Millennium Candler Gala Prize Winners

2018 Millennium Candler Honorees

PEACE PRIZE – Coretta Scott King accepted by Bernice King

Honors leadership in the promotion of fraternity between peoples and nations.

King was a leader in the United States’ Civil Rights movement and spent her lifetime tirelessly pursuing non-violence.  She lived for the very definition of peace: “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility,” and “freedom from violence.” During her husband’s lifetime, Mrs. King sacrificed her own aspirations of a career in music to support him as he became a full-time minister. Her devotion to the cause of Peace predates her husband’s. Ambassador Andrew Young and Dr. C.T. Vivian confirm that Mrs. King and the women were the true leaders and backbone of the movement, as they preceded the men to dangerous and conflicted areas in order to prepare for the men’s arrivals and ministries. After her husband’s death, Mrs. King played a lead role for the movement for peace and racial equality herself. She built the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, she led the successful campaign in 1986, when Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was made a federal holiday, she led the campaign to construct a monument for her husband in Washington, D.C., saying it would “complete a group of memorials in the nation’s capital honoring democracy’s greatest leaders, including Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and now Martin Luther King, Jr.” For her work to foster peace in the world since a young child by fighting for equality of all people, for her persistent promotion of Dr. King’s non-violent, God-given burden, particularly after her sacrifice and loss of her husband, for her courage to take the fight to many places around the world, including her sacrifice and arrest assisting Nelson Mandela, the Millennium Candler Prize Commission having met in Copenhagen, bestows posthumously to Coretta Scott King the Millennium Candler Peace Prize, to be awarded to her daughter, Bernice King, in Atlanta in October, 2018.

JUSTICE PRIZE – Thor Leonardo Halvorssen Mendoza

Honors leadership in effecting positive social change.

Halvorssen is a Venezuelan human rights advocate and film producer now based in Norway, with contributions in the field of public policy, public interest advocacy, individual rights and civil liberties, and pro-democracy advocacy. Halvorssen is founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum, an annual gathering described by The Economist as a “spectacular human-rights festival… on its way to becoming a human-rights equivalent of the Davos economic forum.” Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) is run by the New York-based non-profit Human Rights Foundation under the slogan “Challenging Power.” OFF was founded in 2009 as a one-time event and has taken place annually ever since. One of the key objectives of the conference is to bring together notable people, including former heads of state, winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, prisoners of conscience, as well as of other public figures in order to network and exchange ideas about human rights and exposing dictatorships. The power of the event – whose sponsors include Sergey Brin’s and Peter Thiel’s charitable foundations — lies in the seamless mix of grassroots activists, many of whom have risked their lives to speak out, and the top-level policymakers and influencers who can act on what they learn. The New York Times describes Halvorssen as a maverick “who champions the underdog and the powerless.” He possesses a burning desire to right the countless injustices of this world. Halvorssen has committed himself to this task with an intensity to match that of the dictatorships of Venezuela and elsewhere which he has placed in his sights. The Millennium Candler Prize Commission having met in Copenhagen, bestows the Millennium Candler Justice Prize to Thor Leonardo Halvorssen Mendoza.

MILLENNIUM GATE PRIZE – Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Honors excellence in the arts, sciences, or business.

von Einsiedel is a British film director born of a German father and English mother, the grandson of Virginia Wolf. He directs documentary films that investigate global social issues, and has filmed around the world, including Africa, Asia, America and the Arctic. His documentaries have been screened at some of the world’s top film festivals. He directed Virunga (2014) and The White Helmets (2016), for each of which he received nominations for an Academy Award in the categories of Best Documentary Feature and Best Documentary (Short Subject), respectively; he won the Oscar for the latter. von Einsiedel shared the stage and the Oscar with The White Helmets‘ producer Joanna Natasegara. He stated, “Our organization is guided by a verse from the Koran: ‘to save one life is to save all of humanity.’ [Through our films,] We have saved more than 82,000 civilian lives.” Reaching between 65 million to 1 billion viewers worldwide, von Einsiedel implored “I invite anyone here who hears me to work on the side of life, to stop the bloodshed in Syria and around the world.” Praised by critics for his fearless filmmaking in war and otherwise danger zones and his strong sense of the people and places he covers, von Einsiedel’s eye for striking shots, combined with his compelling global investigations into social issues, have ensured that he is unequivocally an important monitor who shines light on injustice at great personal risk around the world. The Millennium Candler Prize Commission having met in Copenhagen, bestows the Millennium Candler Millennium Gate Prize to Orlando von Einsiedel.

Natasegara is a Academy Award-winning producer, Impact Producer, and Founder of Violet Films, an ethical consultancy specializing in bespoke outreach campaigns that maximize the social change potential of film and media projects. Natasegara has extensive experience in documentary film, having directed and produced documentaries covering social justice and politics, including criminal justice reform, peace and conflict, global leadership, election reform, human rights, and environmental justice. Most recently, Natasegara produced the Academy Award and BAFTA-nominated feature documentary Virunga and the Academy Award winning film The White Helmets. Natasegara holds a Bachelors (Hons) in Indian Religions & Language, and a Masters of Science in Human Rights. Before embarking on her film career, she worked in the not-for-profit arena in the UK, Cambodia, and Brasil. The Millennium Candler Prize Commission having met in Copenhagen, bestows the Millennium Candler Millennium Gate Prize to Joanna Natasegara.