In announcing the honor, the Roosevelt Institute stated that "Ameena Matthews’s work as an “interrupter” for Cure Violence was documented in the acclaimed documentary The Interrupters. In this role, she aggressively mediates conflicts, arbitrating between individuals and even physically stepping into the middle of them in order to prevent their escalation to physical violence. Cure Violence has been extremely successful in reducing violent altercations in some of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods, with Matthews serving as an influential face of the organization nationally and internationally."
The medals are awarded to those who exemplify FDR’s vision of democracy as outlined in his famous January 6, 1941 address. Past recipients have included Presidents Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, Senator Ted Kennedy, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Studs Terkel, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Elie Wiesel, as well as international honorees Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Asma Jahangir, and Carlos Fuentes. Winning awards with Ameena this year are Wendell Berry, Paul Krugman, The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and Sister Simone Campbell.
The Interrupters is currently a nominee for 2 Emmy Awards, which will also be announced in October. The acclaimed film is now available to watch on Netflix Instant and to watch free online via PBS FRONTLINE. We recently launched INTERRUPT VIOLENCE, an interactive, educational web experience which takes viewers deeper into the themes and issues of the film.
With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on more than 50 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.
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