Creating An Inclusive Narrative
AUSTRALIAN BAHA’I COMMUNITY
Image by Terry Randolph. December 1970.
“JUST AS THE RICHEST ECOSYSTEMS ARE THOSE MARKED BY THEIR BIODIVERSITY, SO TOO SOCIETIES HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE MADE STRONGER BY THEIR CULTURAL DIVERSITY”
This is the opening quote in the recently published document by the Australia Baháʼí Community: Creating An Inclusive Narrative. It details the results of an effort made by the Australian Baháʼí Community through “roundtable discussions” that took place over a fifteen-month period. They sought to identify what Australians understood about themselves as a people, the values that unite them, and how they can work to achieve a more socially cohesive society.
“Fifty roundtable discussions in all states and territories brought together Australians from a wide array of backgrounds in a shared conversation. This Inclusive Narrative captures how participants in the roundtables described Australia’s journey with social cohesion through different stages of our history — where we have come from, and how we have grown to be who we are today. As Australian society has evolved, it has been the courage of countless individuals that has allowed us to take steps forward and to learn from both our mistakes and achievements.”
“Our experience in creating dialogues with a wide range of stakeholders on the subject of social cohesion has made clear that, while it is essential to recognise our diversity, this is not enough.”
“In addition to acknowledging what we are and where we have come from, it is vital that our discourse on social cohesion look to the kind of society we wish to build together into the future.”
This is recommended reading and useful for in-depth study. Conclusions revealed can inspire civil society and guide individuals, communities, and organizations in their efforts to foster new thinking to plan and engage innovative criteria, procedures, and activities able to achieve social cohesion in strife-torn environments.
Ref. Baha’i World News Service. The official news source of the worldwide Bahá’í community. “Creating an Inclusive Narrative” / Australian publication points to shared identity. Australian Bahá’ís launch publication on social cohesion after two years of conversations among officials, academics, social actors, and people throughout the country.
Note: Post photo of Baháʼí youth and one adult. Baháʼí Centre, Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa. Image by Terry Randolph (ca. 2004).