Boston MA – The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation today announced that Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is the 2016 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award™. Amid security concerns following the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, Malloy courageously defended the U.S. resettlement of Syrian refugees and personally welcomed a family of Syrian refugees to New Haven after they had been turned away by another state. The prestigious award for political courage will be presented by Jack Schlossberg, President Kennedy’s grandson, at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on May 1, 2016.
Learn more about the award here.
“As half of U.S. governors, leading presidential candidates and countless others across the country voice support for a ban on Syrian refugees from entering the United States, Governor Dannel Malloy took a stand against the hateful, xenophobic rhetoric,” said Schlossberg. “In doing so, he put principles above politics and upheld my grandfather’s vision of America that, he said, ‘has always served as a lantern in the dark for those who love freedom but are persecuted, in misery, or in need.’”
Dannel Malloy began his second term as governor of Connecticut in January of 2015. Later that fall, extremists carried out a series of coordinated, violent terrorist attacks in Paris, France. The attacks inflamed public fears of terrorism in the U.S. and sparked a wave of anti-refugee and anti-Muslim proposals by local, state and national politicians. More than half of the nation’s governors declared that in the current security climate, Syrian refugees would not be welcomed in their states.
Malloy could have chosen the politically expedient course and remained silent on the highly charged, controversial issue of refugee resettlement and national security. Instead, just three days after the Paris attacks and in a direct challenge to those calling for the U.S. to close the doors on Syrian refugees, Malloy announced that Connecticut would continue to accept refugees from Syria. Two days later, he personally welcomed a family of Syrian refugees to New Haven after the governor of Indiana turned them away. Malloy has remained unwavering in his commitment to those fleeing persecution in search of freedom, saying, “If refugees – many who are children fleeing a horrific, war-torn country – seek and are granted asylum after a rigorous security process, we should and will welcome them in Connecticut.”
The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award is presented annually to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences. The award is named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers, incurring the wrath of constituents or powerful interest groups, by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation created the Profile in Courage Award™ in 1989 to honor President Kennedy’s commitment and contribution to public service. It is presented in May in celebration of President Kennedy’s May 29th birthday. The Profile in Courage Award is represented by a sterling-silver lantern symbolizing a beacon of hope. The lantern was designed by Edwin Schlossberg and crafted by Tiffany & Co. Previous recipients include former U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis; former U.S. President George H. W. Bush; Gabrielle Giffords, former U.S. Representative; Liberian peace activist and Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee; Hilda Solis, former California state senator and U.S. Secretary of Labor; U.S. Representative John Lewis; and Brooksley Born, former chair, Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The recipients of this prestigious award for political courage are selected by a distinguished bipartisan committee of national, political, and community leaders. Albert R. Hunt, columnist for Bloomberg View, chairs the 14-member Profile in Courage Award Committee. Committee members are Christopher Dodd, former U.S. Senator (D-Connecticut) and CEO, Motion Picture Association of America; U.S. Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-Maryland); Kenneth R. Feinberg, Chairman of the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation; Adam Frankel, former speechwriter to President Barack Obama, now Senior Director, CEO Communications at PepsiCo; U.S. Senator Lindsey O. Graham (R-South Carolina);Antonia Hernandez, president and chief executive officer of the California Community Foundation; Elaine Jones, director-counsel emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Paul G. Kirk Jr., former U.S. Senator (D-Massachusetts) and Chairman Emeritus of the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation; Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Shari Redstone, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Viacom Inc. and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of CBS Corporation; Jack Schlossberg, grandson of John F. Kennedy;David M. Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; and former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization founded in 1984 to provide financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Kennedy Presidential Library and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.