Nominations are now open for the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, a new annual international humanitarian award to be given to a person or a group of people who put themselves at risk to enable others to survive. From July to October, a designated portal on will allow individuals to submit nominations for candidates they believe have overcome great personal challenges to make an exceptional impact on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes.
To evaluate the submitted nominations, the Aurora Prize has gathered together an acclaimed group of people to serve on its Selection Committee, including Nobel Laureates Elie Wiesel, Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former President of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former Australian Foreign Minister and President and CEO of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans; President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian; and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney. All of them are accomplished in a diverse range of fields, but are united in their commitment to the principles of humanitarianism.
“We are calling for nominations of lesser known yet inspirational stories of courage and intervention,” said Aurora Prize Co-Founder, Ruben Vardanyan. “We want to honor those who risk their own safety because of a heightened sense of humanity and responsibility and support life-saving causes in a tangible way.”
The Aurora Prize is the philanthropic vision of Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan, the co-founders of 100 LIVES, an initiative expressing gratitude to the individuals and institutions whose heroic actions saved Armenian lives during the Genocide 100 years ago. 100 LIVES seeks to share remarkable stories of saviors and survivors and celebrate the strength of the human spirit. Together they are seeking to build a humanitarian movement by drawing attention to the issues faced by the world’s most vulnerable and reward individuals and organizations that work to address those issues in a substantial and consequential manner.
“Sadly, tragic issues and events continue to plague the world’s populations,” said Aurora Prize Co-Chair George Clooney. “This Prize seeks to draw the world’s attention to some of the remarkable efforts being undertaken to help save the world’s most vulnerable from humanitarian crises happening around the globe.”
The winner will be honored with a US$100,000 award, as well as a US$1,000,000 grant to be donated to a charitable organization that inspired their work. This is consistent with the spirit of the Prize and allows the recipient to continue the cycle of giving. Nominations may span a broad range of sectors in the non-profit field, including economic development, public health, law, government and education.
“The Aurora Prize is designed to make a real difference to the causes that motivate people to risk their health, liberty, reputation, or livelihood to help others to survive and thrive,” said Aurora Prize Co-Chair Elie Wiesel. ”What distinguishes this Prize from others is the legacy this award will create through investing in the organizations that inspire acts of humanity.”
Mr. Clooney will present the inaugural Aurora Prize to the winning recipient during a ceremony to be held April 24, 2016 in Yerevan, Armenia.