Celebrating the Diversity of Culture, Expression, and Humanity

wusa logo
Jill Miller
Communications Coordinator
Tue, 11/16/2021 - 07:00

On November 16th, 1995, the member states of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. Now, as an anniversary of that Declaration, we celebrate the International Day for Tolerance every November 16 to help spread tolerance and raise awareness of any intolerance that may still be prevalent in the world today.  

Although we should be tolerant every day, it is always good to have a dedicated reminder of just how important tolerance is.    


What is Tolerance and Why is it Important?  

Outlined in UNESCO's 1995 Declaration of Principles on Tolerance; “[t]olerance is respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.” Therefore, the day provides us with an opportunity to explore and learn about cultures, beliefs, and traditions of others and understand the risks posed by intolerance.  

Overall, it is an important reminder that every day we should aim at countering influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others. The diversity of our world's many religions, languages, cultures, and ethnicities is not a pretext for conflict, but is a treasure that enriches us all.   


How Can Intolerance Be Countered? How Can I Help Today? 

The United Nations’ International Day for Tolerance page outlines a high-level approach of how to fight intolerance through laws, education, access to information, and more. 

As undergraduate students, you might think how can I really make a difference as just one person? The truth is you can help in some of the biggest ways. By just reading this article, learning more about tolerance and intolerance, and celebrating the differences between us all here at the University of Waterloo - you are taking steps to make change.  

Challenge yourself today to start a conversation with someone, a classmate, a work colleague, or a teacher, to learn more about their experiences, culture and more. You’ll likely find you have more in common than you expected, and you might even make a new friend in the process.  


Upcoming Events 

Here are some upcoming sessions offered by HREI (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion) at UWaterloo which you may find of interest:  


Thank you to all the Warriors out there who help foster, create, and appreciate the diverse and wonderful community we have here at the University of Waterloo.