Award Week 2023

From November 13th to 17th, the Global Centre for Pluralism welcomed the 2023 Global Pluralism Award winners and honourable mention recipients to Ottawa for a week of exciting events. The highlight of the week, the Global Pluralism Award Ceremony, took place on November 14th at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa, Canada. Accompanied by members of the Centre’s Board of Directors, our Secretary General, Meredith Preston McGhie and Jury Chair, Dr. Marwan Muasher presented the Award to the three winners and seven honourable mention recipients.

Deeyah Khan and representatives from India Love Project and Touché were unfortunately unable to join us in Ottawa. Their incredible work continues and at the Award Ceremony, we received the honour on their behalf.

Watch the 2023 Award Ceremony!

Workshops and Events


On the first day of Award Week, Centre staff brought Award recipients to our headquarters at 330 Sussex Drive to meet for the first time and talk about pluralism. This workshop was meant to introduce recipients to the Centre’s mission and pluralism framework in greater depth, and engage recipients in dialogue about the meaning of pluralism within their work. A welcome blessing and smudge was provided by Elder Verna McGregor, Algonquin – Omamawinini from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation near Maniwaki, Quebec. Verna has worked with the Elders in the holding of Algonquin language symposiums and also traditional native gatherings.

Closer to the end of Award Week, Centre staff organized an additional workshop that provided an opportunity for recipients to further share with each other about their work, barriers, challenges, and effective solutions.

Partnership events

In Conversation with 2023 Global Pluralism Award Laureates

On Wednesday November 15th, 2023,  the Centre hosted a panel discussion with 2023 Global Pluralism Award laureates Esther Omam, Lea Baroudi and Oday Karsh, who all lead civil society movements that seek to build inclusive and peaceful societies in their respective communities.

Opening remarks were given by:

  • Meredith Preston McGhie, Secretary General, Global Centre for Pluralism
  • Amb. Jacqueline O’Neill, Ambassador for Women Peace and Security, Government of Canada

Bringing insights from their lived and professional experiences, laureates discussed challenges and strategies in the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Navigating Queer Identities and Faith: Are Spaces for Inclusion and Pluralism Possible?

Organized in partnership with The United Church of Canada and Dignity Network Canada, this panel discussion on the intersection of faith and queer identity featured Rev. Toni Kruger Ayebazibwe from The Global Interfaith Network for People of All Sexes, Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Expressions (GIN-SSOGIE).

The panel took place November 15th, 2023 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and it explored spirituality as a tool for recognizing, protecting, and supporting the human rights of all. Participants included:

  • Doug Kerr – Executive Director, Dignity Network (Moderator)
  • Jane Thirikwa – Program Coordinator, Global Advocacy 2SLGBTQIA+, The United Church of Canada (Panelist)