New York City saw stars on Thursday evening, and not just in the night sky. Amal and George Clooney‘s Clooney Foundation for Justice put on the first-ever Albie Awards at the New York Public Library, which “honors courageous defenders of justice who are at great risk for what they do,” according to a press release previously issued by the Clooneys.
In the statement, the Clooneys explained, “We believe that justice must be waged — it doesn’t just happen. So when journalists are locked up just for doing their job, we try to get them out of prison. When young girls are denied the right to study, work, or marry when they want, we help them fight for their rights through the courts. When minorities are targeted for genocide, we help trigger trials against the perpetrators.”
The couple’s statement concluded, “The Albie Awards add a new dimension to our work at CFJ: they are a way to shine a protective light on the many courageous individuals who, at great personal risk, have devoted their lives to justice.”
Talking to People, George gushed about Amal’s contribution to the event and how the two “collaborate on everything,” especially charitable work.
“Well we collaborate on everything. We collaborated on twins!” the actor joked. “But you know, this is an exciting one because Amal’s gotten journalists out of Egypt, out of Azerbaijan, prisons, out of — all over the world, Myanmar.”
“My father’s a journalist. I have a great affinity for them — her mother’s a journalist. So it’s really exciting for me when she’s able to get people who are wrongly accused for doing their job out [of prison]. So, for me, it’s just — I couldn’t be more proud of my wife,” George added. Seriously, could their relationship get any more perfect?
Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, co-hosted the event with the Clooneys. He also shared in the joint press release, “We are seeing attacks on journalists, human rights defenders, women, LGBTQ people and minorities proliferating worldwide, with very little accountability. With the Albie Awards, we hope to bring much-needed attention to the courageous work of our award-winners and to the critical importance of freedom of the press, the right to protest, and anti-discrimination principles more broadly.”
Charlotte Tilbury, legendary makeup artist, beauty mogul, and founder of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, also joined the cause as an official partner and sentinel sponsor of the Albie Awards. In her own press statement, she shared, “I am so honored and proud to join my amazing friends Amal and George as an official partner and sentinel sponsor of the first-ever Albie Awards. We share a belief in justice for all and that everyone should feel empowered to live their fullest lives in a world that is fair and just.”
Amal and George Clooney are no strangers to philanthropic and humanitarian work. The couple combated the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlotte, Virginia by donating a $1 million grant to the Southern Poverty Law Center; in 2018, they partnered with UNICEF to raise $3.25 million in contributions from various companies to support Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, and now, they’ve created their own joint endeavor to bring awareness to those who are fighting humanitarian causes with unparalleled courage.
The Clooney Foundation for Justice’s inaugural event, named after Justice Albie Sachs for his selfless work to end apartheid in South Africa, was supported by a large number of A-listers, including Gayle King, Drew Barrymore, John Krazinski, Jodie Turner-Smith, and many more. Read on to see just how many stars showed their support for the Clooneys’ powerful, uplifting human rights cause.
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