A Ghanaian educator, Deborah Ahenkorah, is one of the 10 finalists announced by Global Centre for Pluralism (GCP) for the 2019 Global Pluralism Award.

The finalists were selected from 538 nominees spanning 74 countries.

Three winners will be announced in the fall and honoured at a ceremony in Ottawa on November 20 this year.

Ms Ahenkorah is the CEO of Golden Baobab, a literary non-profit that encourages writers and illustrators to create more African content for children’s books through its annual prize, the Golden Baobab Prize.

This is the world’s only literature prize for African children’s stories. In addition to the prize, Golden Baobab offers training and support to African writers and illustrators and connects publishers worldwide with African children’s stories.

She also created African Bureau Stories, a children’s publishing social enterprise that publishes stories from different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds across Africa.

The stories reflect the wide range of African experiences for African children and young readers globally.

The Award recognizes the extraordinary achievements of organizations, individuals and governments around the world who exemplify living peacefully and productively with diversity.

“At a time of heightened hatred and escalating tensions in communities around the globe, these winners embody the best of humanity,” said Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of Canada and Jury Chair.

“The emphasis on pluralism is much more important now than ever. In only a few years, we have moved from a time in which there was, at least, a general acceptance of difference, to a time where there is fear about it, and very often a contesting of it.”

The 2019 finalists—from Canada, the United States, Lebanon, Hungary, Ghana, France, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Myanmar and several countries of the former Yugoslavia—are making vital contributions to pluralism, mainly through peacebuilding, the arts, education, social cohesion and integration of refugees and migrants.

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 to the inaugural awards in 2017.

All nominees undergo a rigorous review and jury selection process. The field of finalists will be narrowed down to three winners, to be announced in the fall, following in-country visits and consultations with key partners on the ground.

These three winners will each be granted $50,000 to advance their work in promoting pluralism.