Advocates for Human Rights Hosted Annual Award Dinner


The Advocates for Human Rights held its annual Human Rights Awards Dinner on June 22, 2022. The largest gathering of human rights supporters in the Upper Midwest returned live at the Nicollet Island Pavilion for an evening of celebration and community. The program recognized inspiring people at the heart of the human rights movement.

The Advocates presented its Special Recognition Award to Fe y Justicia. Fe y Justicia is a Central Minnesota-based Latinx-led organization that has partnered with The Advocates to expand asylum access in rural communities. The Advocates also presented volunteer awards to several outstanding individuals and teams whose contributions advanced human rights in Minnesota and around the world. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s multi-office global team worked to document the anti-gender movement and its tactics in Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Sahar Abas (Dubai) and Lauren Connell (New York) flew in to accept the award.

Ava Kelley, a law student at UW-Madison, enhanced access to justice for asylum seekers through her legal internship and volunteer contributions. David and Mary Parker were recognized for their more than 20 years of contributions to The Advocates, including their efforts to end child labor and support free education through the organization’s school in Nepal. The Advocates also recognized five client activists. They courageously volunteered with The Advocates to bring human rights abuses in their countries of origin to the attention of the United Nations.

Neil Datta, a founder of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, received the 2022 Don & Arvonne Fraser Human Rights Award because of his fearless commitment to investigating and exposing the movement to roll back advancements in human rights. Datta, who gave the keynote address, spoke of his work to protect fundamental rights in the face of lawsuits and personal threats.

The Advocates for Human Rights is an international human rights organization based in Minneapolis. The Advocates engaged more than 1500 volunteers last year in representing people fleeing persecution, torture, and trafficking; monitoring court proceedings; and documenting and advocating to end human rights abuses. Rooted in deep expertise and strong relationships, The Advocates works in its home community and in partnerships around the globe to address some of the most intractable human rights issues. The Advocates is already preparing for next year’s event celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Photos courtesy of Bill Cameron.

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