2000 - the Foundation's
inaugural Award for Moral Courage was presented
to Prof. Jan Karski himself.
2001 - award was given to
Congressman John Lewis for his non-violent
leadership during the mid 1960 Civil Rights
Movement in the United States.
2002 - award was given
posthumously to Father Mychal Judge who died
while ministering to fallen firemen
inside the World Trade Center as it
collapsed on September 11th , 2001, in
2003 - award was given to
two imprisoned Iranian dissidents, Professor
Hashem Aghajari and Mr. Abbas Amir
Entezam. Professor Aghajari is an
Iranian scholar whose calls for a progressive
Islam that would respect civil rights and
separation of religion and State in Iran, led
to his imprisonment by Iranian authorities. His
death sentence was commuted and he was
released from prison in 2004.
Amir Entezam, the longest-serving prisoner
of conscience in Iran, was imprisoned for more
than 17 years as a consequence of his repeated
insistence upon a secular government and human
rights for all Iranians.
2004 - award was given in
absentia to Ms. Ingrid Betancourt, a
40-year-old French and Colombian citizen and
Colombian senator who had been a candidate for
President in Colombia until her capture in 2002
by the Colombian FARC guerilla force. Ms.
Betancourt had campaigned for an end to
political corruption and of what she saw as the
influence of the Colombian drug cartels on
Threatened with death,
she was forced to send her children to other
countries for their protection. In spite of her
personal fear she maintained her campaign for
human rights and the dignity of ordinary
Colombian citizens until captured. The Award
also recognizes in a symbolic manner the 3000
other political hostages held at that
time by the FARC.
Jan Karski Documentary Film
The Foundation also sponsored an
international juried documentary film
competition, which granted the Jan Karski Film
Award to filmmakers whose works evidenced
acts of moral courage.
2000 - the Foundation
honored "School Prayer: A Community at War," by
Slawomir Grunberg. This film
depicts the struggle of one family against
local school and political authorities, to
force their acceptance of the principle of
separation of church and state in the public
2001 - "A Force More
Powerful" by Steve York was honored.
This film highlights the popular uprising of
Serbians against their President, Slobodan
Milosevich, which forced his removal from
2002 - award went to "9/11"
by Jules and Gedeon Naudet and James
Hanlon. Filmed within the wreckage of the
World Trade Center as it was collapsing, the
film highlights the heroism of firefighters and
ordinary citizens as they struggled to help
each other in the face of almost certain death.
2003 - "Sisters in
Resistance" by Maia Wechsler is a
portrayal of the Moral Courage of 4 French
women in WWII whose service in the underground
led to their imprisonment in German
2004 - "The Kidnapping of
Ingrid Betancourt" by Karen Hayes and
Victoria Bruce describes the tense
stand off between Ms. Betancourt and the
entrenched political and mafia forces until her