Congratulations to Puja Kapai who has won the prestigious 2021 Global Pluralism Award from the Global Centre for Pluralism, an international research and education centre in Canada. The Award celebrates exemplary achievements in building more inclusive societies where diversity is protected. This year 500 nominations spanning 70 countries were received and Puja received the award for her research, advocacy, and mobilization in the advancement of the equal rights of Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities, women and children. Another 2 awardees are a school project promoting Jewish-Arab education in Israel and an organization in Kenya helping the historically excluded communities to access even the most basic services. Click here to view the Virtual Ceremony that was held with remarks from the Right Hon. Joe Clark who was chair of the international jury for the award.
“I am most humbled to receive the Global Pluralism Award,” Puja Kapai said. “By honouring my work in advancing social justice in relation to race, gender and minority rights, the Award renders visible the lived realities of all those who are routinely marginalised and experience systemic exclusion and discrimination in nearly every sphere of life. The Award also signals the responsibilities we each carry to begin the journey of inclusion, acceptance and pluralism at home.”
Puja Kapai is an academic, lawyer and social justice advocate who challenges gendered and racialised cultural norms. An HKU alum who grew up in Hong Kong, she is also Convenor of the HKU Women’s Studies Research Centre, which advocates around issues of gender, sexuality and diversity as well as Director of the Faculty’s Social Justice Summer Internship program which partners with students and NGOs working on gender-based violence, human trafficking and migration, ethnic minorities, children’s rights and COVID-19 related inequalities to conduct research and develop related recommendations to drive policy change. Growing up as an ethnic minority child in racially homogenous Hong Kong, Kapai faced barriers to education from an early age; these experiences inspired her to break these barriers as an advocate, attorney, and legal scholar.