Freedom Magazine Presents its Human Rights Leadership Awards In Celebrating 38 Years of Investigative Reporting in the Public Interest
September 20, 2006
Freedom Magazine celebrated its 38 anniversary with its annual Human Rights Leadership Awards presentation at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington D.C.
The first awardee, humanitarian Mr. Bob Goodwin, CEO of the Points of Light Foundation, bears a major responsibility for the more than 100 million volunteers which his organization has helped mobilize.
“Without the volunteer movement turned into a groundswell by Mr. Goodwin and people like him,” said Sylvia Stanard, DC Editor of Freedom Magazine and without the help provided by those volunteers, untold numbers of other people would lead lives far below the most basic human standards. Volunteers are a major source of direct help for people who would otherwise live without hope and advocacy for their rights to be treated equally and with decency.”
Academy Award nominated actress, Anne Archer (who appeared in Fatal Attraction, Patriot Games, The Ghost Whisperer) presented the awards. Ms. Archer recently founded Artists for Human Rights, to use the arts to promote human rights.
Also receiving an award were Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN), a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, and Salvation Army firebrand Lisa Thompson, a leading expert on sexual slavery and human trafficking, head of the multi-faith Initiative against Sexual Trafficking.
Freedom Magazine focuses on human rights issues and areas in need of social reform. An international publication of the Churches of Scientology since 1968 it carries out investigative journalism in the public interest.
The Human Rights Leadership awards are given to individuals who exemplify the positive actions being taken by dedicated people who are taking a stand and are improving society.
Tom Whittle, Senior Editor of Freedom Magazine commented, “Repressive governments only come to power when the population is kept ignorant and uninformed. Through our publication, and through the annual Human Rights Leadership Awards, Freedom Magazine is doing everything possible internationally to expose abuses of human rights and to support the teaching of those same rights.”
Honored with International Human Rights Hero Awards were Iranian-born Nazanin Afshim-Jam, a former Miss Canada who has become a prominent advocate for the rights of the disadvantaged; Joseph Jay Yaseriah, founder of the Youth for Human Rights Liberia Chapter who grew up during the horrific genocides of the 1990s and was twice forced to flee his country before returning to bring reconciliation and reconstruction to his fellow Liberians; Luse Berking, a native Samoan who works with at-risk youth in New Zealand; Chinese-born Teresa Chung, a writer and advocate for women’s rights; and Maxim Weithers who campaigns for human rights education in Canada.
“L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Scientology religion, stressed the importance of human rights, writing: ‘Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream,’" said Leisa Goodman, Human Rights Director of the Church of Scientology International. “With the tremendous popularity of these PSAs, the work of Human Rights Heroes such as those who were awarded here today and the grassroots movement to implement human rights education for all youth around the world gaining such momentum, we know we will make this ‘dream’ come true.”