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City takes part in UNESCO-led initiative to connect neighbours and strengthen community. #ItStartsWithMe

March 18, 2019 -

On March 21, connect with a neighbour of a different cultural background to join those around the world marking International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The City is proud to be part of this event that encourages people to connect with someone from a different cultural background, to learn something new about that person and culture, and to share their encounter on social media using the hashtag #ItStartsWithMe and tagging @CCUNESCO.

"This is a great opportunity to build community, to foster inclusiveness, and to learn something new about the people in our lives. I encourage all Kingstonians to use this opportunity to get to know one another better," says Mayor Bryan Paterson.

How to take part

To be part of the #ItStartsWithMe movement, residents can complete three easy steps.

  • Meet someone new (or old, this is a great opportunity to connect with colleagues!).
  • Learn something about that person, their culture, passion and hobbies.
  • Share what you learned from this encounter or something else you want people to discover on social media. It could be a place, a song, an art piece, a story, a book, an interesting fact or a tradition.
  • On March 21, help amplify these positive messages by sharing and liking them.

"We are pleased to see the City of Kingston participating in this initiative," says Sunita Gupta, with Kingston Immigration Partnership.

"Social media is a wonderful tool for communicating, and we have effectively used it to promote pro-diversity messages in our community through other recent campaigns, like  #MeetYourNeighbour and #sayHello. Rather than messages formed based on prejudice or lack of understanding, we see this as an opportunity for a positive conversation that's rich with learning opportunities."

Residents: If you plan to participate in this event (which we hope you do) please use #ygk so we can share these messages on City accounts.

Not active on social media? Do not let that discourage you from participating. Meet and learn new people anyways. "And then share what you learned the old fashioned way," says Mayor Paterson. "Tell your friends and family."