2013 National Equality and Diversity Awards winners will be announced at gala ceremony in Vilnius | NLIF

2013 National Equality and Diversity Awards winners will be announced at gala ceremony in Vilnius

Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, February 20th 2014, at 6 PM. The ceremony will take place at the State Small Theatre of Vilnius (Gedimino av. 22). Simultaneous translation from Lithuanian to English and to Lithuanian sign language will be provided.

National Equality and Diversity Awards are organized in Lithuania for the first time. They are intended to encourage organizations, companies, institutions and people who actively contribute in promoting equality and diversity in Lithuanian society.

The awards will be presented in 10 different categories which include: Dialogue of the year, Photography of the year, Business company of the year, Public spirit of the year, Music group of the year, Journalist of the year, Human rights advocate of the year, Insights of the year, Victory of the year and the Award for lifetime work in fostering tolerance. There will be one winner in every category. The categories were structured in consideration of suggestions made by the nominees.

Lithuanian residents, non-governmental organizations and governmental organizations could nominate deserving individuals and organization from the end of 2013 until mid- January, 2014.  More than 40 proposals were received (the nominees are listed in alphabetical order at the end of this text).  The winners were selected by the representatives of the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsman (OEOO) and the National Equality and Diversity Forum (NEDF).

Members of NEDF state that by fostering equality and diversity we understand that every person  is special because of his or her unique qualities, and treating these differences as an advantage rather than as a flaw is the key point. These differences may arise due to individual’s race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, social status, age, disability, religion, political views or other features. Being able to take advantage of these differences in a safe, positive and encouraging environment, we can learn to manage diversity and thus foster mutual understanding and tolerance.

National Equality and Diversity Awards 2013 is an initiative of the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman (OEOO) and  National Equality and Diversity Forum (NEDF).

The nominees for the National Equality and Diversity Awards 2013

Paulius Ambrazevičius, Ieva Budzeikaitė, Darius Chmieliauskas, Audra Čepkauskaitė, Vyda Dauskurdytė, Eglė Digrytė, Leonidas Donskis, Danguolė Germanienė, Dalia Gudavičiūtė, Diana Gumbrevičiūtė-Kuzminskienė, NGO House of Diversity and Education, Mindaugas Jackevičius, Monika Jakimavičienė, Erica Jennings, Eglė Jokužytė, Kaunas Women‘s Society, Halina Kobeckaitė, Faina Kukliansky, Dalia Kuodytė, Lithuanian Center for Human Rights, Marija and Jurgis Šlapeliai House-Museum,  Rūta Meilutytė, Vytautas Mizaras, National LGBT rights organization LGL, Nemenčinė Day Care Center for People with Disabilities, Independent kindergarten „Nendrė“, Donatas Paulauskas, Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė, Prienai town foster home Dainius Pūras, RIMI, Birutė Sabatauskaitė, Eglė Samoškaitė, SKAMP, Mark Splinter, Laisvydė Šalčiūtė, Association „Šviesuva“, Pre-school education organization „Vaikystės sodas“, Gintaras Varnas, Vilnius Airport, Vytautas Magnus University, Romas Zabarauskas.

There was also an event nominated for the awards. The event took place as a part of Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union on the 16th of November, 2013. The title of the event was „Disability and Sustainable Development: Perspective of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities“.