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Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson

Social Justice

NMD Wins ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism

Press Release

NEW YORK – The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is pleased to announce that the 2020 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism will go to No More Deaths in support of its humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering and end the fatalities of those crossing the southern border of the United States. One of the largest monetary awards for human rights in the world, the ALBA/Puffin Award is a $100,000 cash prize granted annually by ALBA and the Puffin Foundation to honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who volunteered in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) to fight fascism under the banner of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. This year’s award acknowledges the urgent need for humanitarian aid to safeguard the lives of immigrants and refugees worldwide, and the profound bravery of the civil disobedience sometimes necessary to accomplish that goal. The award ceremony will take place at the Japan Society in New York on May 17, 2020 at 5pm.

“No More Deaths is comprised of individuals from all walks of life who are standing up in defense of human rights against the ill-formed and odious actions of their own government. Their work speaks louder than words, saving lives that have been devalued by heartless US policies.”– Perry Rosenstein, President of The Puffin Foundation

No More Deaths is a humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona. It was created in 2004 as a coalition of community and faith groups, dedicated to stepping up efforts to stop the deaths of migrants in the desert and to achieving the enactment of a set of Faith-Based Principles for Immigration Reform. This coalition later developed into an autonomous project dedicated to ending the death and suffering in the Mexico–US borderlands through multiple projects of civil initiative.

“It's an honor to be recognized for the vital work we do in the borderlands. Over the past few years our organization has been targeted as part of widespread attacks on undocumented people in the United States. However, we will not be deterred,” stated Paige Corich-Kleim, a longtime desert aid worker. “We will use these resources to further our mission and continue to stand in solidarity with migrating people around the world.”

Drawing on the foundational principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence, No More Deaths is dedicated to its mission to end death and suffering in the US Borderlands. The organization has conducted multiple projects to aid and bear witness to the struggles of migrants at the border. Through its network of volunteers, No More Deaths has maintained a year-round humanitarian presence in the deserts of southwestern Arizona; a program of research and documentation to expose patterns of abuse against people crossing the border at the hands of Border Patrol; an aid program in northern Sonora for migrants that plan to cross the desert; and a weekly legal clinic in Tucson that works side by side with community members applying for status or facing deportation and that trains participants to help each other through the immigration court process. No More Death also operates a 24-hour Missing Migrant Hotline and deploys search and rescue teams to look for the disappeared.

“No More Deaths embodies the same spirit of volunteerism, humanitarian intervention, and courage that animated the volunteers of the Lincoln Brigade more than 80 years ago,” said Kate Doyle, Chair of ALBA’s Human Rights Committee. “In the face of the global refugee crisis and the failure of current public policies, No More Deaths offers a powerful model for personal and collective conscientious engagement.”

The ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism is an initiative to sustain the legacy of the experiences, aspirations, and idealism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. It supports contemporary international activists and human rights causes. Philanthropist and visionary Perry Rosenstein, President of the Puffin Foundation, created and established an endowed fund for this human rights award in 2010.

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