Finding Unity in Diversity

Finding Unity in Diversity

In celebration of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, Meriam Tedding (2024, Philippines) reflects on the value of diversity, and linking it with a recent trip to New Zealand as part of Global Learning I:


For me, the value of diversity is recognizing that every human being or group of people has it’s own unique stories, beliefs, characteristics and traditions. And it should be OKAY that we are all different in our own way. The world would be a better place to live, if every human being would learn to respect and celebrate other people’s beliefs because for me, each story of hope, challenges, belief and traditions is beautiful. There canalways be unity in diversity.

Global Learning I in Wellington, New Zealand and my experience with the Maori community was a dream come true. I am even more proud that I am part of the Indigenous community in the Philippines. I feel connected with the Maori people and I am happy that Indigenous Peoples in different parts of the world arerespected and accepted. I am also happy to see that they can make decisions for their people based on their belief, customs and traditions. 

My experience with the Equity Initiative (EI) as a Fellow has affirmed my belief in the beauty of diversity. I believe that what EI has been doing all these years is a perfect example of the celebration of cultural diversity. Empowering diverse groups in Southeast Asia and China, of people from different walks of life and backgrounds in hopes of pursuing health equity for ALL, regardless of their religion, tradition, cultural belief and profession. The fellowship program created an inclusive environment where everyone is given the opportunity to share their own perspectives in life, it also promotes equity where every Fellow feels valued and respected regardless of who they are.


-Meriam Tedding- A proud Sama Bajau from Western Mindanao.
2024 EI Fellow, Philippines


Meriam Tedding (left), standing with Marcus Akuhata-Brown (right), Pouwhakatere Deputy Secretary Māori, Ministry of Justice at Te Rau Karamu Marae, New Zealand.