2017 Rothko Chapel Óscar Romero Award Ceremony
Keynote address by Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis
Rothko Chapel’s bi-annual Óscar Romero Award–named after Archbishop Óscar Romero of San Salvador who was assassinated on March 24, 1980, because of his vocal opposition to the violent oppression of his fellow citizens–has been given every two years since 1987 in recognition of courageous, grassroots human rights advocacy. Building upon the topic of ending mass incarceration addressed at our 2017 Spring Symposium, the Chapel will honor two recipients, one internationally and the other locally selected, for this year’s recognition.
The international awardee is Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, Executive Director of Association for the Protection of Prisoners and Human Rights in Burundi, east Africa. The local awardee is Kathryn Griffin Griñán, a Recovery Coach & Peer-To-Peer Counselor at Been There, Done That in Houston, Texas. The public award ceremony will take place on November 12, 2017 at 3pm in the Rothko Chapel, including a keynote speech by Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, with a reception to follow on the plaza. This ceremony will honor both recipients’ courage while recognizing the vital importance of their work.
About the Awardees:
Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is the executive director of Association pour la Protection des Droits Humains et des Personnes Détenues (Association for the Protection of Prisoners and Human Rights – APRODH), an organization that documents and reports on human rights violations with an emphasis on those committed against incarcerated people in Burundi where its citizens face alarming insecurity and violence. He has been imprisoned and faced an assassination attempt after challenging the government’s many abuses, including sexual violence, torture, and violations committed against incarcerated people.
Kathryn Griffin Griñán‘s road to recovery led her to the re-entry program in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office jail where she provides direct service and counseling to victims of sex trafficking, while advocating for rehabilitation and community support versus incarceration.
To learn about other Rothko Chapel Óscar Romero Award related programs this season, please click here.