Wednesday, October 21, 2010
[HOLD FOR IMAGE GALLERY]
Honoring: Ugandan LGBTI human rights defender Julius Kaggwa and Roma human rights activist Viktória Mohácsi
Special Guest: Gerda Weissmann Klein, Holocaust survivor, humanitarian, and Academy Award winner
Dinner Chairs: Andi and Tom A. Bernstein, Daniel and Alisa Doctoroff, Alberto Mora and Susan Talalay, and William D. Zabel and Deborah Miller
2010 Human Rights Award
Born and raised in Uganda, Julius Kaggwa is an advocate for the human rights of sexual minorities in Uganda and throughout Africa. He is a leader in the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law and directs the Support Initiative for People with Atypical Sex Development (SIPD).
Kaggwa has led the fight against a draconian anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda that aims to make engaging in any homosexual act a crime—in some cases punishable by death. Kaggwa also works to create a more tolerant environment for sexual minorities and their supporters in Uganda. Kaggwa has been harassed and threatened because of his work, but he continues to fight for human rights, playing an increasingly public role despite the danger he faces daily.
From 2004 until 2009, Viktória Mohácsi was a member of the European Parliament— one of only two Euro-parliamentarians of Roma origin in a region with as many as 12 million Roma people. Mohácsi lost her seat against a backdrop of rising xenophobia, anti-Roma rhetoric, and antisemitism.
Mohácsi founded Desegregation, an organization in Hungary that monitors and records hate crimes against Roma and presses for stronger government responses to the rising tide of violence there. Mohácsi advocates respect for the human rights of Roma people throughout Europe and, despite death threats against her and her family, has devoted herself to ending the extreme violence, widespread discrimination, hate-filled popular rhetoric, and massive unemployment facing this increasingly vulnerable and marginalized European population.