Sept. 2, 2021

Ever wonder why everyone experiences the world differently?

Undergraduate students can explore human diversity in a new pluralism certificate

We need human diversity to build healthy, robust societies. Undergraduate students at UCalgary can register in the new embedded certificate in Pluralism and Global Citizenship to develop values, habits, and practices that foster responsible global citizenship. The embedded certificate is one of many micro credentials students can add to their degree programs

The introductory course in the certificate, Pluralism 201, engages students in critical self-reflection to develop awareness of their own assumptions and norms.

What is pluralism?

Dr. Harjeet Grewal, PhD, is teaching the introductory pluralism class this fall. As a person from a minority community, and someone who has faced numerous challenges in both Canada and internationally, he is excited to discuss pluralism as a way of learning to not just listen to one another but to also have meaningful exchanges and work together when there are serious impasses.

“Pluralism is the diversity of opinions, multitudes of expression that work socially toward problem-solving through the impossibility of consensus building,” says Grewal, an adjunct assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts. “We live in a world where there are ever increasing socioeconomic and cultural pressures, environment and ecological disasters, and reconciliations with past societal traumas wherein an appreciation for diversity of opinions needs to be respected and recognized.”

Enroll in the class

Students in Pluralism 201 will be asked to reflect on situations where pluralistic routes may have a personal impact and think about past instances in their lives where such approaches mattered. These exercises will help students think about why pluralism matters and how it functions in public space.

“I am particularly excited for students in the program to participate in the self-reflection part of the class,” says Dr. Gavin Cameron, associate dean, internationalization and global Initiatives, Faculty of Arts, and academic co-ordinator, Embedded Certificate in Pluralism and Global Citizenship. “The critical thinking skills in this course can be applied to working in a number of career paths including health care, education, government, marketing, and business.”

Students across all faculties can sign up for the Pluralism 201 class, and the certificate program. The class will be offered again in the winter 2022 semester. More information about the certificate program can be found online.