WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

2017 WOLA Human Rights Awards Ceremony and Benefit Gala

On October 24, 2017, WOLA presented our prestigious Human Rights Awards to two recipients who exemplify the fight for social justice during challenging times. Both Ford Foundation and the Kino Border Initiative, in their different capacities, are beacons of hope, relentlessly defending human rights and human dignity.

Click here to see photos from the evening. And click here to see the evening’s program.


Mayflower Renaissance, Washington, D.C.

Master of Ceremonies

Maria Hinojosa 

Honorary Chair

Diego Luna

Gala Co-Chairs

Mary Ann Stein

Peter Kovler

WOLA is honored to present the 2017 Human Rights Awards

to two powerful voices for human rights

Ford Foundation

Award to be accepted by Darren Walker, President

Kino Border Initiative

Award to be accepted by Fr. Sean Carroll, Executive Director


Every year, WOLA honors organizations or individuals who have worked tirelessly to promote human rights, democracy, and justice in Latin America. Our awardees are organizations or individuals who exemplify a commitment to WOLA’s vision for the future, where human rights and social justice are the foundation for public policy.

Ford Foundation’s dedication to human rights has been a beacon of justice and inclusion for decades. They have had a profound impact on the promotion of human dignity as a crucial partner to countless organizations that work together to make our world more equitable.

Kino Border Initiative conducts courageous work on the U.S.-Mexico border, providing humanitarian aid and advocacy for humane U.S.-Mexico border and immigration policies. As those fleeing violence in Central America face increasingly hostile policies, the work of Kino Border Initiative is crucial to protecting human dignity and to influencing migration and border policies.

To learn about past WOLA Human Rights Award Recipients, please click here.

2017 Honorary Committee

Sen. Ben Cardin
Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Sen. Jeff Flake
Sen. Tim Kaine
Sen. Patrick Leahy
Sen. Chris Van Hollen
Rep. Nancy Pelosi,
House Democratic Leader
Rep. Michael E Capuano
Rep. Tony Cárdenas
Rep. Kathy Castor
Rep. Joaquin Castro
Rep. David Cicilline
Rep. Rosa L DeLauro
Rep. Keith Ellison
Rep. Tom Emmer
Rep. Eliot L Engel
Rep. Ruben Gallego
Rep. Raúl M Grijalva
Rep. Luis V Gutiérrez
Rep. Hank Johnson
Rep. Barbara Lee
Rep. Sander Levin
Rep. John Lewis
Rep. Alan Lowenthal
Rep. James P McGovern
Rep. Gwen Moore
Rep. Seth Moulton
Rep. Eleanor Norton
Rep. Beto O’Rourke
Rep. Mark Pocan
Rep. Jared Polis
Rep. David Price
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
Rep. Jan Schakowsky
Rep. Norma Torres
Rep. Juan Vargas
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz




Champion Sponsors

Herbalife Nutrition

Edgar James & Katherine Kinsella

Defender Sponsor

Cynthia McClintock

Leader Sponsors

Blum-Kovler Foundation/Peter and Judy Kovler

Lázaro Cárdenas Batel

Darryl Chappell

Louis & Nancy Goodman

Advocate Sponsors

Belden Russonello Strategists

Tom Belden & Janice Miller

Steve Bennett & Erin Loubier

Marc & Leonor Blum

Pat & Breaux Castleman

Matt Clausen & Margarita Diaz

Joe Eldridge & Maria Otero

Patricia Weiss Fagen

Foley Hoag LLP

Bill Garcia & Alma Angotti

Kevin Healy

David Holiday

Marlene Johnson

Bill LeoGrande & Marty Langelan

Jack Marco

Marriott International

Cheryl Morden & Reuben Snipper

NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Janice O'Connell

Sally O'Neill


George Vickers

Western Union

Alex Wilde & Anne Perotin-Dumon

Ally Sponsor

David & Judy Bonior

Rachel Garst

Lutheran World Relief

Ethan & Eileen Miller

Rachel Neild & George McCabe

Oxfam America

Tom Quigley

Partner Sponsors

Michael Barnes & Joan Pollitt

Chemonics International, Inc.

Bill & Paula Clapp

Greg Craig

Kristina DeMain & Zack Shaeffer

Dechert LLP

John Dinges

Sarah Dufendach & Alan Kadrofske

Kathy Gille & Doug Tanner

Claudio Grossman & Irene Klinger

Grossman Law LLC

Hispanics in Philanthropy

International Center for Transitional Justice

International Labor Rights Forum

Linda Land

Maggio + Kattar, PC

Mark Murray & Joanna Crane

Richard Newfarmer & Margaret Sarles

Joy & Eric Olson

Morris Panner

Grant Priest

Mary Ann Stein

J. Ann Tickner