18By Vote wins 2024 ALBA/Puffin Award

February 2, 2024

An in-person award ceremony in New York City will be held on May 4 to honor the 2024 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism recipient, 18by Vote. 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.

18by Vote creates sustainable civic leadership among young people who have been historically excluded from positions of leadership and power. Founded in response to low youth voter turnout in the 2016 general election, they have since activated hundreds of thousands of young people across the country to engage civically.

I am thrilled to accept the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism on behalf of 18by Vote. In alignment with the legacy of the International Brigades, young people are continuing to rise up in support of human rights but they need our support to make their voices heard at the polls this Fall. This award will be transformational in our ability to activate young Americans nationwide during and beyond the 2024 election.

Ava Mateo, Executive Director

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. A philanthropist and visionary, the late Perry Rosenstein of The Puffin Foundation created and established an endowed fund for this award in 2010.

18by Vote is doing absolutely critical work, helping young people understand and navigate the voting system and be active participants in democracy who demand that their voices be heard and acted upon. This type of work is desperately needed both for presidential elections but also for the many other elections and civic opportunities that take place in between them. Given what these elections could mean for democracy both in the US and abroad, 18by Vote’s work is needed now more than ever.

Jack Mayerhofer, Chair ALBA Human Rights Committee

The all-white and male founding fathers did not include the right to vote in the Constitution and as a result our country has seen more than 200 years of struggle for emancipating, expanding, and protecting the electorate. With efforts to disenfranchise voters only increasing in recent years, it has fallen on youth champions like 18by Vote to help educate their peers and increase youth participation in elections.  We owe them our thanks and look forward to their work ahead.

Neal Rosenstein, President of The Puffin Foundation


The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Arrchives

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting social activism and the defense of human rights. ALBA’s work is inspired by the American volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Drawing on the ALBA collections in New York University’s Tamiment Library, and working to expand such collections, ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations.

Other recipients of the ALBA/ Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism include reproductive justice organization Indigenous Women Rising; public-interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson; No More Deaths, a humanitarian organization dedicated to ending the death and suffering in the Mexico–US borderlands;  My Brother’s Keeper, an organization whose mission is to reduce health disparities; and Life After Hate, a leader in the violence intervention community helping individuals disengage from violent far-right hate groups.

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