In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.
Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion
In 2011, a grassroots campaign ‘Do One Thing For Diversity and Inclusion’, celebrating the annual World Day for Cultural Diversity was launched by UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations. By encouraging people and organizations from around the world to take concrete action to support diversity, the campaign aims:
• 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.
The campaign works through a dedicated Facebook page, serving as a platform for people around the world to share their experiences through posts and videos.
Some concrete suggestions for specific activities, from the UNAOC, are to:
• Visit an art exhibition or a museum dedicated to other cultures
• Learn about another religion
• Run an international film show
• Listen to a musical tradition from a different culture
• Play a sport related to a different culture (Karate, Criquet, Pétanque…)
• Cook traditional food from different cultures
• Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures
• Volunteer with an organization working for diversity and inclusion
• Learn another language
• Spread the word around you, family, friends and invite people from a different culture to share your customs.
Of course, just talking to someone from a different cultural background is the simplest, and most powerful.