On the 16th of November 2021 ISB students Christian S., Ilinca S. and Sofia S. attended the International Tolerance Day Forum, hosted by the ADVU, the association of dialogue and universal values. Within this forum students from multiple countries including Ukraine, Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania, had an open conversation regarding what tolerance is and how we can become more tolerant individuals.
The forum began with an insightful presentation carried out by Irina Corobenco, political activist and part of the Promo Lex Association of Moldova. Her presentation regarded the issue of tolerance within Moldova’s political sphere and how its communist history had an impact on the tolerance of its population, leading to a lack of pluralism and national trauma. Furthermore, the issues of digital rights and online violence were touched upon, which are crucial for our generation to consider. After the presentation students got to ask Corobenco questions and receive insights regarding Moldova’s progress in the field of tolerance, as well as how students can report issues of online violence within institutions, as well as on a national level.
This was followed by an open dialogue between the students and moderated by the ADVU representatives, during which various questions were asked on the topic of tolerance and students got the chance to share their perspectives. The questions ranged from how can we become a more tolerant society and what is the difference between tolerance, understanding and acceptance, to what is our personal opinion regarding affirmative action, and if it is an effective way to help marginalized communities. This conversation encouraged students to consider other points of view, improve their communication and listening skills, and develop their critical thinking. The ISB students who attended this forum will share their personal experience and opinions regarding the event.
The International Tolerance Day Forum was the second forum hosted by the ADVU association that I have attended, after the Human Rights Day Forum. This event was a particularly fascinating experience, as it allowed me to consider the role that history plays in the tolerance levels of society, as well as how tolerance manifests itself in our current day and age. Furthermore, it helped me develop my confidence and communication skills, as I got to share my opinions in front of a large group of individuals from different countries and backgrounds. I thoroughly enjoyed it and if ADVU will organize another similar event I will be glad to attend, and I encourage you to do the same!
The forum was crucial in developing my thoughts on tolerance, and specifically how to combat intolerance. The most memorable part of the forum was the discussion we had regarding affirmative action, a heavily favored initiative when it comes to equality and domestic policy. We were able to see the benefits that the policy would bring, but also see the long-term issues that it would bring. The discussions I have had were very meaningful. interacting with people from several backgrounds has allowed me to understand social dynamics that oppress several demographics, recognizing my privilege and need to assist in the process of building an empathetic, progressive and secure future.
This was my first time attending a forum like this one and I really enjoyed hearing different perspectives on the topic and different personal accounts of people standing up in the face of intolerance. The speakers were very informed, eloquent and spoke from their hearts. All of the attendees were open-minded and willing to see things from other points of view and I wish more people around the world could do the same.