Amnesty International gave its annual Ambassador of Conscience award to U.S. singer-songwriter Alicia Keys on Thursday, praising her long-term campaigning on criminal justice reform, HIV and AIDS, gun violence and the global refugee crisis.
Amnesty International’s Secretary-General, Salil Shetty said in a statement on Thursday that Keys, 36, was chosen because she has “inspired and campaigned for change on critical issues throughout her illustrious career.’’
Amnesty also honoured the Indigenous rights movement of Canada with the same award, which celebrates individuals and groups who have shown exceptional courage standing up to injustice [and] used their talents to inspire others.
Reacting, Keys said the award was “one of the most proud moments of my life.’’
She said she was “driven to recognise the injustice in the world and recognise the unfairness the inequality, the things that have to change, the ways that we as everyday people, all of us, have a part to play in that.’’
“It encourages me to continue to speak out against injustice and use my platform to draw attention to the issues that matter to me.”
Shetty said: “both Alicia Keys and the Indigenous rights movement of Canada have in their own ways made inspirational and meaningful contributions to advancing human rights and towards ensuring brighter possibilities for future generations.
“Crucially, they remind us never to underestimate how far passion and creativity can take us in fighting injustice”.