Lyn Lusi, co-founder of HEAL Africa, was awarded the $1 million Opus Prize on behalf of her organization during ceremonies at Loyola Marymount University Nov. 2.

The Opus Prize Foundation annually presents the Opus Prize to unsung heroes of any faith tradition, anywhere in the world, who are working to solve today’s most persistent social problems.

This year’s winner, HEAL Africa, is a humanitarian organization that battles gender violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to the foundation, Opus Prize winners combine a driving entrepreneurial spirit with an abiding faith to give power to the disenfranchised, opportunities to the poorest, and inspire others to pursue lives of service. Each year the foundation partners with a university or college to maximize the impact of its mission.

During the award ceremony, separate $100,000 grants were presented to Homeboy Industries of Los Angeles and the Association of Small Rural Producers of Jacar/ in Brazil.

In addition to Lusi, the award finalists honored at the event included Gregory Boyle, founder and executive director of Homeboy, a nonprofit that helps at-risk and former gang-involved men and women in Los Angeles; and Rita Rodrigues Pessoa, who founded the agricultural cooperative to aid impoverished farmers in Brazil.

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