Indigenous Women Rising Receives ALBA/Puffin Award

May 17, 2023

IWR’s Rachael Guerra Cordero and Nicole Wallace with ALBA’s Mark Wallem and the Puffin Foundation’s Neal Rosenstein.

At a moving ceremony in New York City on May 6, Rachael Guerra-Cordero de Lorenzo accepted the 2023 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism on behalf of Indigenous Women Rising (IWR). “Indigenous people’s rights throughout the world have been trampled by colonialism, disrupting our connections with each other, our children, our land and all other living beings,” they said. “Our work is built on our own traditional Pueblo and Apache values that our matriarchs are powerful and our children are the future. Abortion has always been a part of our story and our right to our own bodies is the most sacred thing we have.” IWR is committed to honoring Native and Indigenous People’s inherent right to equitable and culturally safe health options through accessible health education, resources, and advocacy.

“The Supreme Court’s deplorable Dobbs decision that stripped away federal privacy and reproductive rights is yet another horrifying setback for those seeking to manage their own bodies and health,” said Neal Rosenstein, President of The Puffin Foundation. “But the impact of such decisions has always fallen hardest on marginalized populations. That’s why the work of Indigenous Women Rising is all the more impactful and important to support.”

The award ceremony.

Jack Mayerhofer, chair of ALBA’s Human Rights Committee, led a panel discussion featuring representatives from the three most recent award recipients, IWR, Life Against Hate and My Brother’s Keeper. ALBA Vice Chair María Hernández-Ojeda welcomed the guests and asked for a moment of silence to honor friends of ALBA who have passed in recent years, including Perry Rosenstein, Harry Belafonte, Bruce Barthol, Jim Skillman, James Polshek, Manus O’Riordan, Freda Tanz, Corine Thornton, Gwendolyn Hall, and Andrea Sender. Brown University student David Parsard and ALBA board member Nancy Wallach gave moving tributes to Native American vets and to Ruth Davidow, respectively. Stay tuned for notifications to watch the video footage.

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.