This post was originally published as part of Dui Hua’s This Month in History series in its December 2014 Digest.

On December 13, 2001, Executive Director John Kamm received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights for his and Dui Hua’s work in helping prisoners of conscience through dialogue with China. Established in 1998 by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright under the direction of President Bill Clinton, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award is given to Americans who have an outstanding record of promoting human rights domestically or internationally. Before presenting the award at the US Department of State, then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage praised Kamm, who had left the business field to become a full-time human rights advocate, for showing that “business people can not only open markets to American products they can touch hearts with their pursuit of American values.”

Dui Hua was less than two years old at the time of the award. Now in our 15th year, Dui Hua continues to advocate for at-risk prisoners and human rights advancements by engaging in dialogue with the Chinese government and with human rights advocates worldwide. In addition to our focus on political prisoners, Dui Hua has expanded its mission to advocate for the rights of juvenile offenders and women at odds with the law.

For the original transcript of the 2001 award ceremony, please click here.