Freedom From Fear Award

“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” – Howard Zinn

The Freedom From Fear Award (FFFA) is a new national award that will honor ordinary people who commit extraordinary acts of courage on behalf of immigrants and refugees. The award seeks to recognize individuals with a deep sense of shared humanity who overcome fear and, in doing so, create significant impact.

Following an open nomination process, fifteen individuals will be chosen in spring 2011 to receive the Freedom From Fear Award and a $5,000 cash prize. Awardees will be people who have exposed themselves to considerable risk—whether physical, professional, economic or social—and whose stories have moved others to action or awareness. The Freedom From Fear Award will also create an archive to celebrate the many acts of individual courage that make up the immigrant rights movement.

The Freedom From Fear Award was founded by Geri Mannion and Taryn Higashi (pictured left), co-recipients of the Council on Foundations 2009 Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking. Mannion directs the U.S. Democracy Program at Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Higashi is Executive Director of Unbound Philanthropy and formerly the Ford Foundation’s Deputy Director for Human Rights and Program Officer for Migrant and Refugee Rights. They were recognized by the Council on Foundations for their leadership of the Four Freedoms Fund, a funding collaborative that has invested more than $30 million since 2003 in more than 85 grantees working in 33 states to protect immigrants against abuses, promote humane immigration policies, engage newcomers in civic life and build bridges between receiving communities and new residents. Mannion and Higashi decided to donate the $10,000 cash prize accompanying the Scrivner Award to establish the Freedom From Fear Award. Since then 40 other individuals and foundations have contributed to help launch the award.
The Freedom From Fear Award will be open for nominations in September 2010, with a nominations deadline of February 28, 2011. Winners will be announced in the spring of 2011. The Freedom From Fear Award takes its name from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous “four freedoms” speech 70 years ago in which he outlined four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy:

  • Freedom of speech and expression;
  • Freedom of religion;
  • Freedom from want; and
  • Freedom from fear.

To make a donation to the Freedom from Fear Award, visit the Public Interest Projects page on Network for Good. Please designate your gift for the “Freedom from Fear Award.”

Click here to nominate someone for the Freedom From Fear Award. All nominations must be received by February 28, 2011.