The University of Michigan Wallenberg Medal and Lecture and the Wallenberg Endowment have moved from the Rackham Graduate School to the Donia Human Rights Center. The Wallenberg Medal and Lecture recognizes outstanding humanitarians whose work echoes University of Michigan alumnus Raoul Wallenberg’s extraordinary accomplishments and human values. These activities are supported by the Wallenberg Endowment, which was established in 1985 to honor Wallenberg, a diplomat during World War II who helped save the lives of tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.

Located within the International Institute, the Donia Human Rights Center (DHRC) is a forum for intellectual exchange on issues around human rights among scholars, practitioners, students, and the broader public. Aiming to promote a deeper understanding of human rights issues in the contemporary world and to equip constituents with the tools to tackle challenging human rights problems around the world, the DHRC invites leading practitioners and scholars to share their human rights insights and expertise gained through their experiences and research.

Steven Ratner, Bruno Simma Collegiate Professor of Law, is the director of the Donia Human Rights Center. Sioban Harlow, Professor Emerita of Epidemiology; Professor Emerita of Global Public Health, School of Public Health; and Professor Emerita of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School serves as chair of the Wallenberg Medal Committee. 

Lucas Benitez will receive the 2023 Wallenberg Medal on October 10th at 7:30pm in Rackham Auditorium. Benitez is a co-founder of the Florida-based labor and human rights organization the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and a key organizational leader and member of the CIW’s Fair Food Program worker education team. In addition to being one of the earliest farmworker leaders in the Fair Food movement, Benitez played a critical role in the investigation of several trafficking and slave labor cases, helping to free over 700 farmworkers in one case alone.

Recent Wallenberg Medal recipients include Safa Al Ahmad, Saudi Arabian journalist and documentary filmmaker (2019); March For Our Lives of Parkland, Florida and The B.R.A.V.E. Youth Leaders of Chicago (2018); and Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (2017). Notable medal recipients over the past 30 years include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Miep Gies, John Lewis, Masha Gessen, Elie Wiesel, Denis Mukwege, and His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Please direct any inquiries about the program to or 734-936-3973. 

Housed within the International Institute’s Donia Human Rights Center, the Wallenberg Medal and Lecture is supported by the Wallenberg Endowment, which was established in 1985. The International Institute brings together distinguished and diverse faculty and scholars with deep area studies and international expertise to enrich the university’s intellectual environment and provide the U-M community with the knowledge, tools, and experience to become informed and active global citizens. We advance this mission through education, engagement, and innovation.