Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2013 Democracy Award Panel & Ceremony

 NED honors young leaders from Zimbabwe, Russia,Pakistan, and Cuba

Glanis Changachirere,Vera Kichanova,Gulalai Ismail, Rosa María Payá (for Harold Cepero)
Photo taken from a tweet by Vera Kichanova

4:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion
"Our Democratic Future: the role of youth in advancing democracy"

5:30 p.m.
Reception and Award Presentation
Caucus Room 345, Cannon House Office Building

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)’s 2013 Democracy Award will highlight the important role that youth are playing in advancing democracy in the world today.  In this, its 30th anniversary year, NED will honor three outstanding young people who are working in extraordinarily challenging environments to create a democratic future in their respective countries.  The Endowment will also make a posthumous award to a fourth young democrat whose life was cut short in the midst of his struggle.

The 2013 Democracy Award honorees are:

Gulalai Ismail, 26

Ismail is founder and chairperson of Aware Girls, a young women-led organization that seeks to provide a leadership platform to young women and girls of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in northwest Pakistan.  She has more than 10 years of experience working on leadership development for girls and young women; addressing gender based violence; encouraging peace and pluralism; promoting and protecting human rights; and striving to bring women in to the political mainstream.

Vera Kichanova, 22

Kichanova was elected in March 2012 as a municipal deputy in Moscow’s Yuzhnoye Tushino district. As a member of the municipal council she fights for more transparency on the part of the local authorities. Kichanova is an avid journalist and civic activist who has been arrested for her outspoken defense of democratic principles.

Glanis Changachirere, 30

Changachirere is the founding director of the Institute for Young Women Development (IYWD), which encourages marginalized young women in farming, mining, and rural communities to participate in Zimbabwean politics. IYWD has played an important role in calling for peaceful, democratic elections, and the need to guarantee space for the participation of all Zimbabweans in the political system, including the prevention of gender based violence.

Harold Cepero, (1980-2012)

Cepero was the leader of the youth wing of Cuba’s Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), the group that organized the Varela project -- a citizen petition movement that called for a popular referendum to establish the foundation for a democratic system in Cuba. With more than 25,000 Cubans publicly signing the petition, the Varela Project became one of the most creative challenges to the country’s totalitarian rulers. On July 22, 2012, Cepero was killed in a suspicious car crash along with Cuba’s most prominent democratic activist and founder of the MCL, Oswaldo Payá.
Rosa María Payá Acevedo, another young leader of the MCL and the daughter of Oswaldo Payá, will accept the award on behalf of Cepero and the Christian Liberation Movement.

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