YEREVAN — The international humanitarian leaders who compose the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity’s Selection Committee convened today to discuss the final candidates chosen from an impressive and robust pool of global nominations for the inaugural award. Candidates were assessed based on supporting evidence detailing their backgrounds and experience with a particular focus on the degree to which they exhibit courage, demonstrate commitment to their cause and demonstrate a positive impact to their communities.
“It is an honor to evaluate such exceptional candidates who have risked so much of themselves to save others,” said Selection Committee Member and 100 LIVES Co-Founder, Vartan Gregorian. “As a member of the Selection Committee, I am gratified that the spirit of humanity which resulted in Armenians being saved 100 years ago continues today, and is evidenced in the caliber of candidates put forth for this inaugural prize.”
The Aurora Prize Selection Committee is co-chaired by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and Academy-award winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney, and includes Nobel Laureates Oscar Arias, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former President of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former Australian Foreign Minister and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans; and President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian.
The Aurora Prize was founded to celebrate the spirit of humanity demonstrated by those who intervened on behalf of persecuted Armenians one hundred years ago. It is named after Aurora Mardiganian, who, as a child, survived the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide and committed her life to seeking recognition and justice. The Aurora Prize will ultimately be presented to the final Aurora Prize Laureate by Selection Committee Co-Chair George Clooney at the inaugural prize ceremony in Yerevan, Armenia on April 24, 2016. The Aurora Prize Laureate will be honored with a $100,000 grant and the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating the organization that inspired their work for a $1 million award.