by Ed Hagen last modified Dec 08, 2013 12:47 PM
A bi-annual award to honor the work of internationally noted forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow has been established by the Center for Social Justice at the University of Oklahoma. The award is intended to recognize the efforts of those who strive to restore the humanity and dignity of individuals and communities that have suffered human rights violations.

The first recipient of the award in 2012 was Snow himself, whose work in the United States has included identifying the remains of victims of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing and victims of plane crashes and serial killers.  He also has been involved in forensic investigations in numerous high-profile cases involving famous and infamous individuals.
Perhaps his most significant legacy is his international work discovering and identifying the remains of victims of brutal regimes.  Based on his forensic expertise, Snow has identified thousands of victims and testified on their behalf so that their killers are brought to justice.

“These people were murdered,” Snow said of his work. “Their bones are their only witnesses. And only we can help them to be heard."

In Latin America, his efforts have included identifying the remains of victims of government-sponsored mass murders in Guatemala and El Salvador, and of those “disappeared” by the military regimes in Argentina, where his work resulted in the first prosecutions of those responsible for the Dirty War.  He also has worked for the United Nations Truth Commission to identify victims in mass graves following the war in Bosnia, and gathered evidence of genocide in Iraq that he then presented at the trial of Saddam Hussein.
Nominees for the next Clyde Snow Social Justice Award, which will be presented in spring 2014, may be individuals or grassroots, community-based organizations that work to re-humanize victims of human rights abuses.  Candidates may nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else. Applications should include: the application form, a resume, supporting documentation (including photos, videos, artwork, testimonials, and media coverage), and a cover letter introducing the nominee’s contributions in the area of human rights and explaining why the nominee’s efforts give continuity to Snow’s work.  If the nomination is made by the nominee, a letter of recommendation must be included as well.  The deadline for submission of all materials is Jan. 31, 2014.
Additionally, the Center for Social Justice is seeking donations to sustain the award and celebrate the work of Clyde Snow. The endowment will be used bi-annually for a monetary award of $4000 and the production of the award sculpture designed by artist Harvey Pratt as well as travel expenses for the awardee and the costs of the award ceremony.

More information, including the nomination form, and how to donate to maintain the award, can be found at  Questions may be directed to the Center for Social Justice at or (405) 325-5787.

Established in 2009, the Center for Social Justice is an initiative of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, based in the College of Arts and Sciences at OU.  The center works to promote gender justice, equality, tolerance, and human rights through local and global engagement.

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