Watch George Clooney and Wife Amal Accept Elevate Prize Foundation's Catalyst Award Together
By Miguel A. Melendez
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George and Amal Clooney passionately spoke about the global impact their foundation has embarked on while appearing together to accept a prestigious award.
The Clooneys -- architects behind the Clooney Foundation for Justice -- accepted on Tuesday the Elevate Prize Foundation's Catalyst Award, which recognizes prominent individuals who use their influence to inspire social action. The award comes with a $250,000 prize. The CFJ plans to earmark the unrestricted funding for its TrialWatch program.
"One of the Elevate Prize Foundation's core values is human safety and freedom – a goal we share at the Clooney Foundation for Justice as we work to free the innocent and punish the guilty, waging justice one case at a time," the Oscar-winning actor said.
"The funding we receive from this award will support our TrialWatch program, which monitors criminal trials around the world and defends individuals who are unjustly detained, including journalists, women, LGBTQ persons and minorities," said Amal, a barrister whose work and expertise in international law and human rights is unparalleled.
Founded in 2016, the CFJ has three main programs -- TrialWatch (fighting for legal rights for those unfairly targeted by oppressive governments), The Sentry (which follows the "dirty money" of human rights abusers) and The Docket (targeting those who profit from war crimes and human rights abuse so that they see their day in court).
The CFJ also collaborates with other organizations that help vulnerable communities, like refugees and immigrant children.
It's only the second time ever the Elevate Prize Foundation has bestowed the Catalyst Award. Trevor Noah received the inaugural award last year for his work with his foundation, which aims to boost learning and teaching environments in South African schools.
The Clooneys have been active in social causes before and after getting married in 2014. The actor's notable achievements outside Hollywood includes working with the United Nations for over two decades. He also received the Peace Summit Award at the eight World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in 2007.
Amal has previously appeared in cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Joseph Deitch, founder of the Elevate Prize Foundation, commended the couple "for consistently using their influence and platform to shine a light on injustice throughout the world and encourage countless others to do the same."
"There is no question that having Amal in my life changed everything for me. No question," Clooney said without hesitation. "It was the first time that everything that she did and everything about her was infinitely more important than anything about me."
"And then we had these two knuckleheads," he continued of the pair's children, their then-3-year-old twins Alexander and Ella. "It is very fulfilling and something I wasn't at all... didn't see coming."