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For Immediate Release: 
March 1, 2017

Media Advisory
Stressing the Unifying Vision of Happiness

GNHUSA Launches 3rd Annual Happiness Dinners Project

Noting the unique capacity of happiness to unify people of all ages and backgrounds throughout the United States, Gross National Happiness USA (GNHUSA) today announced open registration for its third annual International Day of Happiness Dinners project.

Dinner hosts are invited to hold their happiness events in private homes or public venues on or near March 20th, the annual United Nations International Day of Happiness. The shared meals and focused conversations are designed to celebrate happiness and deepen our understanding of the conditions that foster greater personal and community wellbeing.

“Given the divisiveness and intense debates which have embroiled America since the election, the 2017 Happiness Dinners are needed more than ever to underscore our common humanity,” noted Ginny Sassaman, President of GNHUSA. “We have conducted thousands of interviews across the United States in the last few years. Consistently, we find that everyone basically wants the same thing: happiness for our loved ones and ourselves. The Happiness Dinners provide a safe, delicious, and congenial format for sharing what matters most to each of us, and opportunities for listening with compassion and respect.”

How the dinners work: GNHUSA provides guidelines to everyone who registers as a dinner host. The guidelines include questions such as ‘What matters most in life?’ and ‘What is a compassionate response to people who express views different from your own?’ According to participants in previous years, these questions result in conversations that are both enjoyable and serious, touching on some of the most important issues of the day.

Previously, IDoH Dinners were held in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, as well as Canada, Costa Rica, England, and Switzerland.

Registration and other dinner information can be found here:

The United Nations and happiness: In 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, which recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable, and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and wellbeing of all peoples.” The first International Day of Happiness was celebrated in 2013.

In 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered this message: “Happiness is neither a frivolity nor a luxury. It is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family. It should be denied to no one and available to all. This aspiration is implicit in the pledge of the United Nations Charter to promote peace, justice, human rights, social progress and improved standards of life.

“Now is the time to convert this promise into concrete international and national action to eradicate poverty, promote social inclusion and inter-cultural harmony, ensure decent livelihoods, protect the environment and build institutions for good governance. These are the foundations for human happiness and wellbeing.”


Gross National Happiness USA is a 501c(3) Tax-Exempt non-profit organization with a mission to increase personal happiness and our collective wellbeing by changing how we measure progress and success.

We are building new pathways to sustainable happiness and wellbeing in the United States. Recognizing our abundant wisdom and tapping into our collective impact potential, we work with local, national and global partners to celebrate and create resonance between what we value and how we live, taking care to include the wellbeing of all living creatures and the planet. Join us by signing the Charter for Happiness at

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