The Nigeria prize for Difference and Diversity, endowed by the co-founder of RED | For Africa and founder of Joy, Inc., Chude Jideonwo has announced its judges and global advisory council as nominations for the prize continue.
Culled from diverse walks of life, the panel of judges is made up of some of the most distinctly decorated Nigerians from their individual fields. From actors Nse Ikpe-Etim and Beverly Naya, to decorated journalists Kiki Mordi, Harry Itie and CNN African Voices’ Arit Okpo. The extensive list of judges with their profiles is on diversity.ynaija.com, where one can also nominate the person they deem deserve the prize.
The mission of the prize, as stated by Chude Jideonwo, is “to open up the voices, hearts and spirits of young people across Nigeria, for them to embrace their true identities and accept their uniqueness without feeling suppressed, oppressed or misunderstood.”
Speaking about his inspiration for the prize, Chude Jideonwo said,
I like the idea of being an extremist for love and acceptance. It calls to something deep within my spirit. Because it is not homophobia or transphobia alone that breaks my heart—it’s inequality and oppression with regard to gender, to race, to religion; any part of the arena of human existence where being a minority or being different puts one automatically at risk.
The Nigeria Prize for Difference and Diversity, is me literally putting my money where my mouth is by endowing the prize for its first year. The prize will find and support young people across Nigeria who are creating safe spaces for and giving voice to people who are different in seven key areas: gender, sexuality, faith and spirituality, mental and emotional health, art, special needs, and human rights.
In order to achieve its objectives, the prize category is being gently guided by the wisdom and experience of a global advisory board of respectable professionals from diverse fields.
Among them is renowned pianist Cobhams Asuquo, human rights activist Olumide Makanjuola, vocal mental health professional and advocate Zainab Imam, writer and artist Lisa Teasley, author and historian Noah Tsika, CEO of All On Wiebe Boer, and writer and public health expert Ike Anya, among others.
Nominations are currently being collated on diversity.ynaija.com and will close on the 17th, August 2020.