Alicia Keys Shares Amnesty International’s Top Award With Indigenous People
Both Keys and the movement of Indigenous Peoples fighting for their rights in Canada were honored with the 2017 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award this week at a ceremony in Montreal, Canada. The award is the organization’s highest honor for human rights work and this year marks the first time the award was given to a Canadian.
“Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience awardees this year stand in the tradition of past winners such as Vaclav Havel and Malala Yousafzai – people who have shown exceptional leadership and courage to champion human rights, often in the face of great difficulty,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
Activists Delilah Saunders, Melanie Morrison, Melissa Mollen Dupuis and Widia Larivière accepted the award on behalf the movement of Indigenous Peoples. In solidarity with the movement, Amnesty International launched a petition urging the Minister of Justice to fulfill Canada’s promise to uphold the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Canadian musicians Patrick Watson and Safia Nolan, as well as actress Tantoo Cardinal, performed and delivered speeches as part of the evening’s ceremony. Former leader of the Black Panther Party, Ericka Huggins, presented Alicia Keys with her award and praised her for encouraging young people to speak out about important issues. Keys delivered an exemplary acceptance speech asking for all people to stand up for human rights.
“Can we depend on each other to speak up any way we can? Because who do we count on to support the fight for freedom, the promise of dignity and equality, if not us?”
You can read her full speech HERE
Hit the flip for more photos from the event.