The Ridenhour Courage Prize was awarded this year to climate scientist James Hansen, recently retired as head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize was awarded to Jose Antonio Vargas — journalist, filmmaker, and founder of Define American. The Tenth Annual Ridenhour Prizes, fostering the spirit of courage and truth, were awarded at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on April 24.
Each year we find the Ridenhour Prize event at the Press Club to be a source of renewed inspiration. Once again this year, the four prizes honored individuals from diverse fields of endeavor, each of whom has been a source of illumination in the darkness.
Four essential stories — the 2013 awards, with video and transcripts of acceptance remarks:
The Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling: Jose Antonio Vargas — journalist, filmmaker, and founder of Define American
The Ridenhour Book Prize: Seth Rosenfeld — Author of Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power
The Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize: The Invisible War — Uncovering the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military
The Ridenhour Courage Prize: James Hansen — climate scientist and former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute
And the hero with whose name the Ridenhour Prize recipients have the honor to be associated:
In 1969, Vietnam veteran Ron Ridenhour wrote a letter to Congress and the Pentagon describing the horrific events at My Lai – the infamous massacre of the Vietnam War – bringing the scandal to the attention of the American public and the world.
Ridenhour later became a respected investigative journalist, winning the George Polk Award for Investigative Journalism in 1987 for a year-long investigation of a New Orleans tax scandal. He died suddenly in 1998 at the age of 52.
See the full text, and Randy Fertel’s excellent essay, Remembering Ron.