The Nation Institute, Fertel Foundation, and Stewart R. Mott Foundation are proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Ridenhour Prizes, awards given annually for the past 15 years to extraordinary individuals "who persevere in acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice, or illuminate a more just vision of society."
These prizes memorialize the spirit of fearless truth-telling that whistleblower and investigative journalist Ron Ridenhour reflected throughout his extraordinary life and career. Ridenhour exposed the horrific My Lai massacre of the Vietnam War to the public, and today, the Ridenhour Prizes continue to honor his important legacy of speaking truth to power.
Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, whose lifelong civil rights work fighting for gender equity and empowerment has led to a major social movement and raised awareness about sexual abuse in America, will receive The Ridenhour Courage Prize. "I look forward to continuing this work, anchored by the legacy of my predecessors and emboldened by tenacity of survivors worldwide," said Burke. "I am so very honored to receive the Ridenhour Prize for 2018."
Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who spoke truth to power on behalf of the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, will receive the 2018 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling. When Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September 2017, Yulín made frequent appearances on national and international television. She pleaded for help, criticized federal aid efforts, and accused President Donald Trump and his administration of "killing us with inefficiency."
Lauren Markham, author of The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life, will receive the 2018 Ridenhour Book Prize. Markham brings stereotypes into sharp relief with reality by introducing readers to pieces of immigrant life in America. "I wrote this book with the understanding that the ways in which we choose to support — or not to support — our newest community members will determine the next chapter in the American story."
"Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower," directed by Joe Piscatella, follows the story of Joshua Wong, one of the student leaders of Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution in 2014. Joshua, 17-years-old at the time, was arrested while protesting Beijing's attempt to encroach on the independence of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong. "I am both proud and humbled by this award: proud, because the award recognizes the tremendous feats of Joshua Wong and his friends who have braved tear gas, police brutality, threats of being disappeared or jailed to stand up for Hong Kong against the largest government on the planet, and humbled to be carrying on the spirit of Ron Ridenhour."
For more information on The Ridenhour Prizes, visit our website.