Harmony Day – Unity in Diversity

Harmony Day was celebrated by St Brendan’s Parish on Sunday 18 March. During the 11:00 service of Divine Worship (Mass), the video produced by Notre Dame students was launched. Fr. Joe Taylor advised the congregation, “Instead of the sermon, we will have the video”. Harmony day continued with an observance in the hall behind St Brendan’s Church.


 

United Nations: International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Every person is entitled to human rights without discrimination. The rights to equality and non-discrimination are cornerstones of human rights law. Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And based on Article 2, everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration, without distinction of race or any other kind.

Background

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (resolution 2142 (XXI)).

In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a Programme of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (A/RES/34/24). On that occasion, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on 21 March, would be organized annually in all States.

Unity in Diversity Video

The Universe is the Macrocosm; man is the microcosm who learns what he or she lives. Where children are taught tolerance and non-violence, there love and peace reign in their hearts. Where children are given the example of right conduct and integrity to follow, true humanness emerges. This is Unity in Diversity, this is harmony of difference, this is humanity being the change they want to see in the world, as Mahatama Gandhi told.

 


This Unity in Diversity, this Harmony of difference promotes human excellence in students and their families.

Notre Dame College in Shepparton has an enrolment of 1900 students, who come from many nations. There are Christians, Sikhs, Muslims and Punjabi students attending the college, in addition to students from middle eastern cultures. In 2016, the Shepparton Interfaith Network approached Notre Dame College with a view to producing a multifaith-multicultural video to depict the unity in diversity that thrives daily in the College campuses. This video was produced by students with oversight from College staff and the Interfaith Network. Although it has taken some time to produce – on account of student obligations, timetables and school holidays (and the weather!) this video represents human excellence by participating students.

 

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