Cantabrians are being challenged to step outside their comfort zone, forge new connections and celebrate the region’s diversity.
A new initiative - InCommon - has been created in response to the Christchurch mosque attack by Cantabrians who want to ensure the incredible community spirit, togetherness and companionship that poured out after the tragic event doesn’t end.
InCommon spokesperson Lana Hart says the initiative encourages people to connect with others who they may initially think are different to themselves.
“We’re aiming to make people think twice about how they see the people around them and to think about what they have in common rather than focusing on the differences,” says Ms Hart.
At the launch of InCommon, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said that each time we share our stories, a seed of understanding is planted.
"It is with understanding that we see that differences sometimes mask all that we have in common. And it is all that we have in common - our shared humanity - that brings us together in times of need,” says Mayor Dalziel.
Research carried out by InCommon found it’s the simple things that can make a real difference.
“Something as simple as receiving a smile, having a chat or returning a friendly greeting went a long way towards making people feel welcome and strengthened their connection to their community.”
A 25-question quiz was developed which focusses on people’s interests, values, and preferences. Cantabrians from different culture and faith backgrounds took the quiz and were paired with people that they shared commonalities with.
Photos of these pairs can be seen throughout Christchurch on street posters, billboards, and in social media.
Phase 2 of the project, planned for July, will see the quiz go online so Cantabrians can discover what they have in common with others and participate in live events that celebrate these commonalities.