HOUSTON, TX (Feb. 8, 2011) – Holocaust Museum Houston will honor actress, activist and humanitarian Mia Farrow this May with its internationally recognized 2011 Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award in honor of her tireless, years-long service as an advocate for human rights around the world, the Museum has announced.
Farrow will receive the award during the Museum’s annual dinner set for Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Registration begins at 6 p.m., with the dinner at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar, under the theme “With Knowledge Comes Responsibility.”
Humanitarian Mia Farrow
The annual event – one of the city’s largest and most widely recognized philanthropic dinners – supports the worldwide educational programs of the Museum. Proceeds also enable the Museum to offer free admission to the public. More than 700 people attended last year’s dinner.
Honorary chairs for this year’s event are The Honorable Hushang Ansary, chairman of Stewart & Stevenson LLC, and his wife Shahla Ansary. Event co-chairs are Houston’s former First Lady Andrea White and Alan R. Crain, senior vice president and general counsel of Houston-based Baker Hughes Incorporated.
“This award is given to an individual who has used his or her influence and resources to improve our world by a single act or lifetime of deeds which demonstrate moral courage in confronting injustice, hatred, prejudice and apathy," said Museum Chairman Michael S. Goldberg, senior trial partner at Baker Botts L.L.P.
“Certainly, Mia Farrow has done just that,” he said in announcing this year’s honoree. “Over the years, her constant efforts have reminded us that – once we become aware of the kinds of injustice occurring in places like Darfur and the Congo – we have a moral obligation to act. We cannot be bystanders to hatred and genocide,” he said.
Farrow has appeared in more than 40 films, but she is equally known for her role as an unrelenting advocate for human rights. Her primary focus has been on conflict-affected regions in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2004, Farrow has traveled to the Darfur region of Sudan 13 times and has written extensively about the Darfur crisis, most notably in op-ed pieces for the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times.
Her personal photographs of the dire situation in places like Darfur and the Congo have appeared in publications and exhibitions around the world. She also blogs and posts relevant articles and analyses on her Web site, www.miafarrow.org. The site also contains her entries from Darfur, Chad, Rwanda, the Central African Republic, Uganda and the Congo, as well her op-ed pieces and her photographs.
Farrow has spoken about the Darfur crisis and human responsibility across the United States and Canada, as well as in the U.S. Senate, in congressional hearings and at the United Nations Security Council.
In 2007, Farrow helped to secure the liberty of a respected rebel commander who was unjustly imprisoned in Sudan by publicly offering to exchange her freedom for his own. She was an early supporter of efforts to encourage individuals and pressure mutual funds to stop investing in companies funding mass atrocity crimes in Sudan and in Congo. She is currently working on her own project, “The Darfur Archives,” documenting the cultural traditions of Darfur’s major ethnic tribes.
Farrow serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, and has worked extensively to draw attention to the fight to eradicate polio, which she survived as a child. She made a major effort to focus public attention on China’s support for the government of Sudan, with a special focus on the 2008 Summer Olympics that was held in Beijing. Most notably, she applied pressure to filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who ultimately withdrew as artistic adviser to the 2008 Olympic broadcast. As a result of efforts by Farrow and others, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
Most recently, Farrow agreed to narrate a documentary film relating to the struggle of many of the survivors of the Rwandan genocide to forgive those who murdered family and friends. The documentary has been completed and is titled “As We Forgive.”
Farrow has received numerous international awards, including the France Legion of Arts and Letters award, the Refugees International McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award for "extraordinary service to refugees and displaced people,” the Tiananmen Square Award and the Leon Sullivan International Service award. In 2008, she was selected by Time Magazine as one of the “Most Influential People in the World.”
Holocaust Museum Houston created the Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award in 1994 in cooperation with the Johnson family.
In 1938, as a young congressman, Johnson stretched the limits of his authority and risked his personal dreams to provide American sanctuary for threatened European Jews. It is because of these acts of moral courage that the Museum proudly named the award in his honor. The award recognizes either a single righteous act or a lifetime of morally courageous behavior.
Previous recipients have included activist and humanitarian John Prendergast of the Enough Project; U.S. Sen. John McCain; television producer Norman Lear; the Houston community of Holocaust survivors; the late Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered by terrorists in Pakistan; activist Sir Bob Geldof; former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell; former U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, Jr.; former U.S. Sen. Robert Dole; filmmaker Steven Spielberg; and former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, among others.
Tables of 10 are available beginning at $6,000. Individual tickets begin at $600 each. To RSVP or to reserve a table, call 713-942-8000, ext. 129, or e-mail HMHDinner@hmh.org.
Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.
Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004. For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.