Art and Activism

Building Empathy and Pluralism in Adversity

On April 13, The Global Centre for Pluralism partnered with the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom to reflect on the work of two Global Pluralism Award laureates from 2021, Art and Activism: Building Empathy and Pluralism in Adversity 

The event’s introductory remarks were delivered by High Commissioner Robert Fry and Secretary General Meredith Preston McGhie, both of whom stressed the importance of actively building pluralism through advocacy and community work. This approach was further supported by the panelists Matt Beard, Executive Director of All Out and Omaid Sharifi, Co-Founder and Presidents of ArtLords. Specifically, Matt highlighted the role of everyday LGBT+ people in challenging harmful rhetoric. Omaid echoed this view by adding that ordinary people have a special role in celebrating diversity.  

The concluding Q&A session addressed burnout as an activist with Matt stating that an optimistic outlook is crucial in overcoming the powerful narratives that obstruct the work of human rights defenders.