Do One Thing for Diversity

Symbols of various faiths

Symbols of various faiths
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I missed it. The United Nations had declared yesterday, May 21, as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, and encouraged people around the world to “to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.”

I guess that’s what I was doing yesterday, speaking at Little House in Menlo Park on “A Look at Interfaith Conflict.” While I spend much of my time working on developing the brighter side of interfaith relations, developing friendships and connections across dividing lines of many kinds, this was a chance to look more closely at how (and why) those dividing lines are sometimes so powerful.

I’ll be sure to get this day into my interfaith calendar for next year. In the meantime, here are some of the things the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations suggested to celebrate the day (you don’t really have to wait until next year to deepen your appreciation for the gift of cultural diversity!):

Ten simple things YOU can do to celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21.

  1. Visit an art exhibit or a museum dedicated to other cultures
  2. Learn about another religion
  3. Plan an international movie night
  4. Listen to a musical tradition from a different culture
  5. Play a sport related to a different culture (Karate, Criquet, Pétanque…)
  6. Invite a friend over and cook traditional food
  7. Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures
  8. Volunteer with an organization working for diversity and inclusion
  9. Learn another language
  10. Spread the word around you, family, friends and invite people from a different culture to share your customs.
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3 Responses to Do One Thing for Diversity

  1. oluma says:

    Thank you so much for this information and for tagging my blog as one of the related articles. For the wonderful work you do to bridge the gap between religions (catholics and muslims). My wife works for an organisation doing the same in Kenya (between christians and muslims): . I look forward to more interactions with you

  2. Pingback: Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom | Marcus' s Space

  3. @oluma- I believe the work of bridging the gap between religions requires a mutual respect for each other’s traditions. There is a place for sharing one’s tradition and faith, and we are always called upon to live with compassion and concern for others. I am troubled, though, with efforts that are specifically targeted to convert a specific group.

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