(JTA) — The Shoah Foundation at the University of Southern California honored actor and director George Clooney.
Steven Spielberg, founder of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, presented Clooney with the Institute’s highest honor, the Ambassador for Humanity Award, on Thursday at an event in New York City.
“George’s leadership as a human rights advocate and activist has shed light on humanitarian crises across the globe,” said Spielberg in a statement released before the ceremony.
“His efforts around genocide awareness and prevention link closely with the mission of the USC Shoah Foundation, and I am honored to have this opportunity to recognize George as an Ambassador for Humanity,” Spielberg’s statement said. “By speaking out for those whose voices might otherwise go unheard, George has been a beacon of hope, exposing crimes against humanity and advancing peacemaking through advocacy and action.”
The event on Thursday, the Institute’s annual Ambassadors for Humanity gala, was hosted by Jon Stewart and launched the USC Shoah Foundation Initiative, with a goal of raising $150 million over five years to keep the Visual History Archive running in perpetuity.