YEREVAN — In its third year, the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity has received 750 submissions for 509 unique candidates.
During the nomination period which opened the day after the 2017 prize was announced, and closed September 8, entries were submitted in 12 languages from 115 countries including the US, Russia, Egypt, Armenia, India, Germany, UK, Pakistan, Ukraine, and Kenya. This represents a 100-percent increase from last year, when 254 candidates were presented in 13 languages from 66 countries.
“That 750 people took the time to prepare and submit the names of 509 humanitarians is very moving, and also compelling,” said Noubar Afeyan, co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. “This confirms our belief that there is value to collectively celebrating the strength and spirit of those rare individuals who, in some way, act in our name, in our stead, and through their actions, validate and protect our own humanity. The Aurora Prize is a way of putting our gratitude into action, expressing our thanks for the selfless heroes who make it possible for others to survive. We are committed, through Aurora, to empower contemporary heroes and raise awareness about their actions.”
The profiles of the candidates for the 2018 Aurora Prize will be sent to the group of humanitarians invited by the Aurora Initiative will carefully assess the veracity of the submissions, the degree to which they satisfy the criteria of demonstrated courage, commitment and impact on preserving human life. The shortlist of candidates will be sent to the Selection Committee chaired by Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney.
“At a time of pressing global humanitarian crises, it is great that we have the opportunity to recognize and thank individuals who do good for the sake of doing good. Each year’s Aurora nominees have inspired us all with their work and their words. We look forward to learning about new heroes from around the world,” said Mary Robinson, member of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, former president of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Selection Committee includes Nobel Laureates Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former president of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former foreign minister of Australia and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans; former president of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo; Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham; president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Vartan Gregorian.