Unity in Diversity Global Mayor’s Conference Featured Projects

By Palak Mistry, NYU Florence student

The Protection of Iraq’s Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage

The City of Florence is undertaking a new initiative, ‘High training for the protection and valorisation of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Iraq’, endorsed by the Foreign Affair Ministry, which consists of several activities among Baghdad and Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan. This collaboration between Italy and Iraq aims to protect the cultural heritage of Iraq. There are two main components of the initiative; digitalization of the books contained the Iraqi National Library and Archives (INLA) of Baghdad in order to protect the national literary heritage, and the collaboration with the High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization  to enhance the Citadel staff’s competence in managing and promoting an UNESCO website through training courses and study visits that will be held in Iraq and Italy. This peace-building strategy is undertaken by the City of Florence to foster the mediation process in conflict areas such as Iraq.

The Actors’ Gang Prison Project

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Led by Tim Robbins, the Actors’ Gang, through its Prison Project, has been working with inmates in the California inmate system since 2006, teaching acting workshops. At least three times a year, the theater company brings classes directly into prisons, working to foster tolerance, nonviolent expression and, ultimately, to reduce recidivism rates. Through classes that combine open discussion, theater education and performance, the project brings together inmates from different races — and different gangs — in a setting where it’s safe to explore and express emotions otherwise discouraged in prison. Come learn about this interesting project at the Unity in Diversity Conference Palazzo Vecchio on November 6th at 9 30 am as Tim Robbins speaks at the first session: a showcase of conflict resolution education and the key role of Arts in peace-building strategies and permanent education.


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