The Dane County chapter of the United Nations Association (UNA) has named Wisconsin Watch the winner of its 2023 Global Citizen Award.
The award recognizes global work that improves health, equality, environment, education, legal rights, living conditions, distribution of resources, rule of law or conflict resolution.
“The Selection Committee acknowledged the importance of honoring the work of independent journalists and the role that they play in supporting UN values, such as the right to information, free speech, providing a check on power, educating/informing the public and promoting diverse views,” Jennifer Eikren, UNA Dane County awards committee chair, wrote to Wisconsin Watch. “As such, Wisconsin Watch is an excellent choice for this year’s award and exemplifies these ideals.”
Wisconsin Watch is a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news outlet that reports on issues of importance to the state. But the scope of some of those issues stretch far beyond Wisconsin’s borders.
That was the case this year when reporter Zhen Wang found evidence that prisoners in China’s central Hunan Province were forced to make Milwaukee Tool-branded work gloves for 90-plus hours a week, earning pennies each day — an investigation that spurred the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China to probe Milwaukee Tool’s contracting practices.
Wisconsin Watch has recently published additional deep-dive reports that touch on global issues.
Those included Wang’s feature on the struggles of Afghan evacuees in Wisconsin to pay for the education they fled Afghanistan to obtain; her examination of Afghan evacuees’ efforts to bolster Wisconsin’s workforce; and Jonah Chester’s report on the consequences of Wisconsin’s ban on driver’s licenses for immigrants who entered the country illegally.
Dane County UNA calls itself “a South Central Wisconsin voice for multinational responses to global problems and the rule of law throughout the world for 70 years.”
The group will present Wisconsin Watch the award at its Dane County UN Day Celebration on Oct. 22 at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison.