Students of IGUMO took part in the online meeting with Joynicole Martinez (USA). The dialogue was dedicated to a tolerant attitude to people irrespective of their national origin, skin colour, and social status.
The meeting took place as part of the Bridges of Friendship marathon held within Global Talents web-portal and focused on bringing peoples closer together.
Joynicole Martinez is the CEO of The Alchemist Agency, Director of Research & Development at World Women Foundation, epidemiologist, and mother with a large family from the USA. She knows better than anyone else how much people are discriminated because of their skin colour. That is why the expert supported the idea of the Bridges of Friendship project and decided to discuss the topic of racism with Russian schoolchildren and students.
Ms. Martinez believes that dialogue is the key to understanding among people. Communication with people representing different cultures makes it possible to see deep similarities among interlocutors. That helps us understand that all people on Earth have more in common than different.
The country of residence, skin colour, and national identity of our interlocutor are becoming non-essential when we start seeing a person in him or her and perceive him or her as a friend.
When answering the question of the students of the Faculty of Linguistics, Joynicole shared her personal experience of overcoming racial discrimination. She noted that injustice has always been a challenge for her that made her become better and better every day. Not all people can find the inner strength to fight discrimination. That often has a devastating impact on them. That’s why we must eradicate that problem together.
Anna Wolf from Germany, who is an analyst at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research Munich, also joined the dialogue. She reminded the listeners about the terrible events of the 20th century caused by the Nazi regime. That example clearly demonstrates the importance to respond in time to injustice and to resist discrimination so that it does not become a tragedy.
Joynicole Martinez expressed her hope that the young generation would contribute to eliminating old stereotypes greatly and would promote friendship among nations.
In the run-up to the meeting with Ms. Martinez, students of the Faculty of Linguistics of IGUMO took part in the meeting with students from Zambia. That event was also aimed at establishing intercultural communication.
The dialogue with representatives of different cultures helps children get rid of stereotypes about peoples and overcome cultural barriers. In addition, such events give students a great opportunity to practice their foreign language skills in communication with native speakers.
Summing up the meeting, Marina Volynkina, Rector of IGUMO, emphasized that a series of meetings with people from different continents would continue. Preserving peace will only be possible if different peoples are friends. It is communication that gives birth to friendship.
Kristina Danilina, Agency for Relevant Communication students’ business incubator
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov20.07.2020