Live Online Gala on May 17 with ALBA/Puffin Award for “No More Deaths”

May 2, 2020

The 2020 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism goes to No More Deaths in support of its humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering and end the fatalities of those crossing the southern border of the United States. The award will be presented at ALBA’s Live Online Gala on May 17 at 5 pm EDT.

No More Death Activists

ALBA will be hosting an exciting live online gala on the date of our annual celebration, May 17th, that will include musical performances by Sarah Lee Guthrie and others; live speakers; and an exhibition of an exciting new archival donation.

For the past 16 years, No More Deaths (NMD) has worked to save the lives of migrants crossing the desert and achieve immigration reform. Created in 2004 as a coalition of community and faith groups, the coalition later developed into an autonomous project dedicated to ending the death and suffering in the Mexico–US borderlands through multiple projects of civil initiative.

“No More Deaths is comprised of individuals from all walks of life who are standing up in defense of human rights against the ill-formed and odious actions of their own government,” said Perry Rosenstein, President of The Puffin Foundation. “Their work speaks louder than words, saving lives that have been devalued by heartless US policies.”

Drawing on the foundational principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence, NMD has conducted multiple projects to aid and bear witness to the struggles of migrants at the border. Through its network of volunteers, it has maintained a year-round humanitarian presence in the deserts of southwestern Arizona; a program of research and documentation to expose patterns of abuse against people crossing the border at the hands of Border Patrol; an aid program in northern Sonora for migrants who plan to cross the desert; and a weekly legal clinic in Tucson that works side by side with community members applying for status or facing deportation and that trains participants to help each other through the immigration court process. NMD also operates a 24-hour Missing Migrant Hotline and deploys search and rescue teams to look for the disappeared.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for the vital work we do in the borderlands. Over the past few years our organization has been targeted as part of widespread attack on undocumented people in the United States. However, we will not be deterred,” stated Paige Corich-Kleim, a longtime desert aid worker. “We will use these resources to further our mission and continue to stand in solidarity with migrating people around the world.”

One of the largest monetary awards for human rights in the world, the ALBA/Puffin Award is a $100,000 cash prize granted annually by ALBA and the Puffin Foundation to honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who volunteered in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) to fight fascism under the banner of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. This year’s award acknowledges the urgent need for humanitarian aid to safeguard the lives of immigrants and refugees worldwide, and the profound bravery of the civil disobedience sometimes necessary to accomplish that goal.

The ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism is an initiative to sustain the legacy of the experiences, aspirations, and idealism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. It supports contemporary international activists and human rights causes. Philanthropist and visionary Perry Rosenstein, President of the Puffin Foundation, created and established an endowed fund for this human rights award in 2010.