The artist, producer and social activist will receive the honor for his commitment to empowering youth and promoting peace, globally.
WASHINGTON, October 18, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Forest Whitaker has done much as a filmmaker and producer to shine a light on social issues, diversity and inclusivity; yet, his greatest actions perhaps come from his engagement for peace away from the limelight. PeaceTech Lab , the award-winning non-profit organization founded by the United States Institute of Peace, announced today that his efforts will be celebrated and honored during the 2022 International Peace Honors, to be held in January 2022.
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Forest Whitaker, Honoree, 2022 International Peace Honors. (Photo: Business Wire)
Forest Whitaker is the UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group, and the CEO/Founder of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, committed to providing educational tools and economic opportunities to young women and men in places touched by exclusion, violence and armed conflict.
"I have witnessed change in the most unlikely places and have seen communities healing and transforming together," shared Whitaker. "Change for the better is possible even in the most difficult times and in the face of the greatest obstacles. I am hopeful and optimistic for the future and will continue to promote education, peace and reconciliation."
Forest Whitaker has led education efforts and initiated youth programs in South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, Mexico and the United States. After meeting with former child soldiers while working in Uganda on The Last King of Scotland, the movie for which he won an Oscar, Whitaker dedicated his humanitarian efforts to conflict resolution with children and youths from communities experiencing or surviving great violence.
"Forest Whitaker has been an extraordinary change agent in the peacebuilding field, both personally and through the work of his terrific foundation – the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative. Transforming communities from within, putting peace at the center of his youth leadership programs -- these are inspirational to us all. And we hear his voice -- so true and so powerful -- on behalf of the voiceless; it's a great honor for us to recognize Forest for all that he has done," said Sheldon Himelfarb, President and CEO of PeaceTech Lab.
The International Peace Honors celebrates the most outstanding global leaders and change-agents of our time who make philanthropy and humanitarian service a hallmark of their lives, to advance humanity and our planet. The 2022 honorees include business leaders and technology pioneers helping billions of people obtain equitable access to the digital economy as well as activists and artists who help prevent the spread of disease, create access to education, protect our environment, and lead the global fight for equality and justice, using technology and media to remind us that our personal stories can change the world.
"Our honorees are an exceptional group of global leaders. Forest Whitaker has brought to his humanitarian work the creativity he has demonstrated as one of Hollywood’s most accomplished and versatile figures, by combining peacebuilding, entrepreneurship and technology to provide youth affected by violence, exclusion and armed conflict. It is truly our privilege to honor his valuable social contributions," added MariaEsmeralda Paguaga, Executive Producer of the International Peace Honors.
The remainder members of this select group of honorees will be announced in the coming weeks, highlighting each of their unique contributions towards building more just and peaceful communities around the world. Follow @internationalpeacehonors or visit internationalpeacehonors.org for more information.
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