Building Social Cohesion in the Midst of Diversity

2003 Goldin Institute: Building Social Cohesion in the Midst of Diversity

Diversity is a reality in most metropolitan areas around the world. Virtually all cities are home to a great variety of people, especially in terms of religious, spiritual and cultural identity. For many readers of Insight, diversity is valued as a source of enrichment. However, any casual reading through the headlines of any newspaper or magazine makes it clear that difference is often a source of division and strife.

How can we promote a positive view of difference and build a sense of social cohesion in the midst of diversity? Where have people been effective at building relationships of trust, understanding and cooperation between diverse communities, and how can we learn from them?

To explore these questions, the 2003 Goldin Institute convened teams of engaged grassroots and official leaders from over 20 cities in Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Israel, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zimbabwe. This Institute was hosted from Oct. 19–25, 2003 at the Cova de St. Ignatius in Manresa, Spain – a site that proved an invaluable context and resource for uncovering best practices for building social cohesion.

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