In July, the Fund for Global Human Rights held a memorial in Washington, DC, celebrating the lives and impact of two extraordinary colleagues, Ana Paula Hernández and Sally O’Neill. These advocates, who were lost in a tragic car accident earlier this year, shared a powerful commitment to human rights across the globe and particularly in Central and South America.
The event brought together Fund staff, supporters, grantees and the women’s families to commemorate their joyous lives and dedication to promoting dignity and equality for all people. It also marked the launch of the Ana Paula Hernández and Sally O’Neill Memorial Fund for Human Rights Defenders in Latin America – dedicated to keeping Ana Paula and Sally’s spirits alive by sustaining the activists and causes that meant so much to them.
The Hernández O’Neill Memorial Fund will provide crucial support for:
- human rights defenders under threat, including those facing violent attacks and trumped-up legal charges in retribution for their activism
- the development of new, community-based approaches to ensuring the safety and security of human rights defenders
- campaigns by indigenous and farming communities to defend rights to land and natural resources on which they depend for their livelihoods
- groundbreaking work by human rights defenders to promote justice and accountability for gross rights violations
- dedicated support for women activists, who face distinct challenges to their security and well-being