Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke
The 2023 Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement
“I witnessed a war’s effects personally with the forty-year friendship of my hermana-amiga from Sarajevo. And what I learned was this; the casualties of a war are not simply those killed in warfare. Civilians and unborn generations ever after suffer with the shrapnel of that conflict embedded in their psyche like hidden landmines. I just returned from Sarajevo, and I know this is true.
The repercussions of the Bosnian War have shaped me as both a writer and a human being. I have aspired in my life to strive for unity. I’m enormously gratified to be honored with a prize focusing on peace. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is a benediction and a confirmation of my lifework. My most humble thanks.“
— Sandra Cisneros,
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.