The Visionary Award was instituted 2012 to honor an individual within the Entertainment Industry who uses their high-profile status to make the world a better place and to spread information about issues of freedom and importance.
2016 Diane Warren
2015 Joe Mantegna
2014 Quincy Jones
2013 Forest Whitaker
2012 Jane Fonda
Diane Warren is one of the most continuously prolific and successful contemporary songwriters of our time. Her songs have been featured in more than 100 motion pictures, and she has written for iconic artists such as Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Cher, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson and Missy Elliott, just to name a few. Warren is a vegetarian, and is a major advocate for animal protection and the elderly.
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Quincy Jones pioneered the model of using celebrity to raise money and awareness for a cause with “We Are the World.” The song remains the best-selling single of all-time, and raised more than $63 Million for Ethiopian famine relief. More importantly, however, it shined a spotlight on the Ethiopian drought and U.S. Government responded with over $800 million in aid.
“Mr. Jones has not only touched the lives of countless artists and entertainers in music, television and film, but he has touched the lives of countless strangers through his tireless and continuing humanitarian efforts,” says Press Club President Robert Kovacik.
Through his personal foundation, The Quincy Jones Foundation, Jones raises awareness and financial resources for initiatives that support global children’s issues in areas of conflict, malaria eradication, clean water and efforts to restore the Gulf Coast (post-Katrina). Philanthropic partners include Malaria No More, Millennium Promise, and R&B singer Usher’s New Look Foundation, among others.
Forest Whitaker. Besides being a universally acclaimed actor, Mr. Whitaker has given his passionate support to others in The United States and around the world. He is the founder of PeaceEarth Foundation, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace and is the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. Whitaker is an avid supporter and public advocate for Hope North, an education and healing center in northern Uganda for the young victims of Uganda’s civil war, including orphans and former child soldiers, empowering them to become voices for peace and development.
Mr. Whitaker has sponsored and promoted young filmmakers through Junto Box Films, an organization for funding, producing and distributing films. He serves as the co-chairman.
Jane Fonda was the first recipient of The Visionary Award for her creation of the “I Am Your Child Foundation” and co-founding of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. She was introduced by Robert Redford.