2020 No More Deaths

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 a live online gala on May 17, 2020 at 5pm EDT.

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.”– said Perry Rosenstein  (Mr. Rosenstein, who served as the Puffin Foundation’s Founder and President, passed away just last month)

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. A philanthropist and visionary, the late Perry Rosenstein created and established an endowed fund for this human rights award in 2010.

ALBA Annual Celebration and Award Ceremony
Sunday, May 17, 5-6:30pm | Streamed Online on Facebook

The event will be broadcast on ALBA’s Facebook Page

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives: www.alba-valb.org 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 investigative journalists Lydia Cacho and Jeremy Scahill; Judge Baltasar Garzón; Kate Doyle and Fredy Peccerelli, who work to expose human rights violations in Guatemala; United We Dream, a national network of youth-led immigrant activist organizations that fight for the rights of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States; public-interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson; Spain’s Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory; Proactiva Open Arms, dedicated to rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean; the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a worker-based labor and human rights organization founded in Florida in 1993; and the Immigrant Justice Campaign, a legal aid organization that works to increase access to legal counsel for immigrants held in detention centers.

The Puffin Foundation: www.puffinfoundation.org Since it was founded in 1983, the Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy. The Puffin, a species whose nesting sites were endangered by encroaching civilization, were encouraged to return to their native habitats through the constructive efforts of a concerned citizenry. The Foundation has adopted the name Puffin as a metaphor for how it perceives its mission, which is to ensure that the arts continue to grow and enrich our lives. In so doing it has joined with other concerned groups and individuals toward achieving that goal. The Puffin Foundation is also a long-standing supporter of ALBA’s educational mission. 

neal rosenstein puffin foundation
Puffin Foundation VP Neal Rosenstein

Neal Rosenstein, Vice President of the Puffin Foundation
Remarks on the 2020 ALBA/Puffin Human Rights Prize
No More Deaths
May 17, 2020

Good evening friends.  I’d like to share a few brief words from Gladys and myself about the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism and this year’s honorees, No More Deaths.  I’d like to start however with an offering of gratitude from Gladys, myself and our families for ALBA’s wonderful tribute to Perry. And we want to offer our own condolences to everyone facing the ravages of the Covid Pandemic and facing sad times of their own.

The genesis for the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism originated with my father. He believed that the history, lessons and ideals of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade were too important to be forgotten, and that the prize could help ALBA thrive and create new partnerships, with contemporary champions of those who shared similar values. ALBA, and all you joining us today should be proud of the awardees chosen in past years: From Spanish Judge Baltazar Garzon whose many crusades included working to uncover the crimes and murders of the Franco regime; to Civil Rights Activist Bryan Stevenson, to the many activists fighting for refugees and human rights across the globe and right here at home. 

This $100,000 award recognizes and encourages individuals or groups whose efforts have a positive impact, on the advancement and/or defense of human rights.  And tonight, we celebrate the 10th year of the ALBA Puffin Prize.  We are so pleased this year’s choice is “ No More Deaths.”  Against the power of the US government, volunteers of No More Deaths have been arrested, risked imprisonment and have displayed an international solidarity that makes them ideally suited for this award.  Their choice says, we cannot and will not ignore our country’s own crimes and misdeeds.  

I think my father said it best with these words in January: “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.”

I’d like to end by sharing some words from Puffin’s Executive Director, Gladys Rosenstein:

      Thank you for your invitation to speak at this wonderful gala today. Also a very special thank you for the poignant words spoken about Perry that so beautifully caught the essence of who he was and what he believed in.
ALBA was a most important organization in Perry’s life. The humanitarian groups and causes highlighted every year when choosing the Puffin/ALBA awards were of great pride to him.

NO MORE DEATHS is a perfect example of a group Perry enthusiastically approved of and endorsed.

  • Their dedication to working to stop the deaths of migrants in the desert and enacting Immigration reform;
  • Their mission to end death and suffering in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands;
  • Their dedication to the right to provide humanitarian sustenance, among their other outstanding voluntary work, speak to all of Perry’s values.

And I Thank YOU,… for all your work in keeping the mission of ALBA alive and supporting humanistic goals.
Stay well and hopefully we can all meet together in better times next year.

So now, I’d like to digitally hand things over to former prize recipient and ALBA Co-Chair Kate Doyle to present this year’s ALBA/Puffin Prize for Human Rights Activism to “No More Deaths” and to hear from Geena Jackson of No More Deaths about how their efforts distinguish them as true champions of civil and human rights.   Thank you.

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