This year’s Annual Pluralism Lecture, presented by the Global Centre for Pluralism in partnership with the University of British Columbia, will be livestreamed on 19 May, and will feature opening remarks by Princess Zahra.

The 8th Annual Pluralism Lecture, entitled “The Moment of Encounter: History, Disruptions, and Transformations” will be delivered by Ethiopian-American novelist Maaza Mengiste from New York’s Center for Fiction.

Ms Mengiste will speak about her journey into historical research while writing her critically acclaimed novel, The Shadow King, which was a finalist for the 2020 Booker Prize. She will discuss the surprising and revelatory discoveries she made about collective memory and official archives, and what history can teach us about the future.

In her opening remarks, Princess Zahra, who is a Global Centre for Pluralism Board Member, will reflect on how the pandemic has created an urgency for conversations and actions centered on building respect, empathy, and a more equitable, just, and prosperous future for all.

Following the lecture, Ms Nahlah Ayed, host and producer of CBC Ideas, will engage in a conversation with Ms Mengiste to discuss some of the lecture’s themes.

The Global Centre for Pluralism is an independent, charitable organization founded by Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Government of Canada. The Centre works with policy leaders, educators, and community builders around the world to amplify and implement the transformative power of pluralism.

The lecture will be webcast live on The Ismaili TV on 19 May at 12 PM (Toronto), 5 PM (London), and 8 PM (Dubai), and will replay on The Ismaili TV in the days after the event.