The Foundation also honors individuals who have  exhibited Moral Courage
through their actions on behalf of others, in ceremonies held in Washington D.C.

This Award is named in honor of the late Jan Karski, a Polish diplomat who during World War II, risked his life to expose the tragic early years of the Holocaust. Included in his efforts was time in the Warsaw ghetto to personally document the Nazi design of the Holocaust which led to personal meetings with Roosevelt and Churchill  who rejected his plea to intervene.
Honorary Chair persons for these Events included:

The Honorables Jimmy Carter, Hillary Rodham Clinton,
John Lewis, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Elie Wiesel,
R. James Woolsey, Joseph Lieberman,  
Amb.Jean David Levitte and  Amb.Luis Alberto Moreno 

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 N.Y.City.

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.
Mr. Abbas 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 government affair's.
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 Awards

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 school system.

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 power.

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 concentration camps.

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 capture.

© 2005 The Foundation for Moral Courage - All rights reserved -
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