OUT OF THE FURNACE
FOREST WHITAKER (Wesley Barnes) 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 Festival.
Forest 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-violent 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
by the French Government the distinction of "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres"
(Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters) 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
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