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George and Amal Clooney celebrating humanitarians with inaugural Albie Awards

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ABC/Randy Holmes

Awards shows are sometimes criticized for being superficial, but Oscar winner George Clooney is looking to change that with the Albie Awards.

Clooney, his human rights attorney wife Amal and their Clooney Foundation for Justice have announced they’re staging the inaugural event at the New York City Public Library on the evening of September 29.

South African judge, author and activist Albie Sachs — for whom the awards are named — will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at the event.

Filipino journalist Maria Ressa will be honored with the Justice For Journalists award; Dr. Josephine Kulea, of the Kenya-based Samburu Girls Foundation, will be singled out with the Justice For Women award.

iAct, which supports genocide survivors in refugee camps, will be presented with the Justice For Survivors award, and Belarusian human rights group Viasna will be honored with the Justice For Democracy Defenders award.

Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, Oscar Isaac, Dua Lipa, Aloe Blacc, John Oliver, Julia Roberts, and Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa will be among the newsmakers saluting the honorees.

In a statement, the Clooneys noted, “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 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,” they conclude.

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