2020 Annual Awards
Freedom House Annual Awards
The Power of Protest
September 16, 2020
6:45pm EST - Online Reception
7:00pm EST - Live Program Begins
For more than 78 years, Freedom House has worked to defend fundamental freedoms and promote democracy around the world. We analyze the challenges to democracy, advocate for greater support of civil liberties and political rights, and support frontline activists to defend human rights and promote democratic change.
Since 1943, our annual Freedom Awards have recognized outstanding leaders who have championed freedom and democracy, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Winston Churchill, Vaclav Havel, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Hala Al-Dosari, Edward R. Murrow and Bernard Baruch. Click here for a full list of past honorees.
This past year, a striking number of citizen protest movements emerged in every region of the world. While the spread of COVID-19 forced activists to re-think their activities, people are taking to the streets once again, putting their health and well-being at risk in an effort to fight oppression. Please join us to honor and celebrate the unquenchable desire for freedom, human dignity and equality, and the courage of the people demanding it.
Hong Kong's Pro-Democracy Movement
Special Remarks by Nathan Law
Sudanese Professionals Association
Award accepted by Samahir Ali Othman Almubarak
Organization of the December Revolution Martyrs' Families
Award accepted by Dr. Amira Babiker Ahmed Osman
RAISING AWARENESS AWARD
For Advocacy on Behalf of Human Rights, Women's Rights, and Refugees
Actor and Activist
Reflections on US Protests
for Racial Justice
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Former Presidential Candidate, Belarus
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Marco Rubio
The American Pops Orchestra feat. Nova Y. Payton
Freedom Award: Hong Kong's Pro-Democracy Movement
As the Chinese government has heightened repression at home and expanded efforts to export its authoritarianism abroad, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement — a leaderless, people-led effort —has inspired the world. Two million people have turned out to stand together in defense of the rights and freedoms they are supposed to enjoy under Hong Kong law. Beijing’s sudden imposition of a repressive new national security law has made these efforts tremendously dangerous. Yet the people of Hong Kong remain committed to defending their rights for future generations in new and creative ways. Nathan Law, a former Hong Kong lawmaker and prominent pro-democracy activist, will provide remarks during the event.
Freedom Award: Sudanese Professional Association
The Freedom Award will be accepted by Samahir Ali Othman Almubarak, on behalf of the Sudanese Professional Associations (SPA). The Sudanese Professionals Association, an independent organization made up of doctors, pharmacists, engineers, lawyers, journalists, teachers and supporters, organized and led the citizens of Sudan in peaceful protests demanding regime change in 2018. As a direct result of these protests, dictator Omar al-Bashir was removed from office in April 2019. Today, the SPA is part of Sudan’s transitional government.
Freedom Award: Organization of the December Revolution Martyrs' Families
The Freedom Award will be accepted by Dr. Amira Babiker Ahmed Osman, on behalf of the Organization of the December Revolution Martyrs' Families (ODRMF). The organization was created in response to the June 3, 2019 massacre of peaceful protesters by Sudan’s Armed Forces General Command. Their enduring mission is to ensure that justice for their loved ones is served and that their children did not die in vain. The ODRMF coalition serves as a watchdog guarding the values of freedom, peace and justice, and guiding Sudan toward a successful transition to democracy.
Raising Awareness Award: Nazanin Boniadi
Nazanin Boniadi is a British-Iranian actress who is known for her film and television performances in Hotel Mumbai, Homeland, Bombshell, How I Met Your Mother, and more. Boniadi is also a dedicated human and women’s rights advocate with a focus on Iran. She is an Amnesty International UK Ambassador, a member of the board of directors of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, and she was recently selected for membership in the Council on Foreign Relations. Boniadi also produced a documentary film called Stateless that exposes the plight of Iranian refugees and other asylums seekers who were forced to leave their homes to find freedom and safety. See some of Nazanin's work here.
Special Remarks: Reflections on US Protests for Racial Justice
The 2020 Annual Awards will feature remarks from Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, one of the country’s most important civil rights organizations. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law, targeting in particular the inequities confronting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities. Under her leadership, the organization has been at the forefront of tackling some of the nation’s biggest racial justice problems.
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS
Norm & Karen Willox, Compass Point Group, LLC.
Katherine & Ira Carnahan
Nonie & Andrew Prozes
Guardian of Freedom
Dr. Carol & Ambassador Kenneth Adelman
The Honorable Goli Ameri
David & Meade Fogel
Faith Morningstar & Ambassador Richard L. Morningstar
Susan & Thomas Staudt
Anne & Marcus Wedner
The Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation