RI Honors Amanpour at Record-Breaking New York Circle

By Adelaide Belk
RI Vice Chair Sam Waterston, Christiane Amanpour, and RI President Dr. Michel Gabaudan.

View our photo report from last week's event!

On the evening of October 16th, Refugees International celebrated the 10th anniversary of our New York Circle. Each year since the Circle was founded by Peta Roubin and Natacha Weiss, guests have come together to show their enthusiasm and support for RI’s lifesaving advocacy. This year, friends and supporters joined RI at Unilever’s New York apartment on Columbus Circle on a beautiful autumn night.

RI President Dr. Michel Gabaudan opened the program with insights into RI’s advocacy on behalf of the nearly 2 million displaced Syrians in desperate need of aid. Dr. Gabaudan also shared with guests a brief film featuring striking footage from RI’s recent mission to Somalia.

RI’s longest standing board member, Sam Waterston, then took to the podium to present our inaugural Exceptional Service Award to renowned journalist Christiane Amanpour. The Exceptional Service Award is a platform for celebrating the achievements of a notable journalist or activist, while also calling attention to the issues she has made her life’s work. It is with great admiration that we have watched Ms. Amanpour’s commitment to women’s rights and humanitarian causes translate into action – and real change – around the world. She has devoted tremendous time and energy to exposing and fearlessly tracking human rights abuses through her journalism, and her intrepid reporting has mobilized world attention to neglected conflicts and atrocities.

After accepting the award, Ms. Amanpour delivered insightful remarks about her experience covering conflicts and disasters, and underscored the importance of highlighting the needs of refugees and displaced communities – the people who are most vulnerable during times of crisis.

After this compelling program and presentation, guests enjoyed visiting and chatting with one another over a light dinner. The night ended on a particularly fun note, with Unilever providing a cart of Ben & Jerry’s and other Unilever-brand ice cream bars as a parting favor for all guests!

We were thrilled to have assembled such a special group of engaged individuals, whose support made this 10th anniversary our most successful New York Circle yet! This would not have been possible without the generosity and efforts of our hosts, Unilever, and our host committee members: Sarah Bacon, Jennifer and Mike Caputo, Matt Dillon, Sabine and Kees Kruythoff, Lauren Bush Lauren, Kati Marton, Sally and Steve Paridis, Rachel Pearson, Peta and Gary Roubin, Nina and Dino Saglimbeni, Cheryl Feigenson and Jeff Tindell, Mariella and Michael Trager, and Natacha and Anthony Weiss. We look forward to our next visit to New York!