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The 12th Annual Human Rights Awards was held May 8th 2014 in San Francisco. It was an inspiring evening that helped shine a spotlight on the work of our amazing 2014 honorees: the Freedom Schools, María Estela Barco Huerta, and the Cuban Five.

Freedom Schools visionary Charlie Cobb and Dream Defenders, Executive Director, Phillip Agnew took the stage to accept the award. Both channeled the power of history in honoring the struggle for civil rights and demanded that while we commemorate this history, we must recognize that there is still work to be done. See Phillip Agnew and Charlie Cobb’s speech on our Vimeo page.

We also honored María Estela Barco Huerta, a prominent anti-GMO activist who has played a leading role in organizing Agro-Ecology Learning Exchanges in Chiapas, Mexico. Ms. Barco works diligently to safeguard the way of life and livelihoods of indigenous people, as well as create a working alternative to industrial agriculture.  Click here to hear her acceptance speech.

The 2014 People’s Choice Award went to the Cuban Five. Accepting the award for the Cuban Five was María Eugenia Guerrero Rodriguez, the sister of Antonio Guerrero. The People’s Choice Award marks the first time these men have received recognition in the U.S., and the first time a family member of the Cuban 5 has spoken publicly in the U.S. on their behalf. The members of the Cuban 5 sent letters to Global Exchange expressing gratitude for the honor and for the continuing support from all their allies. See María Eugenia Guerrero Rodriguez’s speech on our Vimeo page.

We were honored to welcome special guest and artist, Aisha Fukushima, who moved the audience with her heartfelt spoken word and song performance.

We thank all those, once again, who helped make this event a success.