Humanity & Inclusion becomes new name of Handicap International

Humanity & Inclusion became the new name of Handicap International’s global network today. The organization, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for its work to ban anti-personnel landmines, implements more than 300 projects in about 60 countries.

‘Humanity & Inclusion’ expresses one of the organization’s central values, humanity. This is reflected every day in HI’s benevolent and empathetic approach, close proximity with its beneficiaries, and respect for individuality.

“‘Inclusion’ reflects one of the core ambitions that has driven our actions for 35 years: the inclusion of people with disabilities and vulnerable people who are so often overlooked,” said Jeff Meer, Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion in the U.S. “We value difference and fight exclusion. This name helps to show that.” 

Two concerns prompted the name change. “‘Handicap International'” failed to express our values and broad scope of work,” Meer explained. “It also didn’t tell you that we run a wide range of emergency and development activities that reach beyond the disability sector.” The word ‘handicap’ also carries a negative connotation that can be seen as pejorative and stigmatizing.

HI’s new logo contains a powerful symbol–a hand. A universal and immediately recognizable symbol, the hand transcends language and culture. It can be seen as a friendly greeting, but also as a calling to halt: a raised hand saying “stop!” 

Cossette, a Canadian marketing communications agency, won a highly selective international call for tenders in 2016. To find the right name and logo, the agency conducted a broad consultation, including surveys of more than 1,000 HI employees, and time spent with HI’s project teams in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Cossette tested proposed names and graphic identities with HI’s target audiences, including private donors, public funding agencies, disability rights leaders, partner organizations, and beneficiaries. These tests ran in 17 countries, including Cambodia, Colombia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kenya, Niger, Syria, and the U.S.

A new, multimedia campaign focuses on the symbol of the hand and the message, “Be a lifeline to the most vulnerable.” Cossette designed the campaign, with Olivier Staub directing the film, and Morrison Films producing, all pro bono. Canadian singer Feist lent her voice to the film.

Humanity & Inclusion is grateful for the support of a range of ambassadors, including renowned Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr., and American pilot Jessica Cox¸ born without arms and featured in an award-winning documentary.


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