Zero Discrimination Day creates awareness for equality

Samantha Carrillo, Assistant Opinion Editor

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As we near this year’s Zero Discrimination Day, it is important that we all try and tap into our inner qualities of friendliness and positivity. Accepting people of all backgrounds, races and sexual orientations is an crucial step in celebrating Zero Discrimination Day.

Luckily, Mar. 1 is the opportunity for those who are already tolerant of others to continue on as they would, and for others to get acquainted with this mindset. Now, the term “zero discrimination” is quite self-explanatory. It stresses the importance of viewing others without any preconceived notions or prejudices. This is a difficult standard to hold oneself to as passing harmless judgments is tied to human nature. Regardless, having an open mind and being tolerant of others is important on Zero Discrimination Day and every day.

Creating awareness is necessary, as its primary goal is advocating equality before the law. Zero Discrimination Day is annually celebrated by the United Nations, and other international organizations. It was first celebrated on Mar. 1, 2014 and initially put into motion by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) Executive Director Michael Sidibé in Beijing. In 2017, UNAIDS sent out a call to action in support of the day in order to assert their opinions and further combat bigotry.

While it wasn’t an officially-celebrated day until recently, the positive impact of the message from UNAIDS remains the same. Additionally, the day is held in particularly high regard by organizations such as UNAIDS that encounter discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. As a type of restitution, the United Nations Development Programme paid compensation to HIV/AIDS sufferers in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Lastly, having an open mind is a powerful tool one can utilize in life and in college. Interactions with others can be stressful, and it is imperative that as students we learn the proper way to communicate with all types of people. It is never too late to choose against discrimination, and observing a day dedicated to such a movement makes the concept of zero discrimination all the more poignant; CSUSM, an environment undoubtedly full of positive and accepting students, is especially adept at inclusivity.

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