George Clooney to Present Million Dollar Humanitarian Prize in Yerevan
The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity was created in the memory of the Armenian Genocide.
George Clooney will present a $1 million prize for those people who intervene to preserve lives and advance humanitarian causes in the midst of crises.
Clooney — who will travel to Armenian capital Yerevan next month to hand out the award, accompanied by his wife, prominent British-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Clooney — is a co-chair of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. The $100,000 main prize will be awarded to one of four finalists chosen for their courage in saving lives in the face of human hatred. He or she will then select an organization to receive a $1 million grant.
Clooney, known for his Not on Our Watch project to eliminate genocide — and a highly publicized visit to Sudan in 2014 — has teamed up with 100 Lives, an initiative set up by Armenian businessmen and philanthropists Vartan Gregorian, Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan to commemorate those who helped people during the Armenian Genocide that began in 1915 and to "continue in their spirit by supporting people and organizations that keep the legacy of gratitude alive."
Amal Clooney is separately involved as patron of a scholarship in her name that will send one female student from Lebanon each year to an international baccalaureate program at UWC Dilijan, a college in Armenia.
The Yerevan visit includes a global forum on genocide, The Aurora Dialogues and a tour of the Armenia Genocide Museum. It will end with the prize award ceremony on Sunday April 24.
The four finalists for the prize are an orphanage founder in the central African state of Burundi who stood up against a bloodthirsty mob; the only doctor serving 500,000 people in Sudan's Nuba Mountains; a Pakistani champion for indentured laborers; and a Roman Catholic priest who saved more than 1,000 Muslims from fatal persecution in the Central African Republic.
Clooney will be joined by other members of the prize selection committee that include Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel; former Irish president and former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson and former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans.