ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – Safa Al Ahmad, a Saudi Arabian journalist and documentary filmmaker, received the 2019 Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan. She has produced documentaries for the BBC and PBS about uprisings in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Her 2014 BBC documentary, Saudi’s Secret Uprising, brought attention to…
Category: Medal Recipients
Each year the recipient of the Wallenberg Medal is invited to present a lecture at the University of Michigan. The medalists take the stage at Rackham Auditorium and share their stories with an audience drawn from our campus and many surrounding communities.
2018, March For Our Lives and The B.R.A.V.E. Youth Leaders
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – Two youth advocacy groups that are focused on ending gun violence in their communities will be awarded the 2018 Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan. The winners of this year’s medal will be The B.R.A.V.E. (Bold Resistance Against Violence Everywhere) Youth Leaders of the Faith Community of St. Sabina from…
2017, Bryan Stevenson
By Jana Wilbricht, Ph.D. Candidate, Communication Studies; Graduate Student Staff Assistant
On the evening of March 7th, 2017, the 25th Wallenberg Medal, the most distinguished award given by the University of Michigan, was presented to civil rights lawyer and social rights activist Bryan Stevenson, who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization working to guarantee a legal defense to every inmate on death row in Alabama, in 1989.
2015, Masha Gessen
On Tuesday President Mark Schlissel awarded the Wallenberg Medal to Masha Gessen, Russian American author, journalist and activist. The University’s most distinguished award, the medal commemorates Raoul Wallenberg, Michigan Class of 1935, whose actions in Budapest, Hungary during World War II saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jews. In presenting the Medal, President…
2014, Agnes Heller
On September 30, the 2014 Wallenberg Medal is being awarded to Agnes Heller, a distinguished philosopher and Holocaust survivor who seeks to understand the nature of ethics and morality in the modern world, and the social and political systems and institutions within which evil can flourish. Like Wallenberg, Professor Heller has demonstrated that courage is…
2012, Maria Gunnoe
Maria Gunnoe is a fearless advocate for environmental and social justice. Despite threats and intimidation Ms. Gunnoe works to educate and build citizen advocacy, and to rally communities that face the destruction of their natural environment in her home of Boone County, West Virginia.
2011, Aung San Suu Kyi
Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has committed her life to the non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma. Since 1988, she has been the leader of the democratic opposition and a voice of conciliation and unity among the regions and peoples of Burma.
2010, Denis Mukwege
Dr. Denis Mukwege is director of Panzi Hospital in the eastern Congo who has treated thousands of women who have suffered extreme physical and emotional trauma from sexual violence that is used as a weapon in the wars of the region.
2009, Lydia Cacho
Lydia Cacho is a journalist, author, feminist and human rights activist. She has spoken out against the abuse of women in Mexico, using the unsolved murders in Ciudad Juárez as a call to action against the failure to bring justice to perpetrators of violence against women. Cacho founded Ciam Cancún, a shelter for battered women…
2008, Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The first black South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Archbishop Desmond Tutu rose to international fame during the 1980s as a deeply committed advocate of nonviolent resistance to apartheid. In 1995, Nelson Mandela asked Tutu to investigate atrocities committed on all sides during the apartheid years, appointing him chair of South Africa’s Truth and…