Ten projects have been named finalists by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW Group for the 2019 Intercultural Innovation Award. The selection process was highly competitive, with over 1,200 applications received from 128 countries.
The selected projects come from ten different countries across the world, underlining the global importance of the Intercultural Innovation Award and its commitment to the worldwide promotion of intercultural diversity and understanding.
Finalists this year include (in alphabetical order):
- Child Soldier Reintegration Project – Grassroots Reconciliation Group (Uganda)
- E4D Entrepreneurs for Diversity – Ventana a la Diversidad (Spain)
- Life Into Lyrics: Bridging Cultural Divides Through Song – Darkspark (Canada)
- Milenial Islami – Indika Foundation (Indonesia)
- MinorMatters: Rewind; Rebuild – The Alliance Development Trust (Sri Lanka)
- Inclusive Intercultural Education for Social Cohesion – Kachinland College (Myanmar)
- Schools of Peace – Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (El Salvador)
- Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom Chapter Expansion – Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (USA)
- Women as Peace Champions – Women’s Rights Association (Pakistan)
- 180 Degrees Turn – 180 Degrees Turn (Germany)
By supporting innovative intercultural grassroots projects with the potential for expansion and replication, the Intercultural Innovation Award aims to contribute to peace, prosperity and building more inclusive societies. Launched in 2011, the Intercultural Innovation Award is the result of a unique public-private partnership between UNAOC and the BMW Group. This model of collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector creates deeper impact, as both partners provide their respective expertise to ensure the sustainable growth of each project.
Throughout a one-year support period, the selected projects will reap the benefit of expertise and resources from the BMW Group and UNAOC. In addition to receiving financial support, the finalists will have the opportunity to participate in training activities, webinars and tailored made workshops. They also become members of the “Intercultural Leaders” network, a skills and knowledge-sharing platform for civil society organizations and young leaders that work on addressing cross-cultural tensions.
The final rankings will be announced during the Intercultural Innovation Award Ceremony to be held in Madrid, Spain on December 10 2019. The ceremony will be chaired by H.E Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, and Bill McAndrews, Vice President Market Communications, BMW Group.
This year’s selected projects touch on a number of important issues. Below is a brief description for each:
Child Soldier Reintegration Project – Grassroots Reconciliation Group | Uganda 🇺🇬
Grassroots Reconciliation Group (GRG) builds trust between local community members and ex-child soldiers of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who have escaped from rebel captivity in Northern Uganda. Through this project, GRG helps traumatized and stigmatized former child soldiers reconcile with their communities through innovative socio-economic and peacebuilding programs.
E4D Entrepreneurs for Diversity – Ventana a la Diversidad (Window to Diversity) | Spain 🇪🇸
E4D is a global platform of collaborative creativity that connects the world’s youth through art and new technologies. The E4D project is an ecosystem that emerges and promotes interculturally-innovative young entrepreneurs, from indigenous and marginalized communities in creative industries.
Life Into Lyrics: Bridging Cultural Divides Through Song – Darkspark | Canada 🇨🇦
Darkspark is an arts organization that uses songwriting and recording of pop songs to engage youth and promote cross-cultural understanding. Through this project, Darkspark works with a team of talented producers, songwriters and content creators to bring Pop Culture projects to life. Together, they collaborate with recording artists, youth and communities from around the world on projects that encourage civic engagement and address timely social challenges.
Milenial Islami – Indika Foundation | Indonesia 🇮🇩
Indika Foundation serves a cause to champion tolerance and nation-building in Indonesia. By working on a wide spectrum of issues such as youth empowerment and interfaith dialogues, Milenial Islami project promotes peaceful religious values and critical thinking courses by utilizing technology and real-life interactions.
MinorMatters: Rewind; Rebuild – The Alliance Development Trust | Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
MinorMatters: Rewind; Rebuild is dedicated to protecting the rights and liberties of religious minority groups in Sri Lanka. Through this project they promote awareness on issues surrounding religious freedom and support and empower efforts to advance justice and national coexistence. Furthermore, they work to highlight violations of religious rights and to document attacks on religious groups and places of worship.
Inclusive Intercultural Education for Social Cohesion – Kachinland College | Myanmar 🇲🇲
Kachinland College is a knowledge social enterprise that inspires and incubates young leaders to mold the future of peaceful Kachin State by providing quality level education. This project is inspiring and equipping young leaders to become facilitators of intercultural dialogue in real and digital virtual communities of war-torn northern Myanmar.
Schools of Peace – Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen | El Salvador 🇸🇻
The Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (MUPI) is a foundation dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the historical and cultural patrimony of El Salvador. The MUPI permanently accompanies indigenous and peasant communities in their process to document their historical memory by organizing youth workshops. Through this project, MUPI contributes to the educational and cultural development of the country through the conservation and distribution of El Salvador’s national heritage, and to create spaces of reflection on societal problems.
Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom Chapter Expansion – Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom | USA 🇺🇸
The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom aims to build trust, respect, and relationships between American and Canadian Muslim and Jewish women and teenage girls. Through this project, the women commit to end acts of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim sentiment and stand up for one another when hate is aimed at their communities by engaging in social action work. This project aims to build bridges and fight hate, negative stereotyping and prejudice.
Women as Peace Champions – Women’s Rights Association | Pakistan 🇵🇰
Women’s Rights Association serves as a platform for women and youth to utilize their skills and enhance their social, economic and political capacities. Women as Peace Champion project ensures the participation of women and young girls and their engagement as promoters of respect and tolerance in diverse areas of society.
180 Degrees Turn – 180 Degrees Turn | Germany 🇩🇪
180 Degrees Turn strengthens young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds with various educational and counseling services. 180 Degrees Turn is committed to empower youth in becoming successful in their future. Their fields of activity include prevention, intervention, mediation, rehabilitation, deradicalization and empowerment.