The three finalists for the 2018 Opus Prize, a $1 million award which recognizes individuals or organizations who address critical social issues within their communities, were announced on Monday, July 16, by the Opus Prize Foundation and the University of Portland. Hailing from Chennai, India; Lima, Peru; and Chicago, Illinois, the three finalists will be in Portland in November 12-15, 2018 for a week-long celebration culminating in the presentation of the $1 million award and two $100,000 prizes.
Spanning three continents, the finalists include:
- Agape Rehabilitation Centre in Chennai, India, in honor of founders Daniel and Avitha Victor: Agape was founded and is managed by Daniel and Avitha Victor, who have spent their entire lives serving disabled teens and adults – a community of people who are often discarded in the Indian culture.
- Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) in Chicago, in honor of its founder Dr. Rami Nashashibi: Operating in a U.S. city plagued by unrelenting gun violence, IMAN has spent nearly two decades methodically implementing grass roots programs serving the most vulnerable families living in Chicago’s south side. IMAN manages programs that address health, leadership development, arts and culture, transitional housing, food access and advocacy around poverty and prison reform.
- Yancana Huasy in Lima Peru, in honor of José Antonio Patrón Quispe and Rev. Daniel Panchot, C.S.C.: Founded by Fr. Daniel Panchot, C.S.C., and led today by José Antonio Patrón Quispe, Yancana Huasy works to integrate children and families with special needs into public schools, faith communities and neighborhoods. They are primary advocates in ensuring that the disabled have access to public transportation and handicapped accessibility in public buildings.
Learn more about the finalists at https://www.up.edu/opusprize/.
The University will host all three finalists for a week-long celebration in Portland this November 12-16. During the 2018 Opus Prize Week, the finalists will be on the UP campus to visit classrooms and engage in conversation with the University community and the greater Portland community. Several opportunities to meet the Opus Prize finalists are free and open to the public, including the Opus Prize Ceremony on Thursday, November 15, when the $1 million award and two $100,000 prizes will be announced.
The Opus Prize Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sponsors the Opus Prize, an annual, faith-based humanitarian award recognizing individuals internationally and domestically who are addressing persistent and pressing social problems within their communities. Each year, the Opus Prize Foundation chooses a Catholic university to serve as its partner in selecting the Opus Prize laureates and finalists. As the 2018 Opus Prize partner, the University of Portland collected nominations and formed a jury comprising community and faith leaders who selected the three finalists. Teams of UP students, faculty members, and Opus Prize officials then traveled to the finalists’ communities to view the organizations in person before the three finalists were announced.