The Ridenhour Prizes Honorees (2021)
The Ridenhour Courage Prize
Chef José Andrés is a chef, humanitarian, and bestselling author. His ThinkFoodGroup comprises 30 acclaimed restaurants and the pioneering creative content venture José Andrés Media, while his nonprofit World Central Kitchen uses food as a powerful agent of positive change around the globe. José is a recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal from President Obama, has twice been on TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” list, was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation in 2018, and has earned four Michelin stars. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, José and World Central Kitchen have partnered with thousands of local restaurants, farmers, and community leaders around the country to combat food insecurity and create smart food policy. A naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Spain, Andrés has been a tireless advocate for immigration reform.
The Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize
Cariol Horne is a 20-year veteran police officer from Buffalo, New York who was fired and lost her pension after she physically stopped a fellow officer from choke holding a suspect in 2006. Cariol proposed legislation to have a mandatory statute on police bystander intervention, provide protection from retaliation, require external investigation with mandated reprimanding for abuse or misconduct and create a required reportable registry. In October 2020, the mayor of Buffalo signed “Cariol’s Law,” to require police to intervene if a fellow officer uses excessive force. In 2021, a New York court awarded her the pension and back pay she earned.
The Ridenhour Book Prize
Unworthy Republic: The dispossession of Native Americans and the road to Indian Territory
Claudio Saunt is Richard B. Russell Professor in American History and Co-Director of the Center for Virtual History at the University of Georgia. He is the author of four books, including West of the Revolution (2014), Black, White, and Indian (2005), and A New Order of Things (1999). His most recent book, Unworthy Republic (2020), was awarded the Bancroft Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has developed several online projects, including the Invasion of America and, with Elizabeth Fenn, Pox Americana. In 2018, he received an NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant to produce an online, interactive time-lapse map of the African, Native, and European populations in North America between 1500 and 1800.
RAMONA S. DIAZ
The Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize
Director, A Thousand Cuts
Ramona S. Diaz is an award-winning Filipino American filmmaker known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that combine a profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics and potent storytelling. Her work demonstrates an uncanny ability to gain intimate access to the people she films, resulting in keenly observed moments and nuanced narratives that are unforgettable. Ramona’s current release, A Thousand Cuts, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and won an IDA Award and an IFP Gothams Award, and was nominated for the PGA for Best Documentary.