FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Amy Dudley, 202-728-5541
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Democratic Institute (NDI) will honor two champions of democracy – Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) – at its Democracy Awards Luncheon on Dec. 15. NDI Chairman Madeleine K. Albright will host the event. Christiane Amanpour, CNN chief international correspondent, will serve as master of ceremonies. The gathering will be held from 12-2 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.
Archbishop Tutu will receive the 18th W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award for his work in behalf of democracy and human rights, which includes a focus on Burma. The Women’s League of Burma, an umbrella organization of 12 women’s groups from different ethnic backgrounds, will receive the 4th annual Madeleine K. Albright Grant.
“The Democracy Awards Luncheon is a chance for NDI to recognize what is most vibrant about democracy at the grassroots, as well as the commitment of a national leader to that cause,” said NDI President Kenneth Wollack. “The military dictatorship’s recent sentencing of more than 150 democracy activists in Burma to decades in prison makes the continued efforts of this year’s award winners even more important.”
A Nobel Peace Prize winner for his leadership in overcoming apartheid in South Africa, Archbishop Tutu is being honored for his global efforts on behalf of democracy since the democratic transition in South Africa, including his relentless advocacy for democracy in Burma and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the world's only imprisoned Nobel Laureate and the inspiring leader of Burma's non-violent democracy struggle.
The Women’s League will use the $25,000 grant to allow young women from Burma – currently enrolled in an intensive, six-month training program at the WLB’s Emerging Women Leaders School in Thailand – to return to their ethnic communities within Burma and along border areas. The women will conduct two-week training sessions for other emerging women leaders that will address such key concerns as health, human trafficking, political engagement and local leadership.
For more information about NDI’s 2008 Democracy Luncheon, please visit our website, www.ndi.org/.
NDI is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that has supported democratic institu tions and practices in every region of the world for more than two decades. For more information about NDI, please visit our website, www.ndi.org/.
Released on November 19, 2008