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Events 2012

U.S. Embassy Present Annual Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award the Romea Civic Association

December 13, 2012
Ambassador Norman Eisen with Jarmila Balážová and Zdeněk Ryšavý who accepted on behalf of Romea the 2012 Alice G. Masaryk Award. (photo U.S. Embassy)

Ambassador Norman Eisen with Jarmila Balážová and Zdeněk Ryšavý who accepted on behalf of Romea the 2012 Alice G. Masaryk Award.

Members and co-workers of the Romea civic association at the award ceremony at the American Center on Dec. 12, 2012. (photo U.S. Embassy Prague)

Members and co-workers of the Romea civic association at the award ceremony at the American Center.

On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic Norman Eisen presented the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award to the ROMEA civic association representatives on December 12. The U.S. Embassy presented the 2012 Alice G. Masaryk Human Rights Award to ROMEA for its long term dedication to Romani human rights issues in the Czech Republic.

"Romea contributes to a balanced portrayal of Roma in the media by covering incidents that would likely go unreported. Romea breaks stereotypes by bringing the stories of individual Roma people to the fore.  Through its work, this online news source promotes tolerance and strengthens understanding between Roma and others living and working in the Czech Republic," said Ambassador Eisen in his remarks at the award ceremony at the American Center.

ROMEA promotes tolerance and strengthens understanding between Roma and the rest of society mainly through its monthly magazine Romano voďi (The Romani soul), their website Romea.cz (the most visited site on this topic) and through systematic cooperation with all major Czech media. ROMEA also publishes articles in Czech and English, which expands its impact to a broad population. ROMEA demonstrates an exceptional commitment to advancing human rights and we are grateful for its efforts.

In 2004, the U.S. Embassy in Prague established the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award to recognize persons and institutions in the Czech Republic who have made an exceptional and continuing contribution to the advancement of human rights in the country through courageous promotion of social justice and defense of democratic liberties. The award is presented annually and is named in honor of Alice Garrigue Masaryk, the pre-eminent Czech-American and founder of the Czechoslovak Red Cross, as a tribute to her devotion in combating social injustice and her personal courage in standing up for human rights.  Alice G. Masaryk is among the great symbols of the history our two countries share.

Previous award winners include Czeslaw Walek, Anna Šabatova, David Ondráčka, Igor Blaževič, Lucie Sládková, Kumar Sri Vishwanathan, Jiří Kopal, and the weekly Respekt.

Alice Masaryk Award Ceremony

Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award

  • Alice Garrigue Masaryk (photo Wikimedia Commons) The Embassy established the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award in 2004 to recognize persons and institutions in the Czech Republic who have made exceptional and continuing contributions to the advancement of human rights through courageous promotion of social justice, the defense of democratic liberties and an open civil society.

    The award is named for Alice Garrigue Masaryk, a pre-eminent Czech-American and founder of the Czech Red Cross. Alice G. Masaryk is among the great symbols of the interwoven history our two countries share.  Her courage while unjustly imprisoned by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, her determination to achieve equal rights for women, and her stand against the Communist takeover of the country served as inspiration for her countrymen.