ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) — Over 600 high school students took a trip to Nazareth College Wednesday for their 12th annual Global Citizenship Conference.

Nazareth officials say the goal of the conference is to teach students how to respond to intolerance, to learn about different religions and bridge the divide among people of different backgrounds.

Dr. Muhammad Shafiq is the executive director for the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue. He says it’s important to teach the next generation to be accepting of diversity, in all areas of their lives.

“Every year we have different themes — This year the theme is bridging the gap,” Dr. Shafiq said. “There is a racial gap that the country is suffering from, there is a gender gap. There is religious hatefulness, and other social issues we see. We are here to expose the next generation of America to understand the globalization of the modern contemporary world.”

Students from 30 different high schools attended the conference, including schools as far as Medina.