12 Years a Slave to Receive Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment
New York City – Human Rights First will present its 2014 Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment to the Academy Award-winning motion picture 12 Years a Slave for its powerful portrayal of the scourge of slavery and the unspeakable toll it took on the human spirit. Alfre Woodard, who played the role of Mistress Shaw in the film, will accept the Lumet Award. The award will be presented by Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. the founder and president of the Frederick Douglass Initiative. Morris is a direct descendant of U.S. abolitionists Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, and his organization combats modern-day slavery.
“Great works of art have the power not only to entertain, but to inspire action that can change lives. This extraordinary film is not only a powerful reminder of a painful part of our nation’s history; it is a call to action to combat the evil of slavery in our midst today,” said Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino. “We are proud to honor this courageous, honest, and thought-provoking film.”
Each year, the Sidney Lumet Award honors a work of popular culture that advances understanding of pressing human rights issues. Through its work on human trafficking, Human Rights First has seen how the power and reach of 12 Years a Slave is motivating audiences to demand action to end modern-day slavery, a global criminal enterprise that generates $150 billion in profits and claims an estimated 21 million victims a year worldwide.
Almost 150 years after ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery, millions of people are held in bondage around the world—including in virtually every state and city in America. They are forced to work in fields, factories, brothels, and as domestic servants. Human Rights First’s Anti-Trafficking Campaign seeks to disrupt the business of human slavery by targeting the profit motive of exploiters. Read more about the campaign at humanrightsfirst.org.
Previous winners of the Sidney Lumet Award include the motion picture 42: The Jackie Robinson Story, and TV series Homeland and The Good Wife.
The awards ceremony will take place at the Human Rights First Award Dinner on October 22, 2014 at Chelsea Piers in New York City.