We are proud to announce that Dr. James Yamazaki will receive our 2008 Socially Responsible Medicine Award for his lifelong work on the effects of radiation on public health. While his parents were interned in an American concentration camp, Dr. Yamazaki served as a combat surgeon in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war.
After the war, Dr. Yamazaki led the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission. From 1949 to 1951, he worked with children in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and with Marshall Islanders who suffered from American postwar nuclear testing. Upon his return to the U.S., Dr. Yamazaki continued research on the effects of radiation on children and maintained a general pediatric practice. In addition to his pioneering medical work, he has testified to government commissions about nuclear disarmament.
Dr. Yamazaki is a Clinical Honorary Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at UCLA and author of Children of the Atomic Bomb: An American Physician’s Memoir of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and the Marshall Islands. He recently launched an extraordinary website called Children of the Atomic Bomb.
Also to be honored that evening will be producer Lawrence Bender, who will receive our 2008 Socially Responsible Media Award for using his innovative film-making talents to create social change. Bender’s award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth has inspired the public to take unprecedented political and personal action to stop climate change. His accomplishments in film are extensive; he has been honored with 21 Academy Award nominations, including two for Best Picture (Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction).
Bender’s achievements as an activist are also impressive. He co-founded the Detroit Project to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil, and created the “18 seconds” campaign, designed to demonstrate the simplicity of becoming part of the solution for global warming – that it only takes 18 seconds to change to a compact fluorescent light bulb – which could collectively save billions in energy costs. Bender’s current work involves a nuclear weapons documentary.
We are proud to announce that Joe Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, will receive the 2008 Founders Award for drawing upon his exceptional expertise in nuclear and chemicals weapons to author numerous publications that have greatly informed public policy and perception.
He is author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and previously served as Senior Vice-President for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress, and as Director for Nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for eight years.
Cirincione worked for nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives as a professional staff member of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Government Operations, and served as a staff director of the bipartisan Military Reform Caucus. Cirincione teaches at the Georgetown University Graduate School of Foreign Service and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dr. Hans Blix will receive our 2008 Peacemaker Award (in absentia) for his enduring efforts to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction. In 2003, Dr. Blix headed the team of U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq whose mission was to find out if Saddam Hussein’s regime had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction. Many will recall his courageous opposition to war proponents, stating that Iraq had probably destroyed all its weapons of mass destruction in the early 1990s. He later declared the war illegal, and in 2004 was named Chairman of the newly formed International Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction.
This year’s gala promises to be magnificent and will be even more wonderful with your participation. By becoming a sponsor of the dinner, you will play a critical role in helping PSR-LA continue our important work to address the root causes of America’s most challenging public health threats.