2017 Global Pluralism Award Recipients
In recognition of outstanding achievements to support more inclusive societies worldwide, the renowned international jury selected 10 finalists for the inaugural 2017 Global Pluralism Award
2017 Award Winners
Leyner Palacios Asprilla | Colombia
Founder, Committee for the Rights of Bojayá Victims
Leyner is a Colombian community leader and human rights advocate that has fought for more than 20 years to bring peace to his community of Bojayá, Chocó. A victim of violence himself, Palacios lost 32 family members to the Colombian conflict at the hands of the armed group FARC. Leyner recognized that many voices raised together would be more powerful than each voice struggling to be heard on its own. He united the 32 semi-autonomous Emberá Amerindian and 19 Afro-Colombian communities of Bojayá in their common struggle to stop the violence and fight for human rights and reconciliation.
Alice Wairimu Nderitu | Kenya
Former commissioner of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and a co-founder of the Uwiano Platform for Peace
A tireless peacemaker, conflict mediator and gender equality advocate, Alice has mediated and brokered peace in multiple ethnic conflicts throughout Africa. She has tirelessly worked to promote pluralism at all levels of conflict prevention by empowering diverse voices and including historically excluded groups in the mediation process. She has also developed peace education curricula and trained other female mediators. Female mediators are significantly underrepresented in peacebuilding; Alice’s work proves that making peace is very much women’s business.
Daniel Webb | Australia
Director of Legal Advocacy, Human Rights Law Centre
A lawyer by training, Daniel passionately works to protect the rights of asylum seekers held in offshore detention centres on the islands of Nauru and Manus, Papua New Guinea. He has held the Australian government accountable for breaches in international law and helped change the Australian public’s perception of asylum seekers through advocacy and media campaigns. His work has prevented the deportation of more than 300 people, including 40 babies and 50 children, to offshore detention and prompted the release of over 230 individuals and families from detention.
2017 Honourable Mentions
ATD Quart Monde | France
ATD Quart Monde is a large, non-profit organization founded in 1957 by people living in extreme poverty in the Noisy-le-Grand camp for the homeless near Paris. Since then, ATD Quart Monde works to empower marginalized Roma, migrant and refugee communities in the suburbs of France’s major cities, encouraging their full participation in society. ATD Quart Monde has chapters in other 5 countries, including Canada.
BeAnotherLab | Spain
A multinational collective of artists, scientists, researchers, anthropologists and practitioners, BeAnotherLab is based in Spain with representation in ten countries. Through virtual reality technology, they create an “embodiment” experience – an illusion of being in another person’s body and seeing the world through their eyes. Their work helps to reduce implicit bias and promote empathy across differences.
Fundación Construir | Bolivia
Fundación Construir is a medium-sized, non-profit organization that promotes dialogue between judicial authorities and indigenous peoples of Bolivia to foster a more inclusive vision of the law. It enables a shared recognition of both law systems and the development of a pluralist vision of law. Construir has also developed an “Indigenous Justice map” to illustrate the legal systems in ten indigenuous communities located in different cultural regions of Bolivia.
Hand Talk | Brazil
Hand Talk is a social enterprise founded in 2012 that aims to increase opportunities and independence for deaf individuals by providing access to information, education regarding new signs and a platform for communication. Hand Talk uses technology to offer automatic translation from spoken language into sign language. The aim is to provide deaf people in Brazil with more opportunities for education and to improve their level of inclusion in society.
Sawa for Development and Aid | Lebanon
SDAID is a medium-sized, non-profit organization founded by Lebanese youth in 2011 in order to fill a gap in fulfilling the humanitarian needs of Syrian refuges. SDAID operates a free kitchen, employs around 50 refugees through cash-for-work programs and serves 16 tented settlements. Sawa also prepares Syrian children for public school entrance exams. All SDAID programs and initiatives are designed and implemented by refugees and aim to bring together refugees and the host Lebanese community.
Wapikoni | Canada
Wapikoni is a non-profit organization with a mobile filming studio that travels to remote Indigenous communities and teach marginalized Indigenous youth about filmmaking, giving them voice through audiovisual creation and distribution of their work. International exchanges have allowed the organization to establish the International Network for Aboriginal Audiovisual Creation, whose objective is to raise awareness among audiences, achieve social inclusion of indigenous persons and promote respect of indigenous rights through cinema.
Welcoming America | United States
Welcoming America is a large, non-profit organization with three offices in the U.S. that works to promote the inclusion of migrants and refugees in local communities. Welcoming America has pioneered an immigrant integration approach that helps communities develop policies and programs to ensure that immigrants can fully participate and access the opportunities of the community while also ensuring that the whole community is part of that solution.