The 22nd Annual Global Leadership Awards will take place on October 25 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Vital Voices co-founder, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.
Ava DuVernay has been named the Global Trailblazer Award recipient for her work as a social impact filmmaker who celebrates and explores themes of human rights and racial equity. Climate activist and social entrepreneur Inna Braverman, Gender-based Violence Activist Hellen Lunkuse, Disability Rights Activist Sara Minkara and Sudanese Women’s Rights Activist Enass Muzamel, will be recognized for their steadfast commitment to solving the world’s greatest challenges surrounding climate, gender-based violence, and disability rights.
In addition to Secretary Clinton’s keynote address, A.I. Expert and star of the Netflix documentary Coded Bias Dr. Joy Buolamwini, Philanthropist and Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg, Actress & Activist Ashley Judd, NBCUniversal’s Chief Content Officer Donna Langley, D.B.E., Co-anchor of PBS NewsHour Amna Nawaz, and Hall of Fame Inducted Marketing Executive, Author, and Entrepreneur Bozoma Saint John are also confirmed to give remarks.
About the Program
Each year, the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards honors women leaders on the frontlines of change at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
Our investment in the Honorees does not begin and end with one night; it extends beyond, to an innovative and unparalleled initiative, the Global Leadership Awards Honoree Program.
The Honoree Program includes an intensive, week-long initiative – tailor-made for each Honoree – in which we provide the women leaders we honor with targeted training and capacity building to support their leadership and professional development.
We continue to partner with the Honorees to provide individualized investments, visibility opportunities, and connections to bolster their platform, strengthen their goals, and bring further credibility to their work.
The light that you've shined on me tonight, let me turn it around, let me redirect it to the women who are yearning for change. When you see me, please see them.
Kakenya Ntaiya 2008 Honoree
2023 Global Leadership Awards Honorees
Inna Braverman is an innovator and technology entrepreneur who’s proving that wave power can be game-changing in the fight against climate change. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power, a renewable energy company that’s developed a pioneering technology that produces clean electricity from ocean and sea waves. Inna is an outspoken advocate for a global transition away from polluting sources, partly motivated by her personal experience of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which affected her health as an infant in Ukraine. Determined to make wave energy production a global reality, Inna is bringing low-cost, clean energy to more people and tackling climate change in the process.
Hellen Lunkuse is a fearless human rights defender who advocates for women, girls, and marginalized communities in Uganda. As the Founder and Executive Director of Rape Hurts Foundation, she leads a team of dedicated activists who support survivors of gender-based violence to pursue justice, recover and rebuild. Her holistic approach to addressing and preventing gender-based violence has reached more than 850,000 people over the last ten years. Hellen connects survivors with emergency services, runs community awareness campaigns about women’s rights, and creates access to education and employment opportunities. A survivor herself, Hellen is a courageous and committed voice for human rights, inclusion, and women’s empowerment.
Sara Minkara is a pioneering advocate for inclusivity and the rights of people with disabilities. Since becoming legally blind at age seven, she has overcome barriers, challenged stigmas and created opportunities for authentic inclusion. As a Lebanese-American Muslim woman, Sara advocates for intersectional approaches to social change and has launched several initiatives of her own, including Empowerment Through Integration, a nonprofit that transforms mindsets and misconceptions by empowering youth with disabilities. In 2021, President Biden appointed Sara to the role of U.S. Special Advisor on International Disability Rights at the State Department, where she leads U.S. strategy to promote and protect the rights of people with disabilities internationally. As a global champion, advocate and expert, Sara is actively building a more inclusive society.
Enass Muzamel is a pro-democracy activist and human rights defender coordinating ongoing crisis response efforts to support women and girls in Sudan. As the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Madaniya, an organization that promotes civic engagement, she was instrumental in the 2019 pro-democracy movement that led to the ousting of Omar al-Bashir. This April, after rival military factions instigated a violent conflict, Enass was forced to evacuate from her home in Khartoum. Even while displaced, she leads critical relief efforts and connects survivors of sexual violence to healthcare, medicine and basic services. In the face of a worsening humanitarian crisis, Enass is calling on the international community to act in solidarity with human rights defenders who want to end the war and build a democratic Sudan.