Today is the International Day for Tolerance. UNESCO started this little-known observance in 1995, then known as the United Nations Year for Tolerance. The following year, the UN General Assembly designated November 16 as the International Day for Tolerance to raise awareness of the dangers of intolerance.
Tolerance is considered a backbone of human rights, and the UN calls it “more important than ever in this era of rising and violent extremism and widening conflicts that are characterized by a fundamental disregard for human life.”
Last September, the UN launched TOGETHER, a campaign created to host a dialogue between refugees and the countries taking them in. North Dakota and Minnesota both rank high in the list of refugees per-capita, and the majority of refugees in North Dakota are in Fargo and the surrounding area.
At New Rivers Press, we are dedicated to telling the stories of everyone, no matter their race, religion, gender, or sexuality. Intolerance stems from a fear or dislike of differences and the unknown. I believe that books are one of the best ways to combat intolerance. When someone reads one of our books, they are offered a glimpse into the life of another person. This is the closest they can get to living through those experiences. For that reason, we continue striving to give these stories a platform to reach others.
In light of the recent surge of hate crimes, I implore these people to stop and read a book instead.