Lannan Foundation has awarded a Cultural Freedom Prize to historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz for the achievements of her lifetime of tireless work. Professor Dunbar-Ortiz, who is professor emerita at California State University, East Bay, is the author of Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment (City Lights Publishers, 2018), about the racist roots of the second amendment; An Indigenous People’s History of the United States (2014); and eleven other books.
She is an activist with the global indigenous people’s movement for national sovereignty, international recognition, and environmental rights. Professor Dunbar-Ortiz has also been involved in social movements for women’s equality, and for the rights of oppressed nations in Central America during the region’s civil wars. She has helped to develop and explain more clearly than perhaps any other scholar the theory of settler-colonialism, especially as it applies to New Mexico and other states in the interior West specifically, and the United States in general. She also serves as a mentor to young scholars.
Lannan Foundation began the Cultural Freedom Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 1999 to honor Eduardo Galeano. Other winners have been criminal defense lawyer Bryan Stevenson of Alabama’s Equal Justice Initiative, theologian/scholar Cornel West, artist Claudia Andujar, poet Mahmoud Darwish, activist and writer Arundhati Roy, physician and activist Helen Caldicott, and journalist Robert Fisk.