UCalgary Pluralism Initiative

What is Pluralism?

The following definition has been adopted to broadly encompass multiple disciplines and professional orientations:

Defined simply, pluralism is an ethic of respect for diversity. Whereas diversity in society is a fact, how societies respond to diversity is a choice. Pluralism results from the daily decisions taken by state institutions, civil society associations and individuals to recognize and value human differences.

Global Centre for Pluralism

Pluralism & Global Citizenship Webinar Series

The University of Calgary is proud to present the Pluralism and Global Citizenship webinar series. Co-hosted by University of Calgary Chancellor, Deborah Yedlin and Dr. Aleem Bharwani, Director for Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships at the Cumming School of Medicine, the series will explore the many dimensions of pluralism: the active process of inclusion – recognizing, respecting and valuing difference.

The Power of Stories To Shape a COVID Recovery

Words create worlds. The language we use and stories we tell shape our understanding of the world, and, in doing so, they shape the world itself.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep societal divides and challenged us to reconsider our collective sense of belonging and recognition in society. The way we understand and talk about this story today has the power to propel transformative change towards a more just, equitable and prosperous tomorrow. Will we learn from the pandemic and finally shift the conversation around equity and belonging, or will the history of exclusion repeat itself?

Join Meredith Preston McGhie, secretary general of the Global Centre for Pluralism, and Dr. Malinda Smith, PhD, vice-provost (equity, diversity and inclusion) at UCalgary, to discuss the power of stories and language to shape belonging and a better recovery.

Truth vs Civility Online: Fact, Fiction, and Funny

Sarcasm and harsh humour attract attention on social media, which is useful when using the digital space to combat the spread of misinformation. But what toll does cynical discourse take on civility, and how can comedy help us respect difference without sacrificing scientific fact?

Join us to discuss the pursuit of truth through respectful disagreement with Timothy Caulfield, a legal scholar renowned for fighting the rise of pseudoscience and misinformation, and Andrew Phung, an actor and comedian practiced at finding the line separating the callous from the comedic.  

Nurturing Empathy in Uncertain Times

Explore how parents and educators can help grow empathy in children in digital environments and uncertain times. 

Learning and communication technology has changed the way children develop emotional intelligence. We face a crossroads in education that requires purposeful decisions about policy and curriculum to help nurture empathy in children.  

Join educator and parenting expert Mary Gordon and Dianne Gereluk, Dean of UCalgary’s Werklund School of Education for this discussion about how parents and educators can encourage empathy in children and help them see the power of diverse views.   

Integrative Thinking in Business

Explore how combining opposing ideas can lead to truly innovative ways of thinking and doing. Integrative thinking reveals inspiration in difference, by leveraging diversity towards greater success in business.  

Join a thoughtful conversation about pluralism and the value of difference in business strategy, with panelists Roger Martin, renowned thinker and Professor Emeritus at the Rotman School of Management, and Dr. Justin Weinhardt, PhD, motivation and decision-making researcher and Associate Professor at the Haskayne School of Business.   

Multilateralism — Canada’s Role in the World

When leaders regard difference as an asset rather than a threat, they reveal the opportunity to learn from one another and enrich our lives and communities with new perspectives and ideas.

Former Premier of Quebec and recognized multilateralist Jean Charest joins Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dru Marshall to explore the power and importance of embracing pluralism in large organizations in order to secure peace and prosperity for future generations.


Cancer and loneliness: How inclusion could save lives

COVID-19 has ignited a worldwide conversations about inequality. The question is whether we just want to talk about inequity or make the changes to produce more fair outcomes.

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Public Health as an Act of Inclusive Citizenship

Active and inclusive citizenship during the pandemic has looked a little different. We have seen people come together to donate and support others, but we have also seen citizens take more active roles in public health.

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Embedded Certificate in Pluralism and Global Citizenship

The Embedded Certificate in Pluralism and Global Citizenship will encourage students to develop values, habits, and practices that foster responsible global citizenship. Students will learn to recognize their own assumptions and values, appreciate different sets of values shaped by other cultures and identities, develop a disposition toward openness and the skills needed to promote civil discourse about contentious issues, enabling them to live and act responsibly in an increasingly global world.