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October 12, 2021

Ady Barkan, Cathy Park Hong, and STARZ are also honorees

LOS ANGELES — Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been the towering voice of reason during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be honored at the annual Bill of Rights Awards of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California, along with 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, which will be virtual this year, will take place on December 5, 2021 at 5pm (PDT). It will also feature performances and special appearances that will be announced in coming weeks.

Here is more information on the honorees, listed alphabetically: 

Ady Barkan — Bill of Rights Award
Co-Founder of the Be a Hero PAC, Organizer for the Center for Popular Democracy
Though Barkan’s life may not be as long as we would all hope, he is making every moment of it count for all who need and deserve access to health care. Even now, with his voice computer-generated due to having ALS, he takes every opportunity to confront national figures, including his famed, in-flight meeting with U.S. Senator Jeff Flake. After that confrontation that brought worldwide attention to his message. Barkan went on to testify before congress on health care policy and impart his message on a wide variety of news programs and podcasts. 
Patrisse Cullors — Bill of Rights Award
Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter, Activist, Artist, Writer
Cullors has used her talents as a performance artist, author, and producer to shift the narrative on racial justice. She’s become a New York Times best-selling author with her book, “When They Call You A Terrorist,” and she has been on the frontlines of abolitionist organizing for 20 years. In addition to her pivotal work with Black Lives Matter, Cullors has led multiple Los Angeles-based organizations, including Dignity and Power Now, Justice LA, and Reform LA Jails. These organizations won progressive ballot measures, successfully fought against a $3.5 billion jail plan, and implemented the first-ever Civilian Oversight Commission of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. 
Anthony Fauci — Bill of Rights Award
Director: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President
No one has done more to guide the nation through the terrors of the pandemic than Dr. Fauci. As a passionate leader in the fight against health misinformation — even in the face of threats and attempts to discredit him by politicians, conspiracy theorists, and charlatans alike — he has never wavered in his drive to impart honest information rooted in science. As he said of anti-science forces, “I represent something that is uncomfortable for them — the truth.” He is a national hero, but not for the first time. 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.
Cathy Park Hong — Bill of Rights Award
Poet, Writer, Professor
With her book “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning” — winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award — she has elevated unspoken and unacknowledged traumas that Asian Americans face in this country. In a time when anti-Asian racism is on the rise, and in the face of prejudiced and biased statements by elected officials, she has stood up, spoken out, and provided the words and images and personal context that so many in the Asian American community have longed for. Her work has been published in the New York Times, New Republic, Guardian, and Paris Review. In 2021, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

STARZ — Bill of Rights Award
Global Premium Streaming Platform
STARZ’s commitment to amplifying narratives by, about, and for women and underrepresented audiences with its #TakeTheLead initiative has been both inspiring and trendsetting – and complements the work we have done on getting women directors hired equally in Hollywood. The fact that STARZ is undertaking this commitment, proves that this practice is in fact good for business, creates openings for countless women and underrepresented people both in front of and behind the camera.  For speaking truth to the need for inclusivity, STARZ is taking the lead on equality and diversity. 

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