Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke
Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award Winner
“The history of America – much of the world even – is marked by a relentless struggle for peace. This is our hard climb. Where it concerns Black Americans and their quest for justice, I’ve been drawn to many stories, often stories missing from the history books. My real-life characters ask a simple question when it comes to peace: Why can’t we all get along? From Jackson, Mississippi, to Chicago; from the Los Angeles that had erupted in rebellion because of police brutality to war-torn Somalia, I’ve heard the same question, from both young and old. So, the harder the peace, the more I want to write.“
— Wil Haygood
Advancing Peace through Literature
Statement of Equal Justice
June 19, 2020
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is dedicated to advancing peace through the power of the written word. There can never be peace without justice and equity for all people, but particularly for individuals of color and those who have been historically marginalized.
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize stands with all those in the United States and around the world who are lifting up their words and voices to call for justice and an end to oppression and systemic racism. Words educate, inspire, exalt and move us to reflect and change.
The critical movement that’s capturing the minds and hearts of so many can be informed by the written word. We celebrate writers dedicated to peace and justice—their words challenge us to be better. We acknowledge that the light they have shown on racism, violence, prejudice, cruelty, and inequity has gone unheeded too long. We encourage everyone to act on the words of these writers, either by continuing present efforts or by seeking new opportunities to expand and extend actions leading to peace.