The Global Centre for Pluralism has announced Deborah Ahenkorah, a young social entrepreneur and book publisher bringing African children’s stories to life – as one of three winners of the 2019 Global Pluralism Award.
The two other award winners are the Center for Social Integrity, an organization giving youth from conflict-affected regions in Myanmar and ‘Learning History that is not yet History’, a network of history educators and specialists in the Balkans.
An elated Ahenkorah said, "I feel incredibly blessed to receive this award and after a decade of work championing the importance of African literature for children. This honour highlights how much closer we are to the goal of placing African children's literature on a deserving global pedestal.
“I continue to look forward to that day when you can walk into a bookstore anywhere in the world and find incredible African stories available for all."
Meredith Preston McGhie, Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism, said, “The Centre is honoured to be supporting the work of this year’s award winners.
“Their creative initiatives offer hope that negative trends toward exclusion and division can be reversed. The impact of their work is proof that we can build more richly diverse, peaceful and inclusive societies. These are examples we can all learn from.”
Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of Canada and Chair of the Award Jury, said, “The jury was inspired by the vital work of the award winners and the hundreds of impressive submissions received.
“They are all deeply committed to equipping the next generation of leaders with the knowledge and empathy to respond to the biggest challenges to pluralism today and in the future.”
The Global Pluralism Award celebrates pluralism in action. As a result of their sustained achievements to promote respect across differences, the Award winners are helping to build more inclusive societies, in which human diversity is valued and thrives.
This year, the Global Centre for Pluralism received over 500 applications spanning 74 countries for the 2019 Global Pluralism Awards—more than double the submissions - 2 - to the inaugural awards in 2017.
All nominees undergo a rigorous review and jury selection process.
The Global Centre for Pluralism, founded by His Highness the Aga Khan and the Canada government, will recognize the three winners and seven honourable mentions at an award ceremony on November 20, 2019, in Ottawa, Canada.
The three winners will each be granted $CAN50,000 and in-kind support to advance their work in promoting pluralism.