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Delivering Democracy Lecture

Forest Whitaker

The word “democracy” is one of the most recognized, venerated, and misunderstood terms in the English language. Its potential, however, has yet to be fully realized, because it is routinely distorted, misjudged and exploited. In order for American democracy to flourish and expand, its origins, evolution, and potency must be interpreted, discussed, and practiced by everyday people, scholars, and visionaries from various walks of life.

The inaugural ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy’s Delivering Democracy lecturer, featuring Academy Award winning actor and decorated humanitarian, Forest Whitaker, will treat the 6th largest city in the United States to a timely and creative discussion of the promise of American Democracy. Whitaker is one of the world’s most accomplished actors, directors, producers and community activists, and when chosen as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, their leading U.S. diplomat stated Forest Whitaker was considered “the perfect choice” because … “He exemplifies compassion in every area of his life, with humility and grace. He does this because it’s the right thing to do” particularly in his work with youth in emerging and expanding democracies. Please do not miss this signature event featuring one of the most celebrated and insightful people of our age.

Watch Forest Whitaker at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

Forest Whitaker is a distinguished artist and humanist. He is the founder of PeaceEarth Foundation, co­ founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace and is the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. Whitaker is also a talented, versatile performer and one of Hollywood's most accomplished figures. He has received prestigious artistic distinctions including the 2007 Academy Award® for Best Actor for his performance in The Last King of Scotland as Ugandan dictator ldi Amin. He has also received the BAFTA Award, SAG Award, and Golden Globe® for Best Actor. In addition, Whitaker received the Best Actor for,Bird at the Cannes Film Festival.

Forest Whitaker has dedicated most of his time to extensive humanitarian work over the past decade. His social awareness has compelled him to seek ways of using the film medium as a means to raise peoples' consciousness. He produced the award-winning documentary Kassim the Dream, which tells the poignant story of a Ugandan child soldier turned world championship boxer, Rising From Ashes, which profiles Genocide survivors of the Rwandan war who have risen from wooden bicycles to competing in the Olympics, Serving Life, which focuses on hospice care for prisoners at Louisiana's Angola Prison, and the Emmy nominated and Peabody Award-winning Brick City, which takes a look at inner-city life in Newark, New Jersey.

In 2007, Whitaker received the Cinema for Peace Award for his selfless and ongoing advocacy for child soldiers, as well as his work with inner-city youth. He was also awarded the Humanitas Prize in 2001. In 2008, he served as a member of the Urban Policy Committee and currently sits on the board of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). Whitaker serves as a Senior Research Scholar at Rutgers University, and a Visiting Professor at Ringling College of Art and Design. In 2011, Whitaker was designated as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. In this role, he works towards global peace building through anti-violent education, research, training and community building. In recognition of his commitment as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and for his outstanding contribution to the work of the Organization, Whitaker received in December 2012 the United Nations Correspondents Association Advocate of the Year Award. In 2013, Boston University's Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center appointed Whitaker as a Martin Luther King Jr Fellow.

The Center for the Study of Race and Democracy thanks the Delivering Democracy Lecture sponsors.

Please click on their names below to visit their websites and to learn more about these organizations: 

APS

Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

SRP

Forest Witaker
Date: 
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 6:30pm
Location: