Institute News

Steven Spielberg and USC Shoah Foundation Institute Honor Jeffrey Katzenberg, Longtime Philanthropist and CEO of DreamWorks Animation

On Thursday, December 9, 2010, Steven Spielberg, Founder of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, presented Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, and longtime philanthropist, with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s highest honor, the Ambassadors for Humanity Award. Jeffrey Katzenberg was honored for his commitment and support of the organization and recognized for his work as a philanthropist and community leader. Craig Ferguson hosted the Ambassadors for Humanity Gala with Grammy® and Academy Award® winner Jennifer Hudson was special musical guest.

The USC Shoah Foundation Institute collected and maintains an archive of nearly 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses in 32 languages and from 56 countries. The Ambassadors for Humanity Award honors individuals who embody the Institute’s goals of promoting tolerance, cultural understanding, and mutual respect through the educational use of the testimonies in its Visual History Archive.

The event also provided the occasion to bring awareness to the Institute’s current initiatives and groundbreaking educational programs, including the IWitness Project and the Teacher Innovation Network, and its five main areas of work: Preservation, Access, Research, Teacher Education, and its Witnesses for Humanity project, which focuses on new testimony collections.

“Jeffrey Katzenberg is an ambassador of many charitable movements, inspiring and leading at the same time,” said Steven Spielberg, Shoah Foundation Institute Founder. “When Jeffrey believes in something, his personal commitment is extraordinary and his time and energy are focused like a laser beam to make sure that funds and awareness are brought to bear immediately. He has been an ardent supporter and friend of the Shoah Foundation since it began, and his determination to make a difference in the world has provided great inspiration to me and to so many others.”

“The USC Shoah Foundation Institute is working to reach and transform 21st-century hearts and minds through the groundbreaking educational uses of its unique archive,” said C. L. Max Nikias, president of the University of Southern California. “Jeffrey Katzenberg shares USC’s commitment to education and to young people. He is a determined community advocate for so many causes and it is an honor to recognize him with the Ambassadors for Humanity Award.”

“The Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive is the conscience of a generation of survivors and witnesses who lived to tell and educate and inspire,” said Stephen D. Smith, the Institute’s Executive Director. “Jeffrey Katzenberg’s leadership, generosity, and diligence light a path for many organizations, including ours. His ongoing, generous commitment has brought us countless steps closer to our goals.”

Gala Presenting sponsor Turner Network Television (TNT) is a longstanding partner of this event and joined again this year in support of the Institute. “We feel that it is important to support the unique educational mission of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute as it works globally to combat hatred and racism through its testimonies,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. “We’re proud to continue our commitment to this great organization in its ongoing efforts.”

Read coverage of the gala on the USC College website.