FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOS ANGELES/PHILADELPHIA—March 8, 2011—Steven Spielberg, Founder of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, will present Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s highest honor—the Ambassadors for Humanity award. Roberts will be recognized for his visionary leadership and philanthropic works in the areas of education and technology. Spielberg will present the award at the Institute’s annual gala, taking place this year in Roberts’ hometown of Philadelphia on May 9. Jon Bon Jovi, a longtime supporter of the Institute and of Comcast and Roberts’ philanthropic work, will lend his considerable talents as special musical guest for the evening. Serving as gala Co-Chairs are Stephen A. Cozen, Founder and Chairman of Cozen O’Connor, and longstanding member of the Institute’s Board of Councilors, along with his wife, Sandy.
Since 1994, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute has collected and maintains an archive of nearly 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses from 56 countries, and in 32 languages. The Ambassadors for Humanity Award honors individuals who embody the Institute’s values and mission to promote tolerance and mutual respect through the educational use of the testimonies in its Visual History Archive.
The organization has a long history in Philadelphia, where its regional office helped coordinate the collection of more than 1,100 testimonies in Pennsylvania and 16 surrounding states by local residents trained as interviewers and videographers. Additionally, more than 900 teachers across Pennsylvania—and over 12,000 nationally—have been trained to date on Echoes and Reflections, a multimedia curriculum developed by the Institute and partners, the Anti-Defamation League and Yad Vashem.
The May gala will provide the opportunity to raise awareness of the Institute’s core work and groundbreaking programs, as well as highlight the joint efforts between Comcast and the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, who have partnered on a variety of educational initiatives to help advance the organization’s mission.
“Brian Roberts has been a longtime advocate of finding and developing innovative avenues to reach and educate young people,” said Steven Spielberg, Founder of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. “Working with Brian and Comcast to further explore ways to bring digital literacy to education gives me great hope that together we can effect significant change. Brian’s vision and commitment to enhancing digital literacy in schools and communities across America make him a great ambassador for learning, and I am proud to recognize him for his efforts in supporting the Institute’s educational work.”
Gala Presenting Sponsor Turner Entertainment Networks (TNT) is a longstanding partner for this event and once again joins in support of the Institute. “The USC Shoah Foundation Institute works globally to fight hatred and racism,” said Steve Koonin, President of TNT. “We’re proud to support this great organization’s unique and important mission.”
“I am so pleased that the USC Shoah Foundation Institute has joined forces with Brian Roberts and Comcast as we explore new ways to utilize our archive as an educational tool, and endeavor to reach a growing number of educators and students across the country,” said Stephen D. Smith, the Institute’s Executive Director. “Brian Roberts’ foresight and leadership provide a guiding light as we work hard to have an impact on students’ attitudes, beliefs, and sense of responsibility for the future.”
For more information about the gala or to purchase tickets, please call the Philadelphia Benefit Office at 610-664-0358 or the USC Shoah Foundation Institute Benefit Office at 818-777-7876. All proceeds benefit the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law.
About the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
In 1994, after completing the film Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg established the Shoah Foundation to collect and preserve the video testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. He envisioned that these eyewitness accounts could have a profound effect on education, and that the survivors could become teachers of humanity for generations to come. Today, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive is one of the largest video digital libraries in the world, with nearly 52,000 testimonies in 36 languages and from 56 countries.
The Shoah Foundation Institute is part of the University of Southern California’s Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences; its mission is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of its visual history testimonies.
Working within the University and with partners around the world to advance education, research, and scholarship, the Institute provides unique and essential content through the dissemination of its testimonies. Through innovative online tools, resources, and groundbreaking programs developed for educators and students, the Institute is playing a global role in transforming education. In addition, the Institute is working to preserve its testimonies in perpetuity, and to expand the archive with accounts of survivors and witnesses of other genocides.