In honor of its leadership in social activism and innovative solutions to global issues, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education received the 2010 Walter Cronkite Civic Engagement Leadership Award.
The award was presented by What’s Your Issue, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to “provide a unique platform for young adults to propose creative solutions to some of our nation’s most important challenges and for their voices to be heard, honored and acted upon by leaders in government, the media, the private section, and the nonprofit world.”
Citing the “innovative programming stemming from the Visual History Archive such as the Teacher Innovation Network and new uses of the Internet and other digital media to advance social awareness, foster compassion, and promote human rights education,” the award was given to honor the humanitarian work of the Institute to bring compassion and justice to our global society.
A three-and-a-half minute video about the institute titled In Perpetuity was shown at the event along with a few words by Talia Cohen, associate director, public outreach and communications, who received the award on behalf of the Institute on June 26 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City. While accepting the award, Cohen shared the vision of the Institute.
The award jury included Tom Brokaw; His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Jack Black; Yoko Ono; Jimmy Wale, co-founder of Wikipedia; Benjamin Jealous, President of the NAACP; and others. Organizational cause partners included the American Red Cross, the Human Rights Campaign, The Humane Society of the United States, Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Along with the award presentation, the evening centered on an annual global initiative and video competition for kids, ages 14-24. Each participant created a three-minute film on a social issue for which they are passionate that includes a proposed solution. Among the competition winners were videos on shark finning, water conservation, and self-induced abortion by women in Africa. To view winning videos, visit whatsyourissue.tv.
Event sponsors included Sony, Apple, Google/YouTube and Best Buy.
To learn more about the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, housed within the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, go to college.usc.edu/vhi.