ENSEMBLE for the respect of diversity began its work under the name of The Tolerance Foundation. The original name, which was used for 16 years, was inspired by the United Nations’ year of Tolerance in 1995. In 1996 the organization became registered as a non-partisan NGO.
Since its creation, ENSEMBLE has been working to create links and dialogue between various communities throughout the province. This was made possible through the implementation of a variety of projects, including but not limited to, theatre performances and the production of pedagogical tools. Furthermore, the Tolerance Caravan workshops, for which the organization is best known, has been offered in high schools across the province for over 16 years. These workshops address issues related to living together and respect for all types of diversity: gender, sexual orientation, religion, social condition, skin color, etc.
In 2006, the organisation developed an English version of the Tolerance Caravan workshop, allowing it to increase its reach to include students in Anglophone communities across Quebec. Moreover, in 2009, the organization began its work with younger students, ages 12-14, when it developed a new activity designed to address the issues of bullying, peer-mistreatment and being assertive.
Since being founded in 1995, the organization has evolved into a key player and expert in the field of diversity education across the province. Most recently, the arrival of new members on the Board of Directors created an opportunity for the organization to strive for more than tolerance and to begin talking about acceptance and respect. It was therefore decided that in 2012-2013 the organization would take on a new name and a new image: ENSEMBLE for the respect of diversity; a name that reflects precisely the organization’s values and mandate.
Over the years, ENSEMBLE has been able to continue its work thanks to the involvement of generous people, from diverse backgrounds. Their support allows us to challenge ongoing instances of mistreatment and injustice as well as raise awareness about the problems that stereotypes and prejudices create in our schools and communities. Together, we will continue to work towards a more open and inclusive society, free of discrimination and bullying.