UNITE is a national initiative to ease divisions, prevent violence, and solve problems. UNITE designed the Dignity Index, an eight-point scale that measures the level of contempt or dignity in a selected passage of speech. Lower scores (1-4) reflect a lack of dignity and the presence of contempt, with the lowest score (1) showing the most contempt. The higher scores (5-8) reflect language grounded in dignity, with the highest score (8) showing the most dignity.
In September 2022, a team from the University of Utah that included the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, the David Eccles School of Business, and the Hinckley Institute of Politics joined the project UNITE effort to pilot the Dignity Index in Utah. With a team of 22 student coders from politically and ideologically diverse backgrounds, the Utah pilot tested using the Dignity Index in coding passages in Utah political campaigns. One takeaway from this was that people of differing political backgrounds could code passages with consistency. Additionally, the pilot highlighted that the Dignity Index could prompt personal reflection and behavioral change and increase awareness of actions that can be taken against division. Efforts to refine the Dignity Index and refine training materials continue.