This third international seminar, Tolerance, Respect, and Human Rights 2001, is a major component of the various ongoing activities of Globea. Founded on the principles of justice, nonviolence, and the observance of human rights, Globea encourages tolerance and understanding among all people, regardless of their gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. This seminar seeks to provide a practical means for at least partly achieving that goal.

It is an obvious fact that, throughout the world, there are numerous instances of intolerance, human rights violations, and blocked life opportunities for tens of millions of minority peoples. At the same time, people of good will the world over, each in their own way, support or actively work to make this world a better place for everyone, not just the privileged mainstream. Unfortunately, they often act alone, or with limited support and knowledge about how to be more effective. Sometimes they are so close to their own situation that they fail to realize those particular circumstances often exist in a more universal context. Unknowingly, they then struggle to find a solution that others elsewhere have already found to a similar situation.

A primary purpose of this seminar, then, is to provide a forum for educators and civic leaders to exchange information and experience about these matters of concern to us all. Further, the intent of such dialogues is to enable us to learn from one another, so that we not only expand our knowledge base but we also broaden our perspectives. An expanded knowledge base gives us new concepts, new approaches, and new ideas that have worked elsewhere, which we can possibly adapt in tackling our own problem situations. And, hopefully, broadening our perspectives will enable us to recognize those patterns of human behavior that transcend cultural and regional issues, thereby providing insights into dealing with the difficulties of intergroup relations that otherwise might be missed.

Another purpose of this seminar, and equally important, is-through personal contacts and informal discussions-to develop an active, continuing international network. Our aim is that the acquaintances made here and the conversations that ensue will lead to further interactions through letters, e-mail, or personal visits. Such a communications network allows for the extension of support and further information exchanges beyond the life of this seminar.

Thus, the mission of this seminar is twofold. First is the dissemination of case studies, research, strategies, studies, and any other information that enhance our ability to influence the educational and political systems in promoting tolerance and understanding. Second is to nurture a communications network among the participants that will encourage, sustain, and augment all our efforts in the months and years to come.

Vincent N. Parrillo
Globea Advisory Board