The steps of city hall were full of dancers, musicians and speakers Wednesday as part of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development — a campaign the United Nations created to “deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.”

The event — which pushes participants to "do one thing for diversity" — was hosted by the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI), and featured performances by musicians like Michael St. George and Katie Bulley, as well as speakers like Mayor Bob Bratina and HCCI Executive Director Evelyn Myrie.

Freelance union organizer Datejie Green gave an impassioned speech to the crowd of about 75 people, advocating for the extension of multiculturalism in society. "It's about saying 'I'm not going to judge you.' What I recognize is your humanity," she said. "Solidarity is the building block of inclusion."

The campaign was launched back in 2011. According to the U.N. website, the campaign aims:

  • To raise awareness worldwide about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion.
  • To build a world community of individuals committed to support diversity with real and every day-life gestures.
  • To combat polarization and stereotypes to improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.