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On November 16, 1995, UNESCO’s Member States adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. This document clearly states that tolerance should not be conceived as indifference or passive acceptance. Rather, it should be conceived as active respect and appreciation of different cultures, form of expressions and identities which shape our societies. Tolerance means to acknowledge the fundamental human rights of each individual.
We decided to launch GLOBI – Global Observatory for Inclusion on November 16, 2014, on the occasion of the International Day of Tolerance, to underline the meaningful connection between tolerance and inclusion. From our perspective, tolerance represents the first step on the path to inclusion. In this sense, we think that diversity should not just be tolerated: it should be embraced and celebrated.
Diversity should not be tolerated: its should be embraced and celebrated.
We partnered with GenYNot, a youth empowering US-based platform, to host a Google Hangout session to launch the project. Jamira Burley from USA moderated a panel with the following speakers:
Andrea Pregel (Italy) and Rolando Jr. Villamero (Philippines), GLOBI’s co-founders
Karim El Sayed (Egypt), GLOBI Northern Africa Editor
Anna Susarenco (Moldova), GLOBI Eastern Europe Editor
Important topics were discussed, such as the multiple meanings of tolerance and inclusion, the importance to be actively involved in a process of change, and the structure and functioning of GLOBI. The edited video of the session will be available online soon.
We focused our project on inclusion because it is a meaningful and urgent goal that must be achieved in our societies. Inclusion might sound like a scary word, something big, something difficult, something distant. However, this is a fundamental concept that we want to underline with our initiative: inclusion is not about others. It is about us, each one of us. For this reason we launched the hashtag #inclusion2me on social networks, inviting people to share ideas and perspectives on this important theme.
One point clearly emerged during our Hangout session: inclusion is not just about governments and policies. Inclusion must be conceived as a good practice in our schools, in our offices, in our factories, in our neighbourhoods, in our living rooms. Inclusion is about having our rights recognised as men, women, children, elders, gay, trans, disabled, migrants, but first and foremost, as human beings. Inclusion is about education, employment, access to food, protection of the environment, health, language: the list does not stop here, and goes beyond national borders. Ultimately, in fact, there are 7 billion human beings living on this planet, the only one we have: inclusion is about all of us learning to live together.
For these reasons, we are excited to launch this new project! GLOBI is a bet, an exciting adventure and a beautiful opportunity for everyone to get involved. We hope that a lot of people from all over the world will participate and join our team. If you want to get involved, please check our Contact section, but don’t knock on our door: it is already open.
Andrea Pregel is an inclusion professional with experience in disability, development, education, gender and health across Europe and Asia. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Research from the University of Turin (Italy), and an Erasmus Mundus MA/Mgr in Special and Inclusive Education from the University of Roehampton in London (UK), the University of Oslo (Norway) and Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic). He is Co-founder and President of the Global Observatory for Inclusion (GLOBI), and works as Programme Advisor for Social Inclusion and Disability at Sightsavers International.