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A look at our 20th anniversary Prize celebrations — Nominate the next winner now!

By Judy M. Miller, Maggie B. Miller, Hannah Mora, October 26, 2015

At $2 million, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize remains the world’s largest humanitarian award. On October 14, more than 400 guests joined us to celebrate 20 years of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize and to congratulate the 20th recipient, Seattle-based land rights organization, Landesa.

On October 14, more than 400 guests joined us to celebrate 20 years of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize and to congratulate the 20th recipient, Seattle-based land rights organization, Landesa.

The silver corridor entrance was lined with banners for each Hilton Prize laureate.

At $2 million, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize remains the world’s largest humanitarian award and is presented to nonprofit organizations deemed to have made extraordinary contributions to alleviating human suffering. Landesa has partnered with governments to help provide secure land rights to an estimated 115 million families since 1967.

This year’s celebration was special because it allowed us to look back on 20 extraordinary organizations. The theme of the program was inspired by Conrad Hilton’s motto, “Think Big, Act Big, Dream Big.” The breadth and reach of the issues covered by these nonprofits is truly breathtaking, and we know Conrad would be proud of their work.

Group photo of the 20 Hilton Humanitarian Prize laureates.

Former CNN World Affairs Correspondent, Ralph J. Begleiter, served as Master of Ceremonies, introducing esteemed speakers to the stage, including Gro Harlem Brundltand, M.D., M.P.H. (Former Prime Minister of Norway; Former Director-General, WHO); David Miliband (President & CEO, IRC); Liv Ullmann (Co-Founder, Women’s Refugee Commission; Vice Chair, IRC) and William H. Foege M.D., M.P.H. (Senior Fellow, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Professor Emeritus, Emory University).

David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) speaks about the current refugee and migration crisis.

Steve Hilton delivered a heartwarming speech—his last Prize presentation as our President and CEO—presenting the Prize to Landesa. Immediate Past President and CEO, Co-founder and Senior Advisor of Landesa, Tim Hanstad, took the stage to accept the award. In his remarks, he reflected on the organization’s important work to empower millions of women and men with land rights to lift themselves out of poverty. He also recognized Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Landesa, Roy Prosterman, who for four decades has dedicated his life to the organization’s mission. Roy stood to be recognized by all in the room, as he received a standing ovation.

The evening closed with an unforgettable performance by Senegalese singer, percussionist, songwriter, composer, director, actor, businessman and political activist—Youssou N’Dour. His music was so moving that it lifted many guests right out of their seats—dancing in celebration of all the goodness and hope filling the room.

Youssou N’Dour performing at 20th Anniversary Gala.

While we are grateful for all who joined us in celebrating Landesa and the Prize’s 20th anniversary, we are already hard at work identifying the next great organization that will receive the Prize. We are currently accepting nominations for the 2016 Hilton Humanitarian Prize through this Saturday, October 31, so please visit our website and help us find more extraordinary organizations working to alleviate human suffering throughout the world.

Former Vice President and Director, Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize

Maggie B. Miller Twitter

Director, Hilton Humanitarian Prize

Hannah Mora Twitter

Assistant Manager, Hilton Humanitarian Prize

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