FOREST WHITAKER (Reverend Cornell Cobbs) is a distinguished artist and humanist. 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 also a talented, versatile performer and one of Hollywood's most
accomplished figures. He has received prestigious artistic distinctions including the 2007
Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND as Ugandan dictator
Idi Amin. He has also received the BAFTA Award, SAG Award, and Golden Globe for
Best Actor. In addition, Whitaker received the Best Actor for BIRD at the Cannes Film
Whitaker has dedicated most of his time to extensive humanitarian work over the
past decade. His social awareness has compelled him to seek ways of using the film
medium as a means to raise peoples' consciousness. He produced the award-winning documentary
KASSIM THE DREAM, which tells the poignant story of a Ugandan child soldier turned
world championship boxer; RISING FROM ASHES, which profiles Genocide survivors of the Rwandan War who have risen from wooden bicycles to competing in the Olympics;
SERVING LIFE, which focuses on hospice care for prisoners at Louisiana's Angola Prison;
and the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning BRICK CITY, which takes a look at inner-city life in Newark, New Jersey.
In 2007, Whitaker received the Cinema for Peace Award for his selfless and
ongoing advocacy for child soldiers, as well as his work with inner-city youth. He was
also awarded the Humanitas Prize in 2001. In 2008, he served as a member of the Urban Policy
Committee and currently sits on the Board of the President's Committee on the Arts and the
Humanities (PCAH). Whitaker serves as a Senior Research Scholar at Rutgers University, and a
Visiting Professor at Ringling College of Art and Design. In 2011, Whitaker was designated as a UNESCO
Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. In this role, he works towards global
peace building through anti-violence education, research, training and community building. In
recognition of his commitment as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and for his outstanding contribution to
the work of the organization, Whitaker received in December 2012 the United Nations
Correspondents Association Advocate of the Year Award. In 2013, Boston University's Howard
Gotlieb Archival Research Center appointed Whitaker as a Martin Luther King Jr. Fellow. The same
year, he received the distinction of "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres" (Knight of the
Order of the Arts and Letters) by the French Government in recognition of his work as an
outstanding artist and a humanist who dedicatedly chose to serve the disadvantaged and those affected by
conflicts and violence for the sake of peace and dialogue.
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