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"In the name of God, in the name of these suffering people whose laments rise to heaven, each day more tumultuous, I beg of you, I ask you, I order you, in the name of God, stop the repression!"

Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero

 2010 Ceremony Information      


In his final homily on March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez reminded us that "every effort to improve society, above all when society is so full of injustice and sin, is an effort that God blesses; that God wants; that God demands of us." Moments later an assassin's bullet pierced Archbishop Romero's heart.


The Human Rights Committee at the University of Dayton established the Archbishop Oscar Romero Human Rights Award in 2000.  The award commemorates the ministry and martyrdom of the slain Salvadoran Archbishop and honors an individual or organization whose work has contributed significantly to the promotion of the inherent dignity of all persons and the alleviation of the suffering of the human family, consistent with the spirit of Christian humanism that animates the University of Dayton.


The recipient of the 2010 Archbishop Oscar Romero Human Rights Award is the office of Migration and Refugee Services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for their efforts in creating a world where migrants, refugees, and trafficked persons are treated with dignity, respect, welcome and belonging.  Bishop John Wester, chair of the U.S. Conference of Bishops Committee on Migration, and Ambassador Johnny Young, the executive director of Migration and Refugee Services, will accept the award on behalf of the organization.


Previous recipients of the Romero Award are Juan Mendez, UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide; Casa Alianza, the Central American division of Covenant House, an organization that helps children and young people in several parts of the world; Radhika Coomaraswamy, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women; Judge Juan Guzmán Tapia, in recognition of judicial integrity, his compassion for the victims of the Pinochet regime, and for his moral courage; and Dr. Bernard Kouchner, for his work as the co-founder and former president of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Doctors without Borders, for his role in international humanitarian efforts to promote universal access to medical care, and his part in international efforts in the fight against AIDS.


The award itself, a bronze statue of Monsignor Romero, is an original piece sculpted by Emily Trick ('00) and Brother Gary Marcinowski, S.M., of the University of Dayton’s Visual Arts Department.