An Emmy award-winning director, six journalists, and a former school teacher are among the thirteen 2011 Barbara Jordan Media Awards winners, to be honored April 16 at The University of Texas at Austin, for providing fair and accurate depictions of people with disabilities in the media.
Winners include Mick Jackson, director of Temple Grandin: HBO Special, the story of an accomplished woman who has autism; Nancy Shugart, author of Challenged to Win, a biography of how blindness did not stop her from reaching her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher; and local reporters including Jim Swift, KXAN-TV, and Sarah Barnes, Austin American-Statesman. The awardees will receive a three-inch bronze medallion sculpted with the likeness of Barbara Jordan, the first elected African American congresswoman from the South, at an awards ceremony dinner held in the San Jacinto Multi-purpose Room from 6 to 8 p.m. Max Sherman, former LBJ School of Public Affairs dean and Texas senator, will give the keynote address. Sherman, editor of "Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth with Elegant Thunder," was Jordan's colleague on the LBJ School faculty until her death in 1996.
The awards ceremony is annually sponsored and coordinated by the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities. This year the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin is hosting the awards ceremony, and will also recognize selected high school students from the annual Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition. Major event sponsors include the College of Communications, Student Government Students with Disabilities Agency, and Bank of America. Table sponsorships are available: $250 for a half table and $500 and $1,000 for a full-table. Individual tickets cost $25; $15 for students.
A portion of the proceeds will go to support the Lee Bagan Foundation, an endowment established in 2008 by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, to help economically disadvantaged students with cognitive disabilities obtain psycho-educational testing not covered by insurance.
The Barbara Jordan Media Awards program was created in 1982 to pay tribute to Jordan, who had multiple sclerosis and used a wheelchair in her later years. For a complete listing of 2011 winners, and to learn more about the annual awards program, visit the Office of the Governor Web site at: http://governor.state.tx.us/disabilities/awards/.
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