 2011
Nonprofit Summit held on Thursday, May 12 at the Westin
Convention Center Hotel. More than 750 leaders from greater
Pittsburgh’s nonprofit organizations gathered to mingle, learn
about emerging trends, and share best practices during the
day-long event.

Nonprofit organizations contribute to each of us. Whether
through social services, advocacy groups, educational
institutions, or arts and culture, we all reap the benefits from the
time and talent nonprofit executives invest. Nonprofits make our
lives better, richer, and safer.

Join the D&R Campaign and “Say Thank You” (Tip #5) to all
the people in your life who work at nonprofit organizations.


Melanie Harrington – Chair, D&R Campaign Council – Pittsburgh
Shari Manges – Vice-chair, D&R Campaign Council – Pittsburgh

Read more HERE