Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says an art installation in Ottawa spearheaded by Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri is a reminder of the positivity and hope needed in the world.

Inspired by the legacy of former South African president Nelson Mandela, the "Humanity" art installation is made up of 35 words that reflect what humanity means to Ujiri.

Ujiri, also the co-founder of the Giants of Africa organization that provides basketball camps to boys and girls on the continent, first launched the art exhibit in 2021.

It was first unveiled at Toronto's Union Station and has also been displayed at Pearson International Airport, before finding its latest home in Ottawa's Major's Hill Park.

The 2.4-metre-tall circular sculpture uses light to create a ripple effect from the words carved into it, including "human rights," "generosity" and "unity."

Trudeau and Ujiri appeared together on Friday at an event to launch the installation in the capital, where the prime minister says humanity is about empathy.

"It's about understanding that as different as the person across from you may be in their background, in their story, in their religion and their skin colour, they are the same -- with the same fears, the same hopes, the same desires for our kids," Trudeau says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2022.