ORT is to be honoured with a prestigious humanitarian award presented by one of the world’s leading social justice campaigners. The organisation has been chosen as a recipient of the Let Freedom Ring Award, in honor of our commitment to equality in education and our efforts to bridge the gap between ability and opportunity. The award is presented by veteran activist Reverend Jesse Jackson, who was a friend and ally of Martin Luther King.
Rev Jackson bestows the honor via the Rainbow Push Coalition which he founded and now serves as president. The coalition was created out of the social justice movement that sought progressive economic, educational and social policies in the United States in the 1960s and ever since. Former recipients of the award include Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
In his letter to Avi Ganon, World ORT Director General and CEO, and Conrad Giles, World ORT President, announcing the decision to recognize ORT’s work, Rev Jackson wrote: “For decades now, World ORT has been an unmistakable knowledge-based economy that prioritizes intellectual capital in all aspects of life and society.
“Besides, there are clear indications that the future belongs to those who not only possess the right kind of intellectual capital but also invest it wisely in providing cost-effective and accessible solutions to various socio-economic and political challenges in society.
“That’s why the life-changing work of World ORT in empowering the next generation with increased access to quality education is vital. So we deem it fit to honor the organization with the Detroit Let Freedom Ring Humanitarian Award.”
Mr Ganon responded: “I would like to express how grateful and honored we are to have been chosen to receive the Let Freedom Ring Humanitarian Award. “Our mission is to empower the next generation through innovative education, working to ensure that all communities receive equal opportunities to build successful lives for themselves. It was what prompted our predecessors to establish ORT in 1880 and it is what continues to motivate us today.
“To have this work recognized – and to be associated with Dr Martin Luther King and yourself – is a great privilege, and an additional inspiration and motivation for the important work that remains for us to carry out in the future.” The award will be presented at a public ceremony in Detroit, Michigan, during the North American International Auto Show on Dr Martin Luther King Day – January 21, 2019.