Human Rights Achiever
Holocaust Museum recognizes actress/activist Mia Farrow's Darfur courage
The Holocaust Museum Houston established the Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award in 1994 in tribute to the former president's efforts as a young congressman, in which he risked his personal dreams to provide American sanctuary for threatened European Jews in 1938. Actress, activist and humanitarian Mia Farrow has been identified as the recipient of the 2011 award, which will be presented during the museum's annual dinner, themed "With Knowledge Comes Responsibility," on May 11.
Farrow, who has appeared in more than 40 films, is recognized as an international human rights advocate with an eye towards conflict-affected regions in sub-Saharan Africa. Her fearlessness has brought her to the Darfur region of Sudan on 13 occasions since 2004, on which she has written extensively for such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times.
As an early activist in the Darfur conflict, she pressured mutual funds to stop investing in companies funding mass atrocity crimes in Sudan and the Congo. In 2007, Farrow's shrewd activism helped secure the liberty of a respected rebel commander unjustly imprisoned in Sudan when she publicly offered to exchange her freedom for his own.
She drew international attention to China's support of the government of Sudan during the 2008 Beijing Olympics by applying pressure to filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who ultimately withdrew as artistic adviser to the Olympic broadcast. She is currently working on The Darfur Archives, documenting cultural traditions of Darfur's major ethnic tribes.
The influence of Farrow's efforts are felt by significant decision-making bodies: She has appeared before the U.S. Senate and spoken to the United Nations Security Council. As a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, she has worked extensively to draw attention to the fight to eradicate polio, which she survived as a child. As a result of her Darfur awareness efforts, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
Most recently, Farrow agreed to narrate a documentary film, As We Forgive, relating the struggle of the survivors of Rwandan genocide as they begin to reconcile with the fellow countrymen who murdered their family and friends.