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Human Rights Project

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers will receive the

2018 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism!

The ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism is granted on an annual basis to individuals or organizations whose work has had an exceptionally positive impact on the advancement and/or defense of human rights. The award is an initiative to sustain and honor the legacy and idealism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The award was created by visionary and philanthropist Perry Rosenstein, President of the Puffin Foundation, who established an endowed fund for this human rights award in 2011. A $100,000 cash award will be given to the laureate individual/s or organization/s to support their ongoing work.

Founded in 1993 by a small group of workers who had been meeting in a church, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) fought to improve the lives of tomato pickers in Southern Florida. After years of organizing in Immokalee, in 2001, the CIW launched the first ever boycott of a national fast food company—Taco Bell. Four years later, the company agreed to support wage increases and workplace protections for tomato pickers. Since then, food corporations, including McDonalds, Burger King, Whole Foods, Subway, and Walmart have followed suit and reached agreements with the CIW. Today, 14 of the world’s largest food retailers and restaurants have signed fair food agreements with the CIW.

Building off these unprecedented agreements, the CIW created a revolutionary program to make the agriculture supply system more equitable: The Fair Food Program, a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, food retailers, and growers to ensure decent wages, safe working conditions, and a real voice on the job for farmworkers. The program, which today spans seven states and three crops, has virtually eliminated some of the industry’s worst human rights abuses from participating farms, including sexual violence and slavery.

82nd Annual Invitation Cover

Award Ceremony

Saturday, May 12, 2018 2:30 pm

Japan Society, 333 E 47th St
New York, NY 10017





Laureates from previous years:

First ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism (2011): Judge Baltasar Garzón

Second ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism (2012): Kate Doyle and Fredy Peccerelli

Third ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism (2013): United We Dream

Fourth ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism (2014): Bryan Stevenson

Fifth ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism (2015): Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica

Sixth ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism (2016): Lydia Cacho and Jeremy Scahill

Seventh ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism (2017): Proactiva Open Arms

The Nomination Process

(The nominating period for 2018 is now closed.)

Please email complete nominations to, subject line:  “ALBA-Puffin Award for HR Activism, 2018” by 31 August 2017.  The application must include the following information:

  •     Name of the individual(s) or organization to be nominated;
  •     Nominee's direct contact information including: email, address, telephone, and website (if applicable);
  •     Name of the nominating individual(s) or organization;
  •     Nominator’s direct contact information, website, etc.;
  •     Justification for the nomination (300 words max.);
  •     Brief explanation of how the the activism of the International Brigades serves as a model of inspiration for the nominee's work (150 words max.).

The selection committee consists of a panel with representation from the Puffin Foundation, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives and an Honorary Committee.