On the 28th of April, 2015, the member organizations of the National Equality and Diversity Forum, including the national LGBT* rights organization LGL, alongside the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania organized the 2014 National Equality and Diversity Awards in Vilnius, which honoured Lithuania’s most notable individuals, organizations and initiatives in the field of equality and diversity.
The laureates were presented with glass statues created by artist Viktoras Dailidėnas. At the centre of each statue was an imprint of a palm, symbolizing humanity, unity and the uniqueness of every individual. Beata Tiškevič-Hasanova led the event, and singer Ieva Narkutė and musical group “Garbanotas Bosistas” played music throughout the evening.
The individuals, organizations, initiatives, projects, ideas and actions that have most contributed to the promotion of equality and diversity in 2014 were recognized according to the following nine categories:
Rainbow Appreciation Award
TELEVISION NETWORK ‘INFO TV’
The award was given for the socially responsible decision to air the “Change It” video clip, which was created by the national LGBT* rights organization LGL to promote the recognition of societal diversity and the Lithuanian LGBT* community.
Award for Gender Equality
The award was given for respecting diversity, encouraging social dialogues, and preventing discrimination, violence against women, homophobia, xenophobia and racism.
Ethno Dialogue Award
MUSICAL GROUP ‘BIPLAN’
The award was given for promoting mutual understanding and goodwill amongst the various nationalities in Lithuania.
Golden Age Award
MEDARDAS ČOBOTAS THIRD AGE UNIVERSITY
The award was given for the active inclusion of seniors into programs for lifelong learning, spiritual and mental development, and the continuation of dignified, active lifestyles.
Overcoming Obstacles Award
The award was given for the social network “DisabledEnabled,” whose purpose is to help individuals with disabilities to overcome obstacles on the road.
Religious Diversity Award
The award was given for the active call to recognize religious minorities, to help Lithuanian citizens shed their fears and stop making hasty generalizations about these social groups, and to promote trust and tolerance as the basis of civil society.
Breakthrough of the Year Award
HUMAN RIGHTS PORTAL “MANO TEISĖS.LT”
The award was given for meaningful work promoting human rights and empowering non-governmental organizations and representatives of vulnerable social groups to initiate public discourses about human rights.
Journalist of the Year Award
The award was given for articles written about equality, tolerance, human rights and social issues.
Lifetime Achievement Award
AUŠRINĖ BURNEIKIENĖ (1961 – 2013)
The award was given for achievements in the field of human rights and initiatives actively encouraging the promotion of equality, diversity and tolerance.
© Photo courtesy of Augustas Didžgalvis