Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Do One Thing for Diversity

Yesterday was World Day for Cultural Diversity! (I just got the word late last night - but it's never too late to join in.)

The global campaign “Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion,” which is an initiative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, in partnership with UNESCO, asks us to join in the effort:

  • To raise awareness worldwide about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion.
  • To build a world community of individuals committed to support diversity with real and every day-life gestures.
  • To combat polarization and stereotypes to improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.
They offer

Ten simple things YOU can do to celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

  1. Visit an art exhibit or a museum dedicated to other cultures.
  2. Invite a family or people in the neighborhood from another culture or religion to share a meal with you and exchange views on life.
  3. Rent a movie or read a book from another country or religion than your own.
  4. Invite people from a different culture to share your customs.
  5. Read about the great thinkers of other cultures than yours (e.g. Confucius, Socrates, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun, Aristotle, Ganesh, Rumi).
  6. Go next week-end to visit a place of worship different than yours and participate in the celebration.
  7. Play the “stereotypes game.” Stick a post-it on your forehead with the name of a country. Ask people to tell you stereotypes associated with people from that country. You win if you find out where you are from. 
  8. Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures; learn more about Hanukkah or Ramadan or about amazing celebrations of New Year’s Eve in Spain or Qingming festival in China.
  9. Spread your own culture around the world through our Facebook page and learn about other cultures.
  10. Explore music of a different culture.
Follow the links for ways to join in.

I'm working on Saturday's launch of "I'm Your Neighbor, Portland," a city-wide read of books set in Maine's immigrant communities.

What ideas do you have - for today, this month, and this year - to Do One Thing for Diversity & Inclusion? (Next year, I'll be ready for May 21.)

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