Czech Republic: Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award goes to ROMEA this year
On the occasion of the anniversary of International Human Rights Day, US Ambassador Norman Eisen will present the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award to representatives of the ROMEA civic association on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 at 18:00 CET in the American Center in Prague. The US Embassy in Prague is giving the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award for 2012 to the ROMEA association for its longtime promotion of human rights matters of concern to Romani people in the Czech Republic.
ROMEA contributes to a balanced depiction of Romani people in the media by focusing on the stories of individuals from Romani communities and describing events which would otherwise go unnoticed. The association does this through its printed monthly, Romano voďi (Romani Soul); its website Romea.cz, which is the country's most-visited website on this topic; and through its systematic collaboration with majority-society media. ROMEA also raises awareness of these topics by publishing its articles in both Czech and English. Through its work, this civic association supports tolerance and understanding between Romani people and the rest of society and contributes to a more balanced Czech media landscape.
"We are even more gratified to have won this award because we find ourselves in the company of people such as David Ondračka, Igor Blaževič, Anna Šabatová, the weekly RESPEKT and others whom we prize. Through its embassy, the United States of America has long devoted itself to human rights topics here, including Romani ones, and the giving of the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award and support is one is of the ways it does that," says Jarmila Balážová, chair of ROMEA, o.s. The executive director of the organization, Zdeněk Ryšavý, adds: "This confirms for us that, together with our colleagues, we must be doing our work in the media and other areas well."
The US Embassy established the traditional giving of the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award in 2004 as an expression of recognition for individuals or organizations who have exceptionally served to develop human rights in the Czech Republic and who are creating an open civil society through their support for social justice and defense of democratic freedoms. The Award is given annually and is named after Alice Garrigue Masaryk, an eminent Czech-American woman who founded the Czechoslovak Red Cross, as an expression of recognition for her efforts in the fight against social injustice and her personal courage in promoting human rights. Past recipients of the prize have been Czeslaw Walek, Anna Šabatová, David Ondráčka, Igor Blaževič, Lucie Sládková, Kumar Sri Vishwanathan, Jiří Kopal and the weekly RESPEKT.
The award ceremony is open to the media. If you would like to attend, you must send confirmation by 15:00 CET tomorrow, Tuesday, 11 December to PraguePress@state.gov. Attendance is not possible without confirming registration. The press office of the embassy can provide you with more information.
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