Justin Trudeau described how in a graduation speech at Yankee Stadium, how to embrace diversity and tolerance can ease global political disagreements.
New York University invited the Canadian Prime Minister to give a speech at the 186th graduation ceremony on Wednesday and awarded him an honorary degree.
The school described Trudeau as “Cultivating strength with Canada’s rich diversity to deal with climate change,” and was “a proud feminist.”
Trudeau said on the stage of the baseball stadium:
“We aren’t going to arrive at mutual respect, which is where we solve common problems, if we cocoon ourselves in an ideological, social or intellectual bubble,”
“Whether it is race, gender, language, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic origin, or our beliefs and values – diversity is not necessarily a weakness. This may be our greatest advantage.”
He added that tolerance alone is not enough. “Say, ‘I tolerate you’ is actually like that. ‘Well, I reluctantly admit that you have the right to exist, but don’t talk about it in front of me. Or date my sister,'” Trudeau said.
Before Canada and the United States and Mexico negotiate on whether to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trudeau made a speech before the G7 leaders summit next month.
Trudeau transformed investor roundtables into business priorities later in the Black Park Avenue office on Wednesday, followed by a meeting with Honeywell International’s Darius Adamczyk; Michael Rubenstein of AppNexus; Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo; WeWork’s Adam Neumann; and Fred Wilson of Etsy. On Thursday, the Prime Minister will travel to the New York Economic Club to Boston.
Canadians have low demands on the Yankee Stadium. Some steel was provided by Canam Group Inc. and was provided by a company in the Prime Minister’s hometown of Quebec.
Trudeau asked students to consider the history of Canada’s treatment of disagreements between English and French and between different religions when they leave, because they can make good use of the diversity of evidence.
“As you move from this place, I hope you will be able to reach out to people whose beliefs and values are different from yourself. I hope you listen to them, really listen and try to understand them, and find common ground.”