I am weathered, but still elegant.
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SECRETARY OF STATE, HILLARY CLINTON, DESIGNATES
SARAH CLETO RIAL AS RECIPIENT OF
2010 ELEANOR ROOSEVELT AWARD FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

On Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, presented our phenomenal Program Director, Sarah Cleto Rial, with the 2010 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award. For more on the ceremoney, click here.   

Sarah is a native of southern Sudan, who directs MSKeeper’s programs on girls’ education and women’s literacy and currently is leading our unprecedented peacebuilding initiative among women representing diverse regions, races, religions and ethnicities throughout Sudan and the Diaspora.

Sarah found her voice as a human rights activist while a young university student in Khartoum:

"I was arrested when I was 17 years old because of the way I was dressed. I was put in an open truck that was driven around town. People were looking at me and throwing things at me and then I was taken to a civil court where I was interrogated and humiliated. Many others suffered worse. That kind of mistreatment and the civil unrest in Sudan triggered my political activism. For more than 25 years I have been advocating for the lives of the marginalized people in Sudan and I specifically focus on the importance of women’s voices to be part of this movement."

It became clear to Sarah, that if she continued to stay in Sudan, her life would be in danger. In 1993, she was awarded a scholarship to pursue a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. After completing her studies, Sarah applied to and was granted refugee status from the United Nations, and was resettled in Lynn, MA in 1999. A little more than 10 years later, she will receive this commendation on behalf of all Sudanese women peacebuilders.

Sarah states, "This award is indeed the recognition of the work of Sudanese women worldwide – the work that could not have succeeded without the encouragement of supporters of My Sister’s Keeper . Sudanese women have been invisible for ages and this is an important opportunity to come out and tell the world that Sudanese women are here to ensure that there is lasting peace in our homeland."

We are extremely proud of Sarah. She not only embodies the legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt, but also the mission of My Sister’s Keeper to partner with resourceful and resilient Sudanese women and girls to forge pathways to peace. With your support , we can continue to empower women like Sarah who will, in turn, empower other women.

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