Alessandra Korap Munduruku has been named the winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights 2020 Award for her work defending the culture, livelihoods, and rights of Indigenous peoples in Brazil.
Indigenous peoples, including Alessandra’s Munduruku community, have faced tremendous challenges in Brazil in recent years—from gold miners and loggers illegally invading and exploiting Indigenous territories; to widespread fires in the Amazon; and an increased risk to the coronavirus; not to mention a combative president who’s proactively removed protections for Indigenous tribes, reported the not-for-profit organization on a press release.
“I am humbled to be this year’s Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award winner,” said Alessandra Korap Munduruku.
As one of the key leaders and organizers of the Munduruku people, Alessandra has fought to stop construction projects and illegal mining that are infringing upon Munduruku territory, garnering international attention and support. She has advocated for the demarcation of Indigenous lands and for Indigenous communities to be consulted on decisions that affect their territories.
Alessandra has also played an important role in advancing the leadership of women in the Munduruku community and among other Indigenous tribes in Brazil through her involvement in the Wakoborûn Indigenous Women’s Association and the Pariri Indigenous Association.
“To have the additional backing and support of Kerry Kennedy and her entire organization, especially during the pandemic, will make all the difference as we continue to fight for our rights, including the demarcation of our lands to ensure that Indigenous peoples have their autonomy, and for the fight of women who are also the strength of the resistance,” said Korap.
Alessandra will be honoured at a virtual ceremony on Thursday, October 22.
Kerry Kennedy will present the award, followed by a keynote address from former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the countless threats and challenges Indigenous peoples face around the world.
The award comes with a $30,000 prize and provides ongoing support from Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights—through strategic litigation, training and capacity-building, and advocacy before governments, international organizations, and other institutions—to ensure lasting change.