Actions for a world working together

Our common future depends on working together to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. Each of us can heal divisions and embrace peace and understanding. We can call on our families and communities to do the same. Learn, volunteer, practice respect, make new friends. Be the change you want to see!

Choose your issue. Make an impact.

Report harassment

No one should have to suffer harassment on the basis of gender, race, place of origin or any other parameter. While harassment remains widespread, in public and private places, online and offline, more laws to stop it are in place. A growing number of companies and other institutions are aware of it and prepared to address it. Learn about mechanisms to report harassment – and use them if you see or experience it. Online, restrict information shared on social media accounts and use privacy and security settings. In some settings, police forces have cybercrime units that can help you stay safe.

Protest discrimination

Speak up for a fair world through the media, online or even in everyday interactions. Pick your favorite cause and join a rally for justice. Bring together friends and colleagues to mark the World Day of Social Justice. Other internationally recognized days offer chances to join hands against gender discrimination, racism and homophobia, among a variety of concerns. Above all, make respect for the rights of others part of how you live. Avoid discriminatory speech or actions, and understand that all forms of discrimination are wrong and unfair, not just ones against your group or set of concerns.

Practice solidarity

More unites us than divides us; people everywhere have similar dreams for peace and prosperity. With so many common challenges like the climate crisis, polarizing disagreements will only make things worse for everyone. Do your part to heal divides. Voice your support for the United Nations as the only place where all countries can convene and engage with each other. Take part in local and national dialogues where people can talk together even if they disagree. Join interfaith efforts for peace. And support people or organizations working with the most vulnerable communities.

Keep an open mind

Examine how you think about different groups of people, and question assumptions and stereotypes. Consider joining a group, online or in a community, that brings people together across faiths, ethnicities, gender identities or other categories to better understand each other. Become an active listener, open to learning from others and changing how you think. Support your workplace, community or school in looking for ways to embrace human diversity and value different human perspectives, skills and experiences.

Seek diverse friendships

Friendships with someone from a different background or community can bring you into their world so you can understand their perspectives and challenge wrong assumptions. Over a meal or playing sports, you might even find that you have more in common than you think. We all pick up wrong beliefs about others from our societies, none of which are completely free from discriminatory ideas. Stereotypes and stigmas thrive on a lack of contact, perpetuating division and conflict.

Learn about a different culture

Take regular journeys into other human experiences by learning about diverse cultures, virtually or in person (if you can, travel sustainably). Besides building respect and empathy, learning about other cultures can be a fun chance to experience new forms of art, food, dress and more. Your world will feel bigger and richer, and you might gain useful skills, such as to better perform certain jobs or to navigate interpersonal dynamics.

Study a new language

Spend a few minutes a day learning another language and you might be surprised by how quickly you pick it up. You can always use an app or online translator to manage language barriers, but keep in mind that language determines how we think and interpret the world. Learning a new one is another window into how others live. If you like to travel, speaking local languages is a sign of respect that can build bridges and help make new friendships.

Follow reliable news sources

Confused about what to believe and whom to trust? You are not alone. The volume of incorrect information has exploded. Sharpen your skills to detect who may or may not be telling the truth. Are you getting facts from a reputable news organization? Or from texts or emails that arrive unsolicited? How much evidence backs up what they say? What’s missing and why? Are diverse perspectives apparent – or is everyone saying the same thing? Cultivate your scepticism and your intuition. If something feels off, investigate more.

Post with care on social media

Next time you want to like or share a social media post, pause for a moment. Will doing so cause any kind of harm, to anyone? If you are feeling angry about an issue, wait 24 hours to see if you still want to post about it. While social media brings people together and drives movements for positive changes, it is also a fountain of hate and division, driven by algorithms that reward people for having the same extreme views. Beyond monitoring your own posting habits, see if you want to join one of the emerging national and regional neutral, non-profit fact-checking organizations, especially around important events like elections.

Mobilize for the Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 goals are a blueprint for a better future. From clean water to health to decent jobs, they cover issues that concern everyone. Check the global SDG indicators database to get a sense of how your country is doing on the goals. All UN Member States have committed to achieving them, so if you find gaps, call on local and national officials to step up action. You can also volunteer for causes that support individual goals and champion foreign aid for poorer countries struggling to make progress.