The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is glad to announce that prominent Nigerian journalist Dele Olojede, the first African-born person to win a Pulitzer Prize, has joined the Selection Committee of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. In this new capacity, he will assist Nobel Laureates, former presidents, prominent political figures, highly respected humanitarians and well-known human rights activists dedicated to recognizing modern-day heroes and their exceptional impact. Every year, members of the Selection Committee review a shortlist of candidates and select the Aurora Humanitarians to later name one of them the Aurora Prize Laureate.
60-year-old Dele Olojede is a writer, editor, and publisher whose career in journalism spans nearly four decades and took him to more than 100 countries. He was the founder and publisher of NEXT, a groundbreaking investigative newspaper in Lagos, Nigeria, that circulated in the 2000s.
In 2005, Dele became the first African-born winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. He is also a public speaker, particularly on what constitutes the good society and how we might hope to achieve it, preferably in our lifetimes.
“We are delighted that Dele Olojede has made the decision to join this Committee. For decades, he has been the voice of the underserved and overlooked communities in distress, and we are very pleased to have him onboard and appreciative of his invaluable input and expertise. I’m positive that his contribution to the work of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee will greatly benefit the humanitarian cause we all serve,” said Lord Ara Darzi, Chair of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee.
Dele Olojede is the founder and host of the annual Africa in the World festival, which brings together provocative thinkers from around the world in the Cape winelands of South Africa to discuss some of the largest challenges and opportunities facing Africa. Besides this, he is a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and a moderator of Aspen leadership seminars. Dele Olojede serves on the global advisory board of Luminate, the board of EARTH University in Costa Rica and various other organizations and is a Distinguished Alumnus of Columbia University.
“I’m very honored and excited about this new challenge in my career. I think the Aurora Prize is extremely important as it raises awareness of the plight of those who need our immediate help and of the heroic actions of people who put themselves at risk to help them. As a journalist, I believe visibility and representation matter, so I’m honored to have this opportunity to ensure both for those doing the heroic work of preserving and improving human life in our time, and across the globe,” said Dele Olojede.
The 2021 Aurora Prize Ceremony and accompanying events will take place in Venice, Italy, on October 8-10, 2021. There will be ample opportunities for the guests and participants, including members of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, Aurora Humanitarians, and other representatives of Aurora’s community, to explore the rich legacy of this location. In the meantime, nominations are still open for the 2022 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. Until October 31, 2021, any person can submit a nomination for the candidates they believe have overcome great personal challenges to help others.