The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, will be among those honored at the annual Bill of Rights Awards of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, to be held virtually on Dec. 5, it was announced Tuesday.
The honorees also include universal health care advocate Ady Barkan, artist and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, author Cathy Park Hong, and the STARZ network for its #TakeTheLead initiative.
“At a time when the work of righteous advocates has been all too widely met with scorn, ridicule, misinformation and in some cases even threats of violence, these honorees have stood firm in the face of efforts to silence them or discredit their advances,” said Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU SoCal. “We could not be more honored to celebrate their work.”
The Bill of Rights Awards recognize individuals and organizations for their “outstanding contributions to the advancement of justice and equality,” according to ACLU SoCal. This year’s event will feature performances and special appearances to be announced in the coming weeks.
Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “has never wavered in his drive to impart honest information rooted in science,” according to the ACLU SoCal.
“He is a national hero, but not for the first time,” the civil rights organization said. “In the 1980s, he was an advocate for compassionate, science-based treatment of people with AIDS at a time when those patients were so often shunned.”
The other award recipients are:
— Barkan, who has worked to advocate for universal health care, economic justice and civil rights even as he himself is living with ALS;
— Cullors, a New York Times best-selling author with her book, “When They Call You A Terrorist.” In addition to her work with Black Lives Matter, she has led multiple Los Angeles-based organizations, including Dignity and Power Now, Justice LA, and Reform LA Jails;
— Hong, a Korean-American poet whose book of essays “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning” earned the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography and was a finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize; and
— STARZ, a global premium streaming platform that made a commitment to amplifying narratives by, about, and for women and underrepresented audiences with its #TakeTheLead initiative.