A Celebration of People Power
Winners of the 2021 Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards reflect the power of collective action.
The Awards, named for human rights icon Nelson Mandela and former First Lady of South Africa and Mozambique, humanitarian Graça Machel, honour the power of people to demand change for a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.
The 2021 Innovation Awards recognise groups that stand out for their innovative work building people power in support of human rights and social justice for everyone. Through a public open call, submissions were accepted under the topics explored during the 2020 ICSW/virtual events. After receiving an impressive 5,334 endorsements during the public support campaign for finalists, an external committee of civil society leaders and activists with thematic expertise reviewed and selected seven winners.
The winner in the category, Democratising governance systems and processes, is Life In Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence. (Barbados)
“We’re thrilled to have been selected as a Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Innovation Award winner. This award provides us with the opportunity to maximize the Pink Parliament initiative’s impact locally as well as expand its reach throughout the region. We wish to express our appreciation to the selection team for seeing our vision and believing in our mission. We also wish to express our gratitude to our partners and everyone who supported us, especially those individuals who have been there since the project’s inception. Most importantly, we dedicate this award to our phenomenal Pink Parliamentarians, both past and present, because we do this work for them and without them, our vision would not be possible.” – Ronelle King, Director of Life In Leggings & Project Manager of Pink Parliament.
The winners in the other six categories are:
Building and sustaining movements for social justice:
amandla.mobi (South Africa)
Creating positive narratives for people power:
HIVE Pakistan’s Campaign AIK Better Together (Pakistan)
Enhancing diversity and inclusion through artivism:
Together! Civil Society Organization (Ethiopia)
Protecting and promoting digital civic space:
Hashtag Generation (Sri Lanka)
Resourcing youth-led groups and movements:
Noble Missions for Change Initiative (Nigeria)
Sustaining people power through self- and community-care:
Let’s Walk Uganda
We would also like to provide special (non-financial) recognition for the initiative that received the most endorsements on the Innovation Zone platform: Asociación de comunidades negras del Cesar Ku Suto (Colombia). The overwhelming public support received is an important indicator of the value their community places in their work.
The winners were selected from a pool of more than 350 inspiring applicants from over 70 countries that participated in the open call. Each winner will receive US$5000 in recognition of their work in promoting people power, human rights and social justice.
The Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards are led by global civil society alliance, CIVICUS and seek to celebrate, promote, and defend a worldwide community of informed and inspired citizens engaged in confronting the challenges facing humanity.
For more information, contact: