Human Rights Advocates for Victims of Discrimination and Oppression Will Share $500K Gruber International Justice Prize

By The Peter And Patricia Gruber Foundation, PRNE
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NEW YORK, June 29, 2011 -

This year the Gruber Justice Prize honors five recipients who
among them have challenged the world’s most common forms of
intolerance: racial, ethnic, religious, political, economic and
gender-based. Hailing from South America, Europe, the Middle East
and the United States, the honorees also underscore the sad truth
that injustice knows no boundaries - and the more encouraging tenet
that the quest for justice is universal.

The sweep of the 2011 award marks a fitting climax for the
Justice Prize as the Gruber Foundation prepares to move to Yale
, where the mission of its two human rights prizes will
merge and transition in 2012 into the Gruber Program for Global
Justice and Women’s Rights.

The 2011 award will be presented at a ceremony this fall. The
five recipients, who will share equally in the $500,000
unrestricted cash award, are:

Barbara Arnwine - The executive director of the Lawyers’
Committee for Civil Rights Under Law since 1989, she led the effort
to secure passage of what became the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and
played a significant role in securing the 2006 Reauthorization of
the Voting Rights Act. Following thousands of complaints of racial
intimidation and disenfranchisement in Florida during the 2000
presidential election, Ms. Arnwine became a leader in The Election
Protection Program, which by 2008 was one of the largest pro bono
programs in the nation. She supported creation of the Disaster
Victims’ Assistance Project after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and
helped prevent the eviction of over 250,000 displaced families from
hotels and shelters until alternative housing had been

Morris Dees - Morris Dees was a founder and chief trial
counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization
dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for
the most vulnerable members of society. Since its founding in 1971
in Montgomery, Alabama, the Center has grown from a staff of three
to a staff of 175, including 32 lawyers, and offices in five
Southern states. Mr. Dees succeeded in forcing the integration of
Alabama State Troopers and in the redistricting of the Alabama
legislature, which enabled black voters to participate in the
political process more fully. In the late 1970s, in response to an
alarming increase in white supremacist activity, Mr. Dees made
combating extremism one of his priorities. To discourage young
people from coming under the influence of hate groups, Mr. Dees
created the Teaching Tolerance project in 1992, providing teachers
with tools to help them instill in their students an appreciation
of diversity and democratic values.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel
(ACRI) - Since its founding in 1972, the Association
for Civil Rights in Israel has played a leading role in the
struggle to provide human rights for all people living in Israel
and the occupied territories. ACRI seeks to protect the rights of
Arab citizens who do not enjoy equal access to public services and
funding or full participation in the political process. It has
opposed racial profiling at airports and protected freedom of
expression and the right to privacy and other rights threatened due
to national security concerns. ACRI seeks to ensure that the
Interior Ministry enforces its policies and practices regarding
citizenship and residency in a non-discriminatory manner.  The
organization’s successes in Israeli courts cover many areas,
including women’s rights and GLBT rights.

Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) -
Founded in 1979, during the military dictatorship in Argentina, the
Center for Legal and Social Studies was a pioneer in the domestic
application of international human rights law. With the return of
democracy in 1983, CELS played a leading role in achieving
accountability under law for high-ranking military officers who had
committed human rights violations, including political executions,
detention, torture and 30,000 cases of disappearance. The
organization litigated several cases and participated in the trial
of the military junta. When presidential pardons and amnesty laws
subsequently undid much of what had been accomplished, CELS brought
a lawsuit to oppose government measures to block the accountability
process. That suit resulted in the trials of 1,700 officials being

Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) - Founded in 1992,
the Kurdish Human Rights Project is a London-based NGO committed to
promoting and protecting the human rights of all persons living
within Kurdish regions. It has brought cases on behalf of more than
500 applicants and has succeeded in focusing international
attention on the plight of Kurds in Southeast Turkey, Syria, Iraq,
Iran and, more recently, on human rights violations against Kurds
in Armenia and Azerbaijan. Through its work with the UN and in the
European Court of Human Rights, KHRP has helped achieve important
reforms both in the countries concerned and at the Court

A complete biography/organizational profile for each of the
recipients is available at: href="">

The full release and other media materials are available on our
online newsroom at href="">
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    Cassandra Oryl                Bernetia Akin
    For Lunchbox Communications   The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
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