The third Aurora Prize and the accompanying weekend of activities will start on June 8, in Yerevan.
“The Aurora Weekend of events is intended to offer maximum opportunity for special guests and global humanitarians to interact and to share their knowledge and experience. In addition, we hope to introduce them to Armenia, its history and heritage, and the roots of our commitment to the humanitarian work we all do together,” explained Arman Jilavian, CEO of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.
In addition to the prize ceremony, there will be various opportunities to hear members of the Selection Committee or other guests at public events around Yerevan. On Friday June 8 Ambassador Samantha Power and John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, will speak about how to make impact on difficult humanitarian issues. “Making Change When Change Is Hard’’ will be held at the American University of Armenia. On the same day Lord Ara Darzi will have open lecture at Yerevan State Medical University.
On Saturday, from 10.30 to 4 pm, the third iteration of the Aurora Dialogues Yerevan will take place at the Matenadaran. Former office holders, humanitarian leaders and prominent business executives meet to discuss the pressing humanitarian issues of the day. There will also be a discussion on the findings of the 2018 Aurora Humanitarian Index, an annual survey examining public perceptions of major humanitarian issues across multiple geographic areas.
The weekend’s final event, the presentation of the Aurora Prize, celebrates the strength of the human spirit that compels action in the face of adversity, and is offered on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide, and in gratitude to their saviors. This gratitude is manifested in all Aurora initiatives, intended to support those who defend human values and human life.
Unlike the prize ceremonies of 2016 and 2017, the 2018 ceremony is divided in three parts – a trilogy. The first part is a program at TUMO on Saturday evening at 6 pm. This program, entitled HONORING HUMANITARIANS will introduce the three AURORA HUMANITARIANS – U Kyaw Hla Aung of Myanmar, Sunitha Krishnan, of India and Father Tomás González Castillo from Mexico. Master of ceremonies David Ignatius will return to lead this and the other segments of the Trilogy.
The second part is a sunrise ceremony which will take place about 30 minutes outside Yerevan, as close to Mount Ararat as it’s possible to get, within Armenia’s borders. The timing and the location are both symbolic. Aurora means ‘dawn’ and is dedicated to awakening humanity. The presentation of the 2018 Aurora Laureate will be made there, at dawn, in the presence of a relatively small community of invited humanitarians.
A special ceremony dedicated to the inscription of the 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate’s name in the Chronicles of Aurora will also take place on June 10, 2018, at the Matenadaran, home to one of the world’s richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books. Chronicles of Aurora, the hand-written tome containing depictions of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative activities, will have new stories about the Aurora Humanitarians and the Laureate added each year.
“Aurora 2018: A Tribute to the 2018 Laureate” is the concluding portion which will take place on June 10 in an evening ceremony at the A. Spendiaryan National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. There, the Co-Founders of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and guests will gather to celebrate the power of humanity and exceptional courage and impact of the 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate.
The global public can follow the weekend of events intended to serve as manifestation of the Aurora commitment to Gratitude in Action, rooted in a sense of responsibility to our common humanity.