New Delhi, Oct 27:The Global Centre for Pluralism, an independent and charitable organisation, has announced the three winners of the 2023 Global Pluralism Award.
The Award recognises pluralism in action and is presented every other year to individuals, organisations, governments and businesses from around the world that are helping to build more inclusive societies where diversity is valued and protected.
The 2023 Award winners are Cameroon's Esther Omam, a peacebuilder, mediator and human rights defender mobilising women and young people from across Cameroon to advocate for an end to conflict; Red de Interpretes y Promotores Interculturales Asociacion Civil, an indigenous youth collective in Oaxaca, Mexico, that provides otherwise unavailable indigenous language interpretation to those involved in legal proceedings in Mexico and the US; and REFORM: The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development, a non-governmental organisation building solidarity between groups in Palestine by empowering them to get involved in social life and influence decision-making.
The award recipients will each receive $50,000 (CAD) to further their work in support of pluralism.
Esther Omam said that the award is a reaffirmation of the value of the concept of 'Leave no one behind'. Adding, humanity, more than ever before, should always come first, he stressed, "Our diversity is our bond and that, with pluralism, everyone can have a voice. This award symbolises all that I fight for as a woman, a peacebuilder, and a leader in Cameroon, a country where the acceptance of our diversity and plurality can be a solution to our plight."
Eduardo Martinez, Director-General and Legal Representative of Red de Interpretes y Promotores Interculturales Asociacion Civil, opined the award offers an opportunity to highlight the struggles of youth in the South, racialised youth who resist the linguistic and cultural oppression of the State and its justice system.
"We reinvent ourselves, and we fight, together, from our territories," he adds.
The General Director of REFORM said, "Since its inception, REFORM has been dedicated to promoting diversity and embracing differences as a valuable resource for social and cultural diversity, which in turn fosters solidarity among the various components of Palestinian society. We actively combat stereotyping and stigmatisation on all fronts. This award is a testament to our commitment on the right path, and we look forward to it being an international achievement for Palestine. It incentivises us to continue our courageous efforts against exclusion, power asymmetry and marginalisation. It will help in amplifying our voices to demand the restoration of democracy in Palestine."
Award Jury Chair and Vice-President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Marwan Muasher, said, "The Award winners' work has enormous value in the world today. Pluralism is not embedded in every society or every country in the world. Those who work for pluralism, those who truly believe that diversity is a source of strength and not weakness, need to be acknowledged and celebrated."
An independent, international jury of experts selected this year's three winners and seven honourable mention recipients from among 200 submissions across 60 countries following a rigorous review process.
Honourable mentions include 'India Love Project', by journalists Niloufer Venkatraman, Samar Halarnkar and Priya Ramani, which uses the power of social media to promote acceptance and dialogue.
The other six are 'Build Up' (Kenya/United States/Global), 'Deeyah Khan' (Norway/United States), 'The Global Interfaith Network for People of All Sexes, Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Expressions' - GIN-SSOGIE (South Africa/Global), 'Lea Baroudi' (Lebanon), 'Politize! Civic Education Institute' (Brazil), and 'Touche' (Belgium).