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ASU-Jonesboro celebrates International Day for Tolerance Nov. 16

Nov. 3, 2009 -- Faculty, staff, and students at Arkansas State University will join together with community members to celebrate International Day for Tolerance on Monday, Nov. 16, by staging the largest “Meet and Greet” imaginable. The event will take place in Centennial Hall of ASU’s Reng Student Services Center/Student Union, 101 N. Caraway Road., Jonesboro.

On Nov. 16, 1995, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) solemnly adopted the Declaration of the Principles on Tolerance. Article 6 of that declaration established Nov. 16 as the annual International Day for Tolerance. On Nov. 16 each year, the international community observes the International Day for Tolerance, with activities directed toward both educational establishments and the wider public. The International Day for Tolerance focuses the world's attention on tolerance as an essential condition for peace, democracy, and sustainable development. The world’s leaders recognized this when, in adopting the United Nations' Millennium Declaration in 2000, they placed tolerance among the fundamental values on which international relations in the twenty-first century must be based.

Currently, faculty, staff, and students at ASU represent 60 different countries, from six different continents. Melanie Richardson, Diversity Fellow at ASU, believes that as the world “flattens,” all communities will have to display more patience, tolerance, and understanding for those who are different. Richardson said, "I hope this event encourages our community to engage one another in meaningful dialogue and to take the time to appreciate the diversity of our community.”

This event will allow individuals who do not usually engage in conversations, or who walk past one another without speaking, an opportunity to stop and acknowledge one another. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best:
“Men hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they do not know each other; they do not know each other because they do not communicate; they do not communicate because they are separate.”

The International Day for Tolerance is sponsored by the Office of Diversity Initiatives and is held in conjunction with International Awareness Week. International Day for Tolerance is celebrated throughout the world to raise public awareness and appreciation for tolerance, to acknowledge the diversity of the world, and to recognize that all cultures and civilizations contribute to the enrichment of humankind.

For additional information, contact Melanie
Richardson at (870) 972-3734.

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