“Freedom From Fear Award” To Honor Acts Of Courage On Behalf Of Immigrants And Refugees

The Freedom From Fear Award is a new national award that will honor 15 ordinary people who have committed extraordinary acts of courage on behalf of immigrants and refugees—individuals who have taken a risk, set an example, and inspired others to awareness or action.

The award seeks to honor unsung heroes who are not professional advocates. Based on nominations from people throughout the United States, awardees will receive a $5,000 cash award.

The Freedom From Fear Award was founded by Geri Mannion and Taryn Higashi, co-recipients of the Council on Foundations 2009 Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking.

Mannion directs the U.S. Democracy Program and Special Opportunities Fund 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 national funding collaborative that has invested more than $35 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. See our list of donors.

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.