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Home / Event / 30th Anniversary Human Rights Award Dinner

30th Anniversary Human Rights Award Dinner

Date: 
October 23, 2008 - 6:00pm

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

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SALUTING
Long-time Partner and Human Rights Activist Senator Edward M. Kennedy

AND HONORING
The Next Generation of Human Rights Defenders:
Oleg Kozlovsky
Nora Younis

EVENING HOST
Sigourney Weaver

PRESENTERS
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Saad Eddin Ibrahim
Asma Jahangir
Caroline Kennedy
Kerry Kennedy
Elisa Massimino
Michael Posner
Mary Robinson
William D. Zabel

DINNER CHAIRS
Andi and Tom A. Bernstein, Gail Furman, HBO, Lizanne and Barry Rosenstein – JANA Partners,
and William D. Zabel and Deborah Miller

Human Rights Fist 30th Anniversary 

Senator Edward M. Kennedy 

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Representing Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate since 1962, Senator Edward M. Kennedy has been elected to eight full terms and is the second-most senior member of the Senate. His service has extended well beyond the borders of Massachusetts. Throughout his career, Kennedy has fought for issues that benefit the people of Massachusetts, the nation, and the world.

His effort to make quality health care accessible and affordable to every American is a battle that Kennedy has been waging ever since he arrived in the Senate. In addition, he is active on a wide range of other issues, including education reform and immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, defending the rights of workers and their families, strengthening civil rights, assisting individuals with disabilities, fighting for cleaner water and cleaner air, and protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare.

Kennedy’s fight against human rights violations in Central and South America, South Africa, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, and Russia; his commitment to refugees fleeing oppression; and his dedication to the rights of all Americans in the wake of anti-terrorism legislation have made him a voice for the voiceless and a true advocate for the fundamental rights of all peoples everywhere.

Oleg Kozlovsky, Russia 

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In 2007, Oleg Kozlovsky, a coordinator of the Russian democratic youth movement Oborona, was arrested and taken to a remote military base where he was illegally forced into the army. Two months after his release, Kozlovsky was arrested and threatened once again for his involvement with Oborona.

Being targeted by the police has become almost routine for Kozlovsky, 24, who has been involved in pro-democracy protests in Russia for several years. He has been arrested more than a dozen times and has served three short prison sentences, including a 15-day sentence for his participation in the 2006 Belarusian “Jeans Revolution” in Minsk and a two-week sentence for civil disobedience in May of this year. Still, Kozlovsky bravely continues to peacefully uphold the principles of democracy despite increasing authoritarianism in Russia. Oborona– which means “defense”–opposes oppression in contemporary Russia, is committed to non-violence, and focuses on protecting human rights.

With Russia’s television and print media subject to severe pressure and monitoring by the state, Kozlovsky uses the Internet to promote his grassroots organizing. He maintains blogs in both Russian and English, his opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, and he has traveled and spoken widely about restoring democratic freedoms in Russia.

Nora Younis, Egypt

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In December 2005, activist Nora Younis spent a night taking notes and shooting photos as Egyptian soldiers kicked Sudanese refugees out of a Cairo public square with water cannons and nightsticks. Nearly 30 refugees were killed that night. For months, they had been protesting their poor treatment in Egypt. Posting her photos and observations in a blog entry titled, “Disgraced to be Egyptian: A Testimony,” Younis called attention to a topic largely ignored by Egyptian and international media.

Earlier that year, Younis witnessed plainclothes security officers sexually assault several women during a protest for Egyptian reform and democracy. The thugs, under the direction of an Egyptian police general who had originally offered the women protection, also beat Younis and others. Despite capturing the incident on film and filing a complaint with the public prosecutor, Younis was ignored. She later mobilized a movement against sexual harassment.

One of the few well-known women bloggers in Egypt, Younis, 31, represents a growing movement of young activists who use new media technologies, blogs and websites like Flickr and YouTube to expose and document human rights abuses. Younis faces intimidation and criticism, but she courageously continues to post regularly and organize campaigns. While most renowned for her advocacy for the rights of Sudanese refugees in Egypt, Younis has also been instrumental in calling attention to topics like discrimination against religious minorities, torture, and police misconduct.

HONORARY COMMITTEE

Adam Abram
Carol Bellamy
Helen and Robert Bernstein
George Biddle
Lili Brown
Gillian Caldwell
Robert Crane
Brigadier General James P. Cullen, USA (Ret.)
Mary Daly
Judy and Kim Davis
Matthew S. Dontzin
Peter Edelman
Joe Eldridge
Sissy Farenthold
Martin Flaherty
Bennett Freeman
Peter Gabriel
Alex Gibney
Dan Glickman
Marjan and Jonathan Greenblatt
Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.)
Major General Fred E. Haynes, USMC (Ret.)
Arnold Hiatt
General Joseph P. Hoar, USMC (Ret.)
Mary Holland
Saad and Barbara Ibrahim
Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.)
Zach Iscol
Oren Jacoby and Betsy West
Asma Jahangir
Hina Jilani
Robert Juceam
Adam M. Kanzer
Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall
Kerry Kennedy
Dr. Mathilde Krim
Jesse Margolin
Mark and Anla Cheng Kingdon Foundation
Angel Martinez
Alberto J. Mora
Major General William L. Nash (USA, Retired) and Elizabeth H. Becker
William G. O’Neill
Diane Orentlicher
Lieutenant General Charles Otstott, USA (Ret.)
George Packer
The Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation
Nelson Peltz
Robert M. Pennoyer
Mary Robinson
George Rupp
Jill Savitt
Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr.
Jerome J. Shestack
James R. Silkenat
Jay and Kelly Sugarman
Rick Swartz, Esq.
William H. Taft, IV
Anne Travers
Robert O. Varenik
Sigourney Weaver
Lynn Witkowski

LEADERSHIP
Adam Abram
Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P.
Angelson Family Foundation
Andi and Tom A. Bernstein
Bloomberg
The Brenner Family Foundation
John K. Castle
Citi
Deborah and Craig Cogut
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP
Matthew S. Dontzin
Edward P. Evans
The Feinberg Group, LLP
Gail Furman
Leslie Gimbel and Marc Kusnetz
Myrna and Steve Greenberg
HBO
Samuel J. and Ronnie F. Heyman
Virginia and Robert Joffe
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Joann and Robert Todd Lang
The Lanier Law Firm
Latham & Watkins LLP
Kenneth and Jeanne Levy-Church
The Picower Foundation
The Ripplewood Foundation, Inc.
Lizanne and Barry Rosenstein—JANA Partners
Betsy and Clifford Ross
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Harold Snyder and Tamar Hirschl Snyder
Jay and Kelly Sugarman
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
TRIARC Companies, Inc.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
William D. Zabel and Deborah Miller