Receiving the Humanitarian Award were Professor Hildreth (Hal) Walker and Dr. Bettye Walker presented by the Caucus’ James Hirsch. Hal Walker, truly a “hidden figure”, successfully fired the Ruby Laser to Buzz Aldrin on the moon during the Apollo landing. With his wife, Dr. Bettye Walker, a pioneer of STEM education, a university professor and an LAUSD school principal, the couple founded the A-MAN, Inc. STEM Center in Inglewood and also initiated it in South Africa at the request of President Nelson Mandela. In February 2019 they opened the first chapter of the National Space Society (NSS) on the African continent.
The Caucus Distinguished Veteran Award went to Chase Millsap, a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army Special Forces, filmmaker, and Chief Content Officer at We Are the Mighty, a military and veteran focused media company, presented by Norman Powell.
The Caucus Special Achievement in Educating New Filmmakers was given to Cristina Kotz Cornejo, Professor and Associate Chair of Production in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, Boston, presented by The Caucus’ Gary Grossman.
The Caucus Co-Chairs Robert Papazian and Tanya Hart, along with Chuck Fries, Chair of Caucus Events, Gary Smith, American Spirit Awards Chair, Vice Chairs, Sharon Arnett, James Hirsch and Vin Di Bona and Executive Director Deborah Leoni, are proud to recognize these deserving individuals and their service to others.
The American Spirit Award was founded by, Lionel Chetwynd on Vin Di Bona’s watch as Caucus Chair in 2004.