November 1, 2017 — The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) is one of two recipients of the 2017 Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) Human Rights Award, along with the Ford Foundation, presented on October 24 in Washington, D.C.
The award was accepted by Father Sean Carroll, SJ, Kino Border Initiative's executive director. KBI is a migrant shelter and assistance program that conducts work on the U.S.-Mexico border, providing humanitarian aid to migrants and advocating for more humane policies. At a time when intolerance is increasingly influencing how various governments deal with immigration issues, Kino Border Initiative serves as a champion for a more compassionate approach and provides a lifeline for migrants in their moments of greatest need.
Above, from left: WOLA Gala Master of Ceremonies Maria Hinojosa, host and executive producer of Latino USA and founder of The Futuro Media Group; Sister Alicia Guevara Pérez, M.E.; and KBI executive director Father Sean Carroll, SJ. (Photo: Kendra Joy Photography/WOLA)
"We are humbled and grateful for this great recognition of our binational work on the issue of migration along the U.S.-Mexico border," said Fr. Carroll. "Over the years, we and the Washington Office on Latin America have worked together to dispel myths about U.S.-Mexico border security and to document concretely abuses against migrants and refugees in Mexico. With complementary strengths, we have achieved much, while we know there is still so much left to do."
(Photo: Kendra Joy Photography/WOLA)
"Both Ford Foundation and Kino Border Initiative, in their different capacities, are beacons of hope, courageously defending human rights in perilous times," said Matt Clausen, executive director of WOLA. "At a time when values like justice and human dignity are facing unprecedented threats, honoring the work of organizations like these is more important than ever."
Since 2006, WOLA's annual Human Rights Award has recognized organizations or individuals who exemplify a commitment to WOLA's vision of the future, where human rights and social justice are the foundation for public policy. Previous honorees include Casa Alianza in Honduras; Seattle philanthropists Bill and Paula Clapp; Colombian human rights organization Justicia y Paz; former Guatemalan Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz; Sen. Tom Harkin; Mexican actor Gael García Bernal; and the Salvadoran online newspaper El Faro.