by Susan Hess
In December 2002, the United Nations General Assembly declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. By marking this day, we have an opportunity to better understand and appreciate the values associated with cultural diversity, and in turn, the potential to learn to live together more harmoniously.
Nine years later, in 2011, a grassroots campaign Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion— was launched by the UN Alliance of Civilizations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The campaign’s three objectives are to:
- raise awareness about the importance of intercultural dialogue;
- build a community of individuals committed to support diversity with real and everyday life gestures;
- improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures to combat stereotypes.
In the world of Public Relations, we are often responsible for bringing diversity to the forefront by helping others better understand cultural differences and the value those differences bring to the organization. We fight stereotypes constantly through the articles we write, the statements we tweet and the photos and images we place in publications and on the web. We include the perspectives our different team members bring to our projects. We communicate the value diversity brings to our world, either intentionally or unintentionally, in everything we do. We “Do One Thing…” every day just by being PR professionals.
So, although May 21 may be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, let’s continue to make every day an opportunity to communicate the variety of differences that make our world so interesting and help others to understand and respect those differences.
Note: for more information about the Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion program, go to: facebook.com/DoOneThingforDiversityandInclusion