The symbolic importance of this prize has never been greater. In a time of unprecedented movement, displacement and re-settlement by immigrants and refugees, our central challenge is how we are all to live together. This must involve upholding human rights, while both engendering inclusion and respect for each other, and celebrating the cultural differences that make us unique. This challenge of weaving together human rights and cultural differences will permit us to leave behind the old racial and religious divisions. This is the basis for true citizenship – meaningful engagement by citizens for citizens founded on shared principles and values.
“Adrienne Clarkson asked me to create the medal for the Prize for Global Citizenship. I had the idea of bringing together the world of creation with that of the great mythological winged deities. Sedna is the Inuit goddess from whom all creatures of the sea spring. Atalanta, Nike, Lilith and the winged bearers of souls in Norse lore, the Valkyrie, each exist in an imperfect world. But through their strength, intelligence, independence, and compassion, they have created an iconography of champions and dissenters. Each in their own way is unyielding and stands apart as they chart a new course against buffeting waves. In the narrative of this medal, Sedna the creator emerges from the waves to pass a vulnerable world to the outstretched arms of our winged guardian.”
— Anna Williams, sculptor
Special performance by Rufus Wainwright Internationally-acclaimed vocalist and songwriter