5/6/2014
 
Civil Rights Champion Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Holocaust Survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein to Receive 2014 Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award
 
HOUSTON, TX (May 6, 2014) – Two champions of the human spirit who offered a dream of hope and humanity for millions of people have been named to receive the internationally recognized 2014 Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award given by Holocaust Museum Houston this May.
 Rep. John Lewis
 Dr. Martin Luther King
 Gerda Weissmann Klein
U.S. Rep. John Lewis Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr.
 Gerda Weissmann
Klein


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will receive the award posthumously, with his son Martin Luther King III accepting on his behalf. Human rights activist and survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein also will be honored during the Museum’s annual dinner set for Thursday, May 29, 2014. Registration begins at 6 p.m., with the dinner at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar.

The annual event – one of the city’s largest and most widely recognized philanthropic dinners – supports the worldwide educational programs of the Museum. More than 920 people attended last year’s dinner, which raised more than $1.1 million for the Museum.

Often called “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced,” U.S. Rep. John Lewis will serve as keynote speaker for the event.

Chairing this year’s event are Crystal E.  Ashby, Pastor Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, J. Kent Friedman, Regina J. Rogers, David L. Solomon and Shawn A. Taylor.  Honorary chairs are Stanford Alexander, Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza, U.S. Rep. Al Green, Rabbi Samuel E. Karff, Rev. William A. Lawson, Ambassador Arthur L. Schechter and the Hon. Fred S. Zeidman.

“Since our founding in 1996, it has been our mission to teach the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy. In many ways, the struggle of African-Americans for their freedoms parallels the tragedy our own Survivors underwent during the Holocaust. These were each unique situations, but each has shown over the years why that mission has been so important and remains so today. These two individuals stood up in the face of injustice and provided many, many people with a dream of hope, love and humanity that changed our world,” said Museum Chair Mark Mucasey.

During the less than 13 years of King’s leadership of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, from December 1955 until April 4, 1968, African-Americans achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality in America than the previous 350 years had produced. King is widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.

Drawing inspiration from both his Christian faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s and '60s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States. While others were advocating for freedom by “any means necessary,” including violence, King used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance, such as protests, grassroots organizing and civil disobedience, to achieve seemingly impossible goals. He went on to lead similar campaigns against poverty and international conflict, always maintaining fidelity to his principles that men and women everywhere, regardless of color or creed, are equal members of the human family.

Klein is a Polish-born American writer and human rights activist. Her autobiographical account of the Holocaust, "All but My Life" (1957), was adapted for the 1995 short film "One Survivor Remembers," which received an Academy Award and an Emmy Award and was selected for the National Film Registry. She met her husband, Kurt Klein (1920–2002) on May 7, 1945, when as a lieutenant with the U.S. Army's 5th Infantry Division, he liberated her and others from Nazi captivity. Married in 1946, the Kleins became tireless advocates of Holocaust education and human rights, dedicating most of their lives to promoting tolerance and community service. A naturalized U.S. citizen, Klein also founded Citizenship Counts, a nonprofit organization that champions the value and responsibilities of American citizenship. She has served on the governing board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which features her testimony in a permanent exhibit. On Feb. 15, 2011, Klein was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2013, she published a children's adventure story called "The Windsor Caper," which had remained hidden away since the 1980s, when it was a weekly serial in The Buffalo News.

Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties and building what he calls "The Beloved Community” in America. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress.

He has been called "the conscience of the U.S. Congress,” and Roll Call magazine has said, "John Lewis… is a genuine American hero and moral leader who commands widespread respect in the chamber.”

He was born the son of sharecroppers on Feb. 21, 1940, outside of Troy, Alabama. He grew up on his family's farm and attended segregated public schools in Pike County, Alabama. As a young boy, he was inspired by the activism surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the words of the King, which he heard on radio broadcasts.  In those pivotal moments, he made a decision to become a part of the Civil Rights Movement. Ever since then, he has remained at the vanguard of progressive social movements and the human rights struggle in the United States.

While still a young man, Lewis became a nationally recognized leader. By 1963, he was dubbed one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. At the age of 23, he was an architect of and a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington in August 1963.

Lewis is the recipient of numerous awards from imminent national and international institutions, including the highest civilian honor granted by President Barack Obama, the Medal of Freedom.

Holocaust Museum Houston created the Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award in 1994 in cooperation with the Johnson family. In 1938, as a young congressman, Johnson stretched the limits of his authority and risked his personal dreams to provide American sanctuary for threatened European Jews. It is because of these acts of moral courage that the Museum proudly named the award in his honor. The award recognizes either a single righteous act or a lifetime of morally courageous behavior.

Previous recipients have included French priest Father Patrick Desbois; Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel; activist and actress Mia Farrow; humanitarian John Prendergast of the Enough Project; U.S. Sen. John McCain; television producer Norman Lear; the Houston community of Holocaust survivors; the late Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered by terrorists in Pakistan; activist Sir Bob Geldof; former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell; former U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, Jr.; former U.S. Sen. Robert Dole; filmmaker Steven Spielberg; and former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, among others.

Tables of 10 are available beginning at $6,000. Individual tickets begin at $600 each. To RSVP or to reserve a table, call 713-527-1612, or e-mail HMHDinner@hmh.org. PaperCity is serving as media sponsor for the event.

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004. For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.  
 
Media Contact
 
For media inquiries, please contact:
Ira D. Perry
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
Tel: (713) 942-8000, ext. 103
Mobile: (832) 277-5693
E-mail: news@hmh.org

Our Public Relations team is eager to assist you in coverage of activities at Holocaust Museum Houston.

All requests for interviews or on-site photography or videography by members of the media must be coordinated in advance through our Public Relations office by calling 713-942-8000, ext. 103 or e-mailing news@hmh.org.


Address and Directions
 
Holocaust Museum Houston
Morgan Family Center
5401 Caroline St.
Houston, TX 77004-6804
Phone: 713-942-8000



Holocaust Museum Houston is a member of the Houston Museum District Association and is located in Houston's Museum District.

Holocaust Museum Houston is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums.

Hours and Admission
 
The Museum is open to the public seven days a week.

Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.


The Laurie and Milton Boniuk Resource Center and Library is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Library is closed Sundays.

The Museum is closed for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For other holiday hours, visit the "Events" tab on the Museum’s Web site at www.hmh.org.

Effective April 15, 2014, admission rates for Holocaust Museum Houston will change. Please note the new rates:

Members FREE
Children under age 6 FREE
Students age 6-18 FREE
College-level with valid school ID FREE
Seniors age 65+ $8
Active-Duty Military $8
General Admission $12

Holocaust Museum Houston is free each Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Memorial Day (May 25, 2015), D-Day (June 6, 2015), Kristallnacht (Nov. 9, 2015) and International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27, 2015).

E-mail Page Sitemap Legal Notice Our Sponsors
Holocaust Museum Houston Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004-6804, Tel: 713-942-8000, E-mail: info@hmh.org Powered by Nodus Solutions
Rss Feeds RSS Feeds Plan Your Visit   About HMH    Exhibitions   Events   Membership   Education/Outreach   Resources   Store   News/Media   Support HMH