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Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award


The Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award was established in 2006. The award is annually presented by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Council for a Livable World to individuals who exemplify the late Father Drinan's commitment to peace and human justice.

The award broadly focuses on U.S. politics, political science, physical science, biology, peace studies, and peace and human rights activism.


In 1970, Father Robert F. Drinan became the first Roman Catholic priest to be elected to the United States Congress. He served five terms as a congressman before an edict by Pope John Paul II forced him to choose between politics and his faith. He consistently championed legislation promoting peace and justice worldwide.

Drinan grew up in Hyde Park and was educated at Boston College. He became a Jesuit, got his law degree at Georgetown, and became dean of the Boston College Law School in 1956. Drinan set up a presidential scholars program to attract top students from around the country. He established the law review and a legal aid clinic in Waltham to help the poor. He was in the vanguard of those who transformed Boston College into a national institution.

Drinan had great intellectual curiosity, energy, and enthusiasm, and later he extended his influence across the city, calling for the desegregation of the Boston schools as part of a broader campaign to secure civil rights for minorities. He also came to oppose the Vietnam War.

With all the goodwill he generated, Drinan was a natural to run as an anti-war candidate for Congress in 1970. He defeated the Democratic incumbent and was invulnerable to conventional opposition during his 10 years in office. But he remained a Jesuit to the core, one of those remarkable men who used the skills acquired in the order to improve the world.

He became a professor at Georgetown Law School, headed Americans for Democratic Action, and worked on international issues for the American Bar Association. He returned often to Boston College, notably in October 2004, when he received the Distinguished Service Medal on the 75th anniversary of the Law School's founding.

Drinan was a longtime member of Council for a Livable World's Board of Directors.


UAW President Bob King
Bob King has led delegations to Mexico and El Salvador to stand in solidarity with the oppressed. In 1990 he led delegations to El Salvador to support trade unionists and church members who were victims of a long campaign of deadly bombings, death-squad murders and disappearances carried out by Salvadoran military officers trained by the U.S. military’s School of the Americas in Ft. Benning, Ga. King has long been involved in efforts to close the school because its graduates use the training received there to terrorize religious activists, community activists, trade unionists and political opponents in Latin America.

Representative Jim McGovern
Jim McGovern represents Massachusetts 3rd congressional district where he has been widely recognized as a tenacious advocate for his district, a tireless crusader for change and an unrivaled supporter for social justice and fundamental human rights. He voted against the initial authorization of force in Iraq in 2002, and has been among the most prominent Congressional voices on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. McGovern introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill calling for a flexible timetable for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as a matter of national security and fiscal responsibility.


2009- Congressman Barney Frank and Ambassador Robert Gallucci
2008 - Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congressman John Hall, and Actor Richard Schiff
2007 - Senator Edward Kennedy (MA)
2006 - Father Robert F. Drinan

For more information about the Drinan Award, please contact Amber Cruz.

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