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The new school honors Turkish Publisher, philanthropist, and Activist Osman Kavala with 2021 Courage in Public Scholarship Award


Turkish activist Osman Kavala is being honored with the 2021 Courage in Public Scholarship Award from the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies at The New School. Kavala, a Turkish publisher, philanthropist, and civil society activist, has been held in an Istanbul prison for over four years without a conviction. He will receive the award on Human Rights Day, December 10, 2021.

The Courage in Public Scholarship Award was created in 2014 at the TCDS Democracy & Diversity Summer Institute in Wroclaw, Poland, by a group of New School for Social Research and TCDS alumni living and working in Europe. Drawing on the ethos of the University in Exile and the conviction that, especially in dark times, universities carry a special responsibility vis-à-vis society, they proposed to establish an annual tribute to exceptionally audacious thinkers, teachers, and doers through the annual Courage in Public Scholarship Award.

Opening Address: Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Director to the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute


  • Seyla Benhabib, Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Professor of Philosophy Emerita, Yale University
  • Michael Ignatieff, Professor of History, Central European University
  • Moderated by Aryeh Neier, President Emeritus, Open Societies Foundations

December 10, 2021, 12pm – 1:30 pm

This event is free and open to the public. Register here to attend. Registered attendees will receive the Zoom link via email.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.



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Media Contacts:

The New School
Merrie Snead


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