Helen Prejean, C.S.J., was born and raised in Baton Rouge and has lived in Louisiana all her life. A member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille, she has long been involved in community work among the poor. Her contact with a man on death row in Louisiana’s Angola State Prison led her to become both an outspoken activist against capital punishment and an advocate for murder victims’ families. Prejean is the author of Dead Man Walking, which was made into a motion picture by Tim Robbins, and in which she was portrayed by actress Susan Sarandon. In 1998 Prejean was awarded the Pacem in Terris Award, which in Latin means “peace on earth.”
For the past two decades, Bianca Jagger has campaigned for human rights throughout the world. Born in Nicaragua, she received her formal education at the Institute of Political Science in Paris. During the 1980s, she documented human rights violations and death squad activities in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. She has more recently participated in fact-finding missions to the former Yugoslavia to document mass rapes of Bosnian women and other atrocities. The recipient of many humanitarian and environmental awards, she has also petitioned Latin American governments to protect their rain forests and the indigenous tribes who live in them.