For Immediate Release: October 21, 2008
NEW YORK – Human Rights First will host its annual dinner and 30th anniversary celebration honoring those at the forefront of the struggle to defend human rights, featuring actress Sigourney Weaver, who will serve as the master of ceremonies, Caroline Kennedy, who will accept an award on behalf of her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy, and singer Mary Chapin Carpenter, who will perform.
As Human Rights First looks ahead to its next 30 years, the organization is focusing on the power of new forms of media and technology in the struggle for international human rights. At the dinner on Thursday, October 23, starting at 6PM, Russian pro-democracy activist and blogger Oleg Kozlovsky and Egyptian Internet activist Nora Younis will be presented with the annual Human Rights Award, which honors individuals who exhibit extraordinary courage in the pursuit of freedom, dignity and fairness.
Kozlovsky, 24, and Younis, 31, have used online media to draw global attention to human rights abuses in their respective countries. Kozlovsky – a leader of a citizens’ movement in Russia that believes democracy is the only way to ensure and protect human rights – has been beaten, incarcerated, and forcibly conscripted into the Russian army because of his leadership on these issues. Similarly, Younis has been the target of verbal threats and intimidation because of her outspoken criticism of the Egyptian government concerning issues related to refugees and minorities, religious discrimination, torture, and sexual harassment.
Senator Ted Kennedy is being honored as a lifelong champion of international human rights. For nearly fifty years, he has fought against human rights violations around the world – from Central and South America to South Africa, Northern Ireland, the Philippines and Russia. His dedication has made him a voice for the voiceless and a true advocate for the fundamental rights of all peoples everywhere.
WHAT: Human Rights First Annual Dinner and 30th Anniversary Celebration saluting past efforts to combat human rights abuses and honoring the next generation of human rights defenders.
WHO: Sigourney Weaver, master of ceremonies; Caroline Kennedy, accepting an award on behalf of Senator Ted Kennedy; singer Mary Chapin Carpenter; and Oleg Kozlovsky and Nora Younis, two human rights bloggers being honored for their work to promote and protect human rights in Russia and Egypt.
WHEN: Thursday, October 23, 2008. Cocktail Reception at 6PM, Dinner and Program at 7:15PM
WHERE: Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, New York City.