Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee Receives Human Rights Global Treasure Award in Recognition of Advancing Women and Girls in Peacebuilding

Event honored Liberian Nobel Prize Winner and brought together speakers who discussed peace, security and the future of conflict

SAN FRANCISCO – Nobel Peace Prize recipient Leymah Gbowee has received the Human Rights Global Treasure Award from in recognition of her lifelong commitment to improving the conditions of women and girls in peace-buildling through education and economic inclusion, as well as for elevating solutions developed by the people closest to and most affected by a particular conflict. 

Gbowee’s award was announced as part of’s annual celebration of Human Rights Day, marked every year on December 10. The event also featured a deeper discussion about peace, security and the future of conflict with panelists from Humanity United including Melanie Greenberg, Akwasi Aidoo and John Paul Lederach. 

“We see the conventional concept of national security diverging more and more from that of human security,” said Darian Swig, co-founder of, in her opening remarks. “Of people’s rights to justice, safety and dignity. To livable communities where basic needs are met, and economic opportunity exists. And as we have witnessed again in Afghanistan, we cannot take for granted the right to education for all, and of people’s right to live free from harm and persecution by their government. For all of these reasons, we chose this year’s theme, ‘Peace, Security, and the Future of Conflict.’”

“Local women taught me what it means to stand up for justice and peace,” said Gbowee during her acceptance speech. “Those women, community women, mothers who had lost their children, showed me that the fight for justice, equality, and human rights is not just a day’s job — it’s our life insurance policy.”

The Human Rights Day event also featured remarks from Sarah Holewinski, Washington director at Human Rights Watch; Amina J. Mohammed, deputy secretary general of the United Nations; philanthropist Abby Disney; and Adela Raz, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States. As part of their panel, Gbowee and speakers from Humanity United discussed what needs to change in order to ensure peaceful conditions around the globe. 

“Peace is not just the absence of war but peace is the presence of conditions that dignifies all,” said Gbowee during the panel discussion. “Each and every one of us in this world must take one action to dignify someone.”

“My call to action is really that I think there’s a paradigm shift that’s needed,” said Ledarach of Humanity United. “People have to look very carefully that the mechanisms and modalities that have been created are actually getting in the way of the proposed changes that people, at the deepest level, really want to pursue.”

The first Human Rights Day was celebrated on December 10, 1948, when the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For the last 73 years, that document has served as the fundamental framework for how human rights advocates and peacebuilders have approached building stronger, more peaceful, and more equitable communities for all: communities that center human dignity. 

The Human Rights Global Treasure Award ceremony was sponsored by, Humanity United and the Stupski Foundation, in collaboration with The Philanthropy Workshop and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

About’s mission is to strengthen the human rights philanthropy ecosystem by curating and convening premier human rights education and awareness events. This includes the annual Human Rights Day event on December 10 and other related events, salons, gatherings and projects. We commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed on December 10, 1948, by hosting an annual Human Rights Day event. Through events and projects, we deepen understanding on issues, causes and movements employing a human rights framework.