Like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Danny Glover & Others: Adama Dempster Receives 2023 Peace & Justice Award
The Center for African Peace & Conflict Resolution (CAPCR) at the California State University (CSU), United States of America, has honored Liberian human rights defender and activist, Adama Kiatamba Dempster, with its 2023 Peace and Justice Award—an award previously won by Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and other great African personalities.
Dempster received the award in recognition of his exemplary leadership and outstanding contributions in human rights and social justice in Liberia, as well as his demonstrable commitment to peace and justice in post- civil war Liberia.
Each year, the CSUS-CAPCR presents the peace awards to select individuals and/or organizations in recognition of their outstanding contributions in various components of peace and conflict resolution in/on Africa or among people of African heritage in the diaspora.
Past recipients of the Annual Peace Awards include the first female Chief Justice of Ghana, Georgina Theodora Wood, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, etc. In 2018, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo Addo received the prestigious award, followed by Dr. Bennet Omalu in 2019, Danny Glover in 2020, Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer, in 2021, and Africa agri-business entrepreneur, Fatai Yusufu, in 2022.
The award was presented on April 29, 2023, at the end of the 31st Annual Africa/Diaspora conference, which was held on April 27—28, 2023. Others who were also honored at the event were Dr. Veronica Ufoegbune, Peacebuilder; Atty. Keith J. Staten, Peace & Justice; Dr. Robert Dibie, Peace Education; Joyce Brown, Peacemaker; Dr. Angélique Rwiyereka, Peace Health; and Advance Peace, Peace Service.
Receiving the award, Dempster said he was deeply humbled to accept the 2023 Peace and Justice Award from the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution at the California State University, Sacramento. He thanked the board for recognizing the efforts brought towards peace and conflict resolution in Liberia, a country that he said has struggled with political instability, unaddressed past human rights atrocities, diversity, corruption, and social unrest for years.
Addressing the audience at the event, he said, “I would like to extend my gratitude to the organizers of this event for creating a platform to recognize and celebrate the contributions of individuals and organizations committed to promoting peace and justice in Africa. This recognition is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the collective efforts of many individuals and organizations who have worked tirelessly to build sustainable peace and justice in Africa.
“I am proud to be part of this movement, and I’m honored to receive this award on behalf of all the human rights community in Liberia, justice campaigners, victims and survivor’s community, peacebuilders, and conflict resolvers in Liberia, who have been working relentlessly towards promoting justice and peaceful coexistence in our country.”
According to him, “Africa has been a continent plagued by conflicts, injustices, and civil unrest, which has led to significant suffering for its people. We have witnessed violence, loss of lives and properties, and countless human rights violations. The need for peace and justice in Africa cannot be overemphasized.
“As someone who has experienced the devastating effects of conflict firsthand, I can attest to the importance of peace and justice in rebuilding our communities and our nation. It is encouraging to see that there are individuals and organizations who share this vision and are working towards achieving it.
“We have come a long way in Liberia, but there is still much work to be done. We are slowly but gradually moving towards a society that values justice and promotes peaceful coexistence, but we cannot do it alone. It is crucial that we continue to work together to build sustainable peace and justice in the world.”
The outstanding rights activist underscored that the award was a call to action for him and all those committed to the cause. “It is a reminder that we have a responsibility to continue the work we have started and to do all that we can create a more peaceful and just society for all.”
Adama Kiatamba Dempster is a Liberian human rights and justice campaigner, with over 10 years of experience in the field of human rights and transitional justice nationally and internationally. He is the Founding National Director and Lead Investigator of the Independent Human Rights Investigators (IHRI) and Secretary General of the Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia. In December 2021, he was named the Ambassador of the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI), a collaborative venture between human rights practitioners, researchers, academics, and other supporters.