South Africa is a country of incredible diversity. Since 1994, we have celebrated it and, 20 years on, it is still one of our most prized possessions. That said, the concept has become a little jaded, and it is time we reminded ourselves what diversity truly means.
21 May is UNESCO's World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. To mark it, the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities SA (NCPPDSA) is launching a campaign in celebration of our individual uniqueness.
Conceptualised by Grid Worldwide, and communication strategy by A Better World Network, I See You is a celebration of the rich and inspiring diversity that makes up South Africa and our world.
I See You is a movement against stereotyping and intolerance and in favour of the individual spirit that we all have. It is founded on the belief that when you take the time to see the human being behind the facade, you stop judging people's differences and start noticing their uniqueness with no pressure for sameness.
As Brian Sweetlove of the NCPPDSA points out "Some people, we have a tendency to bundle others into easily definable and understandable groups. It makes it easier to form an opinion about people without really getting to know them. We like our boxes. But, the truth is, no one fits comfortably into a box. We're all individuals with something valuable to offer. Our mission is to get South Africa working together to make our country and our world a more tolerant and beautiful place. And to celebrate the magic that every human being, including yourself, brings to the world."
Celebration of us
As the slogan for the campaign says, I See You is a "celebration of us". It is launching with a social media strategy and a powerful TV commercial that reminds us that only when we see ourselves in others will we truly see.
How can South Africans participate?
Playing off the trend of selfies, the social media campaign encourages people from all walks of life to take groupies of themselves with friends or work colleagues to show the incredible diversity of our world and post it with #iseeyousa.
For more about I See You, visit www.iseeyousa.org