Submitted by Reebok Human Rights Foundation
At the Ceremony, which is being held at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Reebok will honor Li Dan, a leader in the fight to confront China's AIDS epidemic, Rachel Lloyd, an advocate for sexually exploited children in the United States, Khurram Parvez, a courageous voice of peace and human rights in Kashmir, and Otto Saki, a brave defender of justice in the face of a tyrannical regime in Zimbabwe.
"I have witnessed children becoming homeless. I have watched people dying painful and gruesome deaths," said Li Dan. "All that despair overwhelmed me, but ultimately it has also inspired me. Rather than turning my back on this horrible situation, I want to do everything I can to protect the rights of people affected by HIV/AIDS in China."
Reebok Human Rights Award recipients, who must be 30 years of age or younger, receive a $50,000 grant from the Reebok Human Rights Foundation to help further their work. They also gain the opportunity to participate in Forefront, an independent non-governmental organization formed by past award recipients to help each other respond to crises, communicate with the international community, gain skills and resources and share strategies.
"I see Zimbabwe as a country with so much potential and that's why I've stayed," said Otto Saki. "I had many opportunities to leave the country, but the hope I have is that in the long run what we're doing now will prove vital, and sooner or later we'll be able to live in a country where we're free to express ourselves without fear. It's only a matter of time."
In 1988, Reebok underwrote Amnesty International's Human Rights Now! World Concert Tour, which carried messages of freedom and justice to millions of people in 23 cities on four continents. That same year, Reebok introduced the Reebok Human Rights Award. To date, 84 recipients from 38 countries have received the Award.
"Each year I am amazed at the courage of these remarkable young heroes," said Paul Harrington, President and CEO of Reebok. "They are truly an inspiration to all of our employees and Reebok is proud to be able to honor them with this Award and support their important work."
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Copyright Business Wire 2006
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