2023 Nuclear-Free Future Award winners announced
Indigenous and minority community activists honored for their work seeking justice for victims and survivors of atomic tests
The 2023 Nuclear-Free Future Awards, an annual event that honors the many heroes of the global anti-nuclear movement who work to rid the world of uranium mining, nuclear power and nuclear weapons, will take place in New York City this year. The event is a joint presentation of Beyond Nuclear, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Reverse the Trend.
The event will be held on Tuesday, November 28 at the Blue Gallery, 222 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017 in conjunction with the second Meeting of States Parties (MSP) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons taking place at the United Nations. The Awards will begin with a reception at 6pm followed by the Awards presentation ceremony beginning at 6:30pm. The event is free and open to the public. There will be live music provided by Peter and Max Gordon, and the US-based Marshallese a cappella quartet, MARK Harmony.
Inaugurated in 1998, the Award was inspired by the 1992 World Uranium Hearing in Salzburg, Austria — the first time Indigenous peoples from around the world were able to testify together and in public about the discrimination and harm inflicted on them by the entire nuclear sector.
The Award was originally managed by the Nuclear-Free Future Foundation in Munich, Germany. It was the brainchild of journalist, Claus Biegert, and the Foundation’s creator, Franz Moll. It has now transitioned out of the Foundation and is coordinated by a small team including Biegert, Linda Pentz Gunter of Beyond Nuclear, Chuck Johnson of IPPNW and Günter Wippel of the Uranium Network.
The Nuclear-Free Future Awards, which provide cash prizes, are offered to three currently active individuals in recognition of their on-going efforts. There is also an honorary Lifetime Achievement Award.
Donations are always needed to support the prize money. US contributors can donate by check to Beyond Nuclear (please note “NFFA” in the subject line). European donors can make their contributions via IPPNW Germany. Full details can be found at the end of this announcement.
The 2023 Nuclear-Free Future Awards winners are:
Tina Cordova, a seventh generation native New Mexican, cancer survivor and the co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. She has campaigned for more than 18 years to bring attention to the negative health effects suffered by the unknowing, unwilling, uncompensated, innocent victims of the first nuclear blast on Earth that took place at the Trinity site in New Mexico. Shockingly, the Trinity victims were never classified as downwinders but Tina and her allies are making extraordinary progress to ensure they are included under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.
Benetick Kabua Maddison, a young US-based Marshallese activist who last year became the Executive Director of the Arkansas-based Marshallese Educational Initiative. He works to educate both US and international audiences about the terrible legacy of the 67 US atomic tests conducted in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958 and the ongoing health, environmental, and cultural consequences, which affect multiple generations with previously unknown epidemics of birth defects and cancers. Benetick works for justice and for a universal commitment to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Hinamoeura Morgant-Cross, a French Polynesian in her mid thirties, whose realization that her own leukemia was a legacy of the French atomic tests in the South Pacific led her into activism. Hinamoeura works to ensure that the stories and experiences of the victims and their families will not be forgotten and to pressure the French government into both acknowledgement of responsibility and medical and financial support. She was elected to the Polynesian Assembly of Representatives last May and just last month shepherded through a unanimous Assembly vote supporting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Daniel Ellsberg for Lifetime Achievement. Ellsberg is best known for exposing US government decision-making about the Vietnam war when he leaked the Pentagon Papers. However, he was also a nuclear insider, a person who saw firsthand and even participated in planning for nuclear war, something he exposed in detail in his remarkable and chilling final book, The Doomsday Machine. As he pointed out in that book, “Contrary to public understanding, [the] strategy has not been a matter of deterrence of nuclear attack on the United States, but rather the illusionary one of improving first-strike capability.” Dan dedicated his life’s work to peace and the prevention of nuclear war.
How to donate to the Nuclear-Free Future Awards
To donate to the Nuclear-Free Future Awards via Beyond Nuclear: Mail checks to: Beyond Nuclear, 7304 Carroll Avenue, #182, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Please write “NFFA” in the check subject line to distinguish it from donations to Beyond Nuclear. If you prefer to pay online, you can do so at this link: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/beyond-nuclear-1 However, please notify Linda Pentz Gunter at Beyond Nuclear that your gift is ear-marked for the Nuclear-Free Future Awards: [email protected].
For more information on the 2023 Nuclear-Free Future Awards and future Awards events, please contact the organizers:
Claus Biegert: [email protected];
Linda Pentz Gunter: [email protected]
Chuck Johnson: [email protected]
Günter Wippel: [email protected]
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