Thank you to all who made the 2015 Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award such a success!
Every year the Council for a Livable World, PeacePAC, and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation present the Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award to leaders who exemplify Father Drinan’s commitment to peace and human justice. This year’s event was held at the Frederick Douglass Museum in the heart of Capitol Hill on the evening of June 9th. Prior to the awards presentations, Council and Center board members, supporters, and students mixed and mingled, creating a lively atmosphere full of excitement about the work currently being conducted by the Council and the Center.
The awards ceremony began after the arrival of Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the first Drinan Award recipient of the evening. Tim Brennan had the honor of presenting the award and called the audience’s attention to Murphy’s incredible leadership while in the Senate. Murphy was selected for the award based on his advocacy for non-military solutions to conflict and for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, settinghim apart from his counterparts in the Senate. During his remarks, Senator Murphy exclaimed that there simply “is no worthier cause” than the work being pursued by the Council and Center, and thanked Executive Director Angela Canterbury for her leadership in working toward progressive causes.
Laura Rozen, a journalist with Al-Monitor, received the second award of the evening for her groundbreaking coverage of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Ever since she initially broke the story of backchannel negotiations between the U.S. and Iran over Iran’s nuclear program, her efforts have helped the world understand the complex and often nuanced details that surround nuclear diplomacy. Rozen’s award was presented by Bob Musil, who likened Rozen to Frederick Douglass for her capacity to speak truth to power. In her remarks, Rozen gave an exclusive, illuminating account of final strides toward securing the deal with Iran. As Laura is apt to do in her stories, she brought to life for the audience these exciting and high-stakes negotiations.
And last but certainly not least, following a short delay due to late-night votes in the House, Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) received the third and final Drinan Award of 2015. Former Ambassador Peter Galbraith impressed the audience with a comprehensive history lesson while awaiting the arrival of Congressman Ellison and later presented the Congressman with his award. While in Congress, Ellison has proven himself a champion of civil rights and human justice, having been arrested several times for protesting for worthy causes, in addition to pursuing a truly progressive foreign policy. Upon receiving his award, Ellison took to the podium to declare, “Peace has to have a constituency,” followed by cheers and applause from the audience. Ellison also identified the need for bravery in Congress when it comes to making hard decisions about national security issues. “I am all about being smart,” he said, “but around here we need some guts too.” Amen.
This year’s event was a tremendous success for our three organizations, for the audience, and for our honorees, who left us all with inspiration to continue this great work. The Council and Center are grateful for all supporters and attendees who helped us honor the three, very deserving recipients of the 2015 Father Robert F. Drinan Awards.
Below, watch videos of our honorees as they accept their award and give their remarks, and view a slideshow of photos taken of the event.Additionally, be sure to visit our YouTube and Facebook pages for more pictures and video!