Wow, last Thursday was quite a night!
Global Exchange celebrated its 11th annual Human Rights Awards on May 9, 2013.
We had a great time with everyone who came to the Palace of Fine Arts, and we’re grateful for the support of our donors, sponsors, and volunteers.
Together, we helped shine a spotlight on the work of our amazing honorees; People’s Choice Awardee Julian Assange and Wikileaks (chosen by online voters by a wide margin), Grassroots Awardee Crystal Lameman, and Human Rights Awardee Noam Chomsky.
It’s hard to deliver highlights from the night because there were so many! And this, coming from a woman who has been to almost every annual Human Rights Awards gala since its inception.
Ok, but if I HAD to pick one, I’d say it was the speeches. They were moving and honest and left listeners wanting to act.
Grassroots Honoree Crystal Lameman delivered a sobering account of how her community and First Nations in Canada is impacted by the Tar Sands and how through determination they’re fighting to stop the Tar Sands.
Daniel Ellsberg and Jacob Appelbaum accepted the People’s Choice Award on behalf of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. We were excited to welcome back Daniel Ellsberg who accepted Bradley Manning’s People’s Choice Award last year.
Daniel read Julian Assange’s acceptance speech which you can read here. The part about spies in the audience gave attendees quite a chuckle, and this snippet really stood out for me, referring to Human Rights Award Honoree Noam Chomsky:
Noam, you are the sea; relentless and enduring. Crashing wave after wave of understanding into towering cliffs of lies, eroding them at their base. The rotten foreshore of empire has a precipitous overhang as a result. You have inspired and continue to inspire many, including me.
Besides the inspiring speeches, the evening included a silent auction, a Day of the Dead altar with catering staff from Work of Art catering who dressed the part, and musical entertainment by Rupa and the April Fishes.
The 2013 Human Rights Awards gala was also an opportunity for us to celebrate our 25th anniversary with many of those who have contributed to our successes over the years. Executive Director, Carleen Pickard, spoke from the podium about Global Exchange’s vision, victories and called for our collective action for climate justice.
Holding the event at the Palace of Fine Arts was perfectly fitting; the first Global Exchange Human Rights Awards gala was held there 11 years ago, adding a full-circle element to the evening.
As we take stock of Global Exchange at 25, despite the daunting challenges we still face, we look forward to celebrating more successes in the years to come.
- Help build an unstoppable movement for change! Your continued support is critical to our efforts. Help us found an unstoppable movement for change for the NEXT 25 years. Make your tax-deductible donation to Global Exchange today.
- Check out the 2013 Human Rights Awards photos— below and on Facebook and Flickr (and a few more on Instagram!)
- We’re traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico for a 25th Anniversary Reality Tour, from October 30, 2013 – November 7, 2013! Join us for a once in a lifetime opportunity.