As the numbers of hate crimes, and other expressions of intolerance and bigotry continue to rise, and as actions once considered unacceptable have increasingly become the norm, a ray of light surfaces each year at the fourth month of the calendar: Celebrate Diversity Month.
Launched in 2004, Celebrate Diversity Month, observed in many nations including the U.S. this April, honors and acknowledges the broad spectrum of races, creeds, ethnic origins, languages, genders and socioeconomic statuses that make up the world around us.
The spirit of diversity is what enables people of different faiths to come together and face up to the problems confronting us all.
STAND hopes the spirit of this month will bring a measure of reflection to us all, dissolving the invisible walls that too often divide us.
Civic and faith leaders encourage their communities to reach out and learn more about their neighbors who, while sharing the same humanity, do so with varying languages, customs, cuisine and style.
April is particularly appropriate to celebrate diversity, as it not only ushers in spring for most of the world, it is also a month which brings many significant religious holidays and multicultural events. These include Easter, Passover, Ramadan, the birth of Buddha and the Native American Gathering of Nations, to name a few.
This year finds Celebrate Diversity Month occurring as much of the world sits cloistered in isolation. As we increasingly depend on helpful strangers to tend to our needs, provide us medical attention, feed us, light the candles, deliver the mail and a thousand other little tasks that help us live, STAND hopes the spirit of this month will bring a measure of reflection to us all, dissolving the invisible walls that too often divide us.