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Human Rights Lawyer Nets $100K Social Courage Award

Beatrice Mtetwa (center) seen here with part of an America delegation visiting Harare. (File Photo)
Prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtewa is the recipient of the 2014 Ivan Allen Jr. award for social courage.

The award, which comes with a $100, 000 cash prize, is in recognition for social courage.

Mtetwa is the first woman and first non-Georgian to receive the award, which is named after a two-term mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States.

The award recognizes individuals who, by standing up for clear moral principles in the social arena, have positively affected public discourse at the risk of their own careers, livelihoods and even their lives.

Members of the public nominate the recipients of the Ivan Allen Jr. award, and a nominating committee then makes a recommendation to the President of Georgia Institute of Technology, who makes the official selection.

Mtetwa, who told Studio 7 that she is elated by the news of the award, is a recipient of multiple awards.

Last year, the University of Bath in the United Kingdown, presented Mtetwa with an honorary degree of Doctors of Laws, for championing human rights and free speech in Zimbabwe.

Other awards Mtetwa has received include the Inamori prize for ethics, the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Human Rights Award from the American Bar Association section of litigation, and the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize from France. Mtetwa and the late South African President Nelson Mandela are the only Africans to receive that prize.

Mtetwa will receive the Ivan Allen Jr. award in November, at a ceremony held in her honor, at the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.