On Wednesday, three laureates were presented with White Crow awards as a way of distinguishing them as people who have shown courage and defended the public good. For the first time ever, all three laureates at the current 14th awards ceremony were women. "All this year's laureates have drawn our attention to what is important in order to regenerate our democracy and make it strong. Leading by example, they offer ways for us to overcome together the current crisis, which is getting worse," said White Crow Council member Zuzana Wienk.
The first laureate was independent Varín village councillor Lenka Ticháková, a longstanding advocate of renaming a street in her village that bears the name of leader of the wartime fascist Slovak state Jozef Tiso. She has combed through archives, garnered the stances of historians, raised awareness and pushed for change, yet faces invectives and misunderstanding in the village.
The second laureate was head of the State Institute for Drug Control Zuzana Baťová. During the pandemic crisis, the Institute drafted an independent assessment of the non-registered Sputnik vaccine and refused to approve its use in Slovakia without missing information from the producer. Baťová faced unprecedented media and political pressure over the assessment, both at home and abroad.
The third award went to psychologist Soňa Holúbková, who has been helping people with disabilities for thirty years, encouraging their inclusion in society.