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Sesame Workshop Chairman to Receive Inaugural David T. Kearns Award image

Sesame Workshop Chairman to Receive Inaugural David T. Kearns Award

New York, New York, January 20, 2011—The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) today announced that Vincent Mai, Chairman of AEA Investors, Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Sesame Workshop, will receive its inaugural David T. Kearns Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education at the Lewis Hine Awards on Monday, January 31, 2011, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
Named for the acclaimed NCLC photographer who documented early-20th century exploitation of child labor, the Lewis Hine Awards for Service to Children and Youth recognize men and women who come from many walks of life and from across the United States. The recipients, who this year hail from as far away as Anchorage, Alaska and as close as Glen Cove, New York, are selected by a distinguished panel of judges from among hundreds of nominations submitted each year by business, community, and non-profit leaders.
This year’s program will be chaired by William J. Mullaney, President of U.S. Business for MetLife. According to Mullaney, “Children hold the key to our nation’s collective success and prosperity. MetLife and MetLife Foundation have a longstanding commitment to improving the health and well-being of young people and preparing them for the future. We are proud to join NCLC in recognizing these distinguished honorees for their dedication and hard work toward making the welfare of all children a priority.”
Vincent Mai, Chairman of AEA Investors, Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Sesame Workshop,, will be honored for his lifelong fight to bring educational parity to at-risk, disadvantaged children in the United States and around the world. As a part of the non-profit Sesame Workshop since 1994, Mr. Mai has been an integral part of the team involved in creating educational TV shows and specials to help at-risk, low-income preschoolers reach their full potential. During his tenure, Sesame Workshop has created programming for preschoolers about literacy, mental health, wellness including an initiative about healthy eating to combat childhood obesity, and coping with the absence of or injury to a military parent.
New to the Awards program this year is the David T. Kearns Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education. Named after the former CEO of Xerox Corporation and Assistant Secretary of Education, this important honor is intended to recognize distinguished leaders from the business community who have devoted extraordinary effort and resources to improving and expanding the education of American children and youth.
David T. Kearns Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education is named for David T. Kearns who is considered “The Father of Public School Reform.” He is Chairman Emeritus of the New American Schools Corporation, a private, nonprofit, bipartisan organization established by American corporate and foundation leaders in 1991 to restore American education to world preeminence. Kearns was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as Deputy Secretary of the U. S. Department of Education and as White House liaison to help resolve the conflict in Los Angeles following the Rodney King riots. He was also a faculty member of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education where he taught for two years. He currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Harvard Project on Schooling & Children. Kearns has served on the board of trustees for the Ford Foundation, Time Warner, Dayton Hudson, and Ryder. He is also a former Chairman of the National Urban League.
About Lewis Wickes Hine and the Lewis Hine Awards:
Lewis Wickes Hine is well-known for his work photographing child labor practices. Beginning in 1908, Hine became a staff photographer for the NCLC with a difficult and unusual assignment. Often hiding his camera and tricking his way past bosses, Hine even learned to write with his hand inside his pocket in order to get accurate captions without giving himself away. His work—famously never touched up for effect—depicting children laboring in sweatshops, coal mines, textile mills, and on farms outraged the public and shamed the government into acting. His photographs provided the NCLC with the leverage it needed to advance the enactment of state and federal laws to protect the rights of children in the workplace, including the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which was the first major Federal child labor law ever enacted. In the 1980s, to honor Hine’s work, the NCLC created an award in his name. Over the past two decades, more than 200 people have received the Lewis Hine Awards. The Awards recognize 10 individuals, both paid professionals and volunteers. Each award Honoree receives $1,000 and a trip to the Awards ceremony in New York City, accompanied by a guest. The 2011 Honorees include the following Professionals and Volunteers: Raquel Castro of Worcester, Massachusetts; Betty Wade Coyle of Norfolk, Virginia; Vincent John Grippa III of Pembroke Pines, Florida; Damien Horne of Madison, Tennessee; Frances A. Macon of Anchorage, Alaska; Joe McLaughlin of Allentown, Pennsylvania; Robert J. McMahon of Glen Cove, New York; Terrie Rose, PhD, LP of Edina, Minnesota; Jordan Schara of North Freedom, Wisconsin; and Dixie van de Flier Davis, EdD, of Parker, Colorado.
As part of the Awards, the NCLC also presents Distinguished Service Awards to business leaders and individuals in the public eye who have had a positive impact on the welfare of children and youth. This year’s recipients will be Andre Agassi, President and Founder of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education,; Stephen H. Spahn, Chancellor and Headmaster of The Dwight School in New York City for over 40 years,; and Elaine Wynn, National Chairperson for Communities in Schools,, and Director of Wynn Resorts, Limited.
Past recipients of the Distinguished Service Award include: Paul Allaire, Frank Bennack Jr., Geoffrey Boisi, Michael Bolton, Raymond Chambers, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joan Ganz Cooney, Tipper Gore, David T. Kearns, Ann M. Marchetti, John McIvor, J. Richard Munro, Susan Saint James, Charles Schulz, William Steere, Laurie M. Tisch, and Janice Weinman. Other past special honorees include: Karen Bass, Speaker of the California State Assembly; Harry Belafonte; Edward Lewis, Founder and Chairman of Essence; Deval L. Patrick, Executive Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company and Governor of Massachusetts; Diane Patrick, Partner, Law Firm Ropes & Gray and First Lady of Massachusetts; Hugh B. Price, President and CEO, National Urban League; Lisa Quiroz, Senior Vice President of Time Warner; Jorge Ramos of Univision Television Network; Dennis Walcott, NYC Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development; Oprah Winfrey; and Raul Yzaguirre, President, National Council of La Raza.
About MetLife and MetLife Foundation:
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 60 countries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. For more information, visit <> .
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry on its longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants support health, education, civic and cultural programs. For more information about the Foundation, visit .
To learn more about this year’s awards or to speak with any of the Honorees, the LHA Chair, the NCLC Committee’s Chairman and the Executive Director, contact Joyce Appelman, 516-482-1016 or at
Photographs of the Honorees are available. Please visit
For more information on The National Child Labor Committee’s Lewis Hine Awards, please visit
Press Contact:
Joyce Appelman
NCLC Lewis Hine Awards
Jodi Lefkowitz
Sesame Workshop

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