TNT is Presenting Sponsor with Host Jon Stewart, Special Guest Sandra Bullock and a Musical Performance by Norah Jones
Steven Spielberg, Founder of USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education will present artist and humanitarian George Clooney, for his tireless work as a global human rights activist, with the Institute’s highest honor, the Ambassador for Humanity Award at the Institute’s annual Ambassadors for Humanity gala on October 3, 2013, in New York City. Jon Stewart is host for the event with special guest Sandra Bullock and a performance by Norah Jones.
The USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audiovisual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides a compelling voice for education and action. Steven Spielberg established the Shoah Foundation after completing the film Schindler’s List to collect and preserve the video testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. He envisioned that these eyewitness accounts would have a profound effect on education, and that the survivors would become teachers of humanity for generations to come.
USC Shoah Foundation is part of the University of Southern California’s Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Working within the university and with partners around the world, the Institute advances scholarship and research, provides resources and online tools for educators, and disseminates the testimonies for educational purposes.
Today, the Institute’s Visual History Archive preserves history as told by the people who lived it and lived through it. With its current collection of nearly 52,000 eyewitness testimonies in 33 languages and from 57 countries, it is one of the largest digital collections of its kind in the world.
The Institute is also working to preserve its testimonies in perpetuity, and to expand the Visual History Archive with accounts of survivors and witnesses of other genocides. In the spring of 2013 the Institute added an initial collection of 65 testimonies of survivors and rescuers from the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi genocide to the Visual History Archive, and is fundraising to add collections from the Armenian and Cambodian genocides. For more information about the USC Shoah Foundation, please go to www.sfi.usc.edu.
“George’s leadership as a human rights advocate and activist has shed light on humanitarian crises across the globe,” said Spielberg. “His efforts around genocide awareness and prevention link closely with the mission of the USC Shoah Foundation, and I am honored to have this opportunity to recognize George as an Ambassador for Humanity. By speaking out for those whose voices might otherwise go unheard, George has been a beacon of hope, exposing crimes against humanity and advancing peacemaking through advocacy and action.”
“I can think of no one who better reflects the Institute’s ideals for social action and justice than George Clooney as our Ambassador for Humanity,” said USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen D. Smith. “As we work toward our common goals to lift the voices of eyewitnesses to genocide so that every generation can hear them, he is an inspiration to all of us.”
“TNT is proud to be a longtime supporter of the USC Shoah Foundation and its mission to promote tolerance and mutual respect through the educational use of its Visual History Archive,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. “As storytellers, we recognize the power of narrative to inform, inspire and move people to action. This is especially true when it comes to the important work of the USC Shoah Foundation, which provides a vital link to the past so that the lessons of history will never be forgotten.”
“We are proud to recognize Mr. Clooney for his commitment to peace and understanding and for serving as a role model for so many young people and as an inspiration to our students,” said C. L. Max Nikias, president of the University of Southern California “USC Shoah Foundation has selected a deserving honoree for this impressive award.”
This event also celebrates USC’s continued commitment to the USC Shoah Foundation and marks the official launch of the USC Shoah Foundation Initiative, which seeks to raise $150 million over five years. The initiative, chaired by USC Shoah Foundation Board of Councilor member Stephen Cozen, will ensure the permanence of the Visual History Archive for future generations, and will advance the scholarly and educational work of the USC Shoah Foundation. It will also ensure that future generations will hear the voices — and see the faces — of the survivors and other witnesses.