OTTAWA – October 3, 2017 – Today, the Global Centre for Pluralism, an international research and education organization dedicated to advancing respect for diversity around the world, announces Leyner Palacios Asprilla of Colombia, Alice Wairimu Nderitu of Kenya, and Daniel Webb of Australia as the winners of the 2017 Global Pluralism Award.
“The rising tide of exclusion and division around the world is very troubling; it can lead to devastating social outcomes. The impressive accomplishments of each of the 2017 Global Pluralism Award winners speak to the sustained effort that is required to counter these negative trends,” said John McNee, Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism. “Leyner Asprilla, Alice Nderitu and Daniel Webb’s commitments to building more inclusive societies are truly inspiring. The examples they set will help pave the way toward greater respect and appreciation for diversity.”
The Global Pluralism Award celebrates pluralism in action. As a result of their continued achievements to promote respect across differences, the Award winners are recognized for their efforts to build more inclusive societies, in which human diversity is valued and thrives.
“Over 200 impressive nominations from 43 countries were received by the Centre. We were energized by the great work by both small and large organizations, by individuals and by governments from a range of different sectors to tackle the challenge of living peacefully with diversity,” said the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of Canada and Chair of the Jury. “After an extensive selection process, the jury selected this year’s winners for their innovative approaches to promoting inclusion, the deep impact of their achievements, and their exceptional commitment to advancing respect for diversity.”
Fighting for the rights of Colombian conflict victims for over 20 years, Leyner Palacios Asprilla of Colombia has given a voice to over 11,000 people living in the municipality of Bojayá, Chocó, one of the poorest and most isolated regions of Colombia. The community leader and human rights advocate is a recipient of the 2017 Global Pluralism Award, recognizing his work to give a voice and representation to historically marginalized Colombian ethnic communities
Alice Wairimu Nderitu of Kenya is a peacemaker, conflict mediator and gender equality advocate who negotiates behind the scenes with senior African leaders to prevent violence, particularly leading up to elections. Using both traditional and modern approaches to peacemaking through mediation, she has brokered peace throughout Africa. She was selected by the jury to showcase the importance of an approach to peacemaking that values diversity, allowing the interests, values and participation of different groups to be respected.
A leader in protecting the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, Australian human rights lawyer, Daniel Webb, has helped shift public opinion and cut through toxic rhetoric by focusing on the voices and human stories of refugees and asylum seekers being mistreated under Australia’s policies. Having led legal cases and advocacy campaigns preventing the deportation of hundreds of men, women and children to offshore detention centres maintained by the Australian government, Webb is being recognized for his efforts to raise awareness about inhumane policies that threaten the foundations of pluralism.
The Global Centre for Pluralism, founded by His Highness the Aga Khan and the Government of Canada, will recognize the three winners and seven honourable mentions at the inaugural award ceremony on November 15, 2017 in Ottawa, Canada. Each winner will receive $50,000 CAD to further their work.
About the Global Centre for Pluralism
Founded in Ottawa by His Highness the Aga Khan in partnership with the Government of Canada, the Global Centre for Pluralism is an independent, charitable organization. Inspired by Canada’s experience as a diverse and inclusive country, the Centre was created to advance positive responses to the challenge of living peacefully and productively together in diverse societies.
For more information:
Shay Pantano, 212-805-3062
Please see below for the individual press releases of the 2017 award recipient: