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…
Category: 2000 to 2009
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.
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…
2008, Sompop Jantraka
Sompop Jantraka established an organization in Thailand to rescue girls and young women from sexual trafficking in Thailand and the neighboring region of southeast Asia. His work has offered shelter, education and a future for thousands of children and disrupted networks that exploit the poor and vulnerable.
2006, Sister Luise Radlmeier
Sister Luise Radlmeier came to the attention of the Wallenberg Committee through an article in Reform Judaism (Fall 2005) which reveals how Congregation Har HaShem in Boulder, Colorado organized the sponsorship for ten young Sudanese women in Colorado through the efforts of this Dominican missionary. Sr. Luise has served her order in many ways —…
2005, Paul Rusesabagina
In 1994 the country of Rwanda descended into madness. In the spring of that year tensions were high due to years of political and economic strife. When President Juvenal Habyarimana died after his plane was shot down on April 6, this ignited longstanding conflict between two ethnic groups, the Hutu and Tutsi. Encouraged by the…
2004, Heinz Drossel
Heinz Drossel was drafted into the German Army after refusing to join the Nazi Party. He retained his humanity throughout the war, hiding Jews from the Holocaust.
2003, Bill Basch
Bill Basch was a teenage courier for Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest who distributed Schutz-Pässe to Jews in hiding. He was captured and sent to concentration camps. He endured and survived to become a successful businessman in Los Angeles.
2002, Kailash Satyarthi
One person can make a difference—in any culture, at any time. More than twenty years ago a young engineer gave up a lucrative career and dedicated himself to reclaiming the lives of South Asia’s most vulnerable population: the millions of children who are exploited and abused in a form of modern-day slavery.
2001, Marcel Marceau
The internationally celebrated mime Marcel Marceau became the eleventh recipient of the Wallenberg Medal on April 30, 2001. Rackham Auditorium was standing-room-only that night.
2000, Nina Lagergren
The tenth Wallenberg Medal was presented to Nina Lagergren, Raoul Wallenberg’s sister, in memory of Raoul. Lagergren came to Ann Arbor in October 2000 to accept the medal and to deliver the Wallenberg Lecture. It was her first visit to the city and to the University of Michigan, which had nurtured her brother for four…