Esther Omam from Cameroon wins 2023 Global Pluralism Award (Photo: E. Omam)

Esther Omam, a Cameroonian human rights defender is among three winners who have been selected as the 2023 Global Pluralism Award recipients. The winners receive Sh5.5 million each to continue their work towards pluralism.

Build Up, a Kenyan organization that works with peacebuilding institutions and a network of peace innovators to tackle polarization and make peacebuilding processes more inclusive of diverse voices and perspectives with a specific focus on digital technologies, was shortlisted in this year’s awards. The organization is among the seven others that got honourable mentions.

Esther, a peacebuilder, mediator and human rights defender mobilizing women and young people from across Cameroon to advocate for an end to conflict is joined by Red de Intérpretes y Promotores Interculturales Asociación Civil, an indigenous youth collective in Mexico providing otherwise unavailable indigenous language interpretation to those involved in legal proceedings in Mexico and the United States and Reform: The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development, a non-governmental organization building solidarity between groups in Palestine by empowering them to get involved in social life and influence decision-making, in the honours.

“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,” said Dr. Marwan Muasher, Award jury chair and Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The Global Pluralism Award, which is presented every two years, celebrates the inspiring and brave work that is helping to build more inclusive societies where diversity is valued and protected. The award recipients will be recognized at a ceremony to be held this month in Ottawa, Canada. Each winner will receive $50,000 (CAD) to further their work in support of pluralism.

 An independent, international jury of experts selected the three winners and seven honourable mention recipients from among 200 submissions across 60 countries.

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