Establish in 2009, the presentation of the Gypsy Spirit awards is bestowed on non-governmental organizations, companies, and individuals for their work with Roma communities. The project goal is to create a public platform and tradition so that the prizes are awarded yearly for activities and projects that not only bring measurable results for Roma people, but also actually offer real help.
The award’s 6th year has also been marked by a change in name to Roma Spirit. The Roma Spirit project aims at promoting positive contributions to the benefit of the Roma community. Roma Spirit encourages individual and company efforts to improve the living conditions of Roma people and to help in their decent social integration.
Between the years 2009 and 2015, over 800 non-governmental organizations, institutions, companies, and media representatives were nominated for the Gypsy Spirit Award. Awards were bestowed in particular categories by a Jury of Experts and by the Act of the Year committee. Former Jury members included: Václav Havel, Michael Kocáb, Leila Abassová, Sylvia Porubänová, Silvia Šarköziová, Eva Babitzová, Katarína Mathernová, Andrzej Mirga, Rumyan Russinov, Nicholas Martyn, Costel Bercus, Orhan Galjus, Monica Nicoara, Sahraa Karimi, Peter Pollák, Jaroslav Kiska, Janette Motlová, Jozef Šivák, Slávka Mačáková, Miroslava Hapalová, and many others.
In 2011, there was the first presentation of the Gypsy Spirit Award in the Czech Republic. This first edition was held by the Minister for Human Rights, Michal Kocáb, and was under the auspices of then President, Václav Havel, and Eurocommissioner Vladimír Špidla.
Contingent on the Roma Spirit national project is The European Roma Spirit Award, promoting active efforts in improving the situation and fostering social integration of the Roma, Europe’s largest and most excluded ethnic minority. Our main goal is to promote a positive image of Roma communities and culture, and to repudiate racism and prejudice and strengthen social inclusion. Our main objective is to inspire an intercultural dialogue, cooperation, and solidarity across Europe, with an emphasis on public engagement to promote positive attitudes and affective cross national challenges.