On May 9, the Liberty Hill Foundation – an organization advancing movements for social change in Los Angeles through a strategic combination of grants, leadership training and alliance building – held its 2012 Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner. At the Dinner, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar) presented the Upton Sinclair Award, named after the pioneering muckraking journalist and recognizing an individual who has combined his or her talents and beliefs to advance equality and justice, to acclaimed television director Paris Barclay (Glee, Lost, Smash, ER, House).
Said Black of Barclay, as he presented the award: “What Paris does, and it’s what he’s always done.. is to react to situations when you meet someone different by building a bridge and finding commonality. You can see it in all of his work, that he shares with the entire world, whether you’re watching Glee and learning about LGBT equality, or disabled people on Glee or on House, or even racial equality in City of Angels, the beautiful show that you created… I thank you so much for when you met this kid who was so very different from you – a white, Mormon, kind of pansy kid from Texas – that you reacted with vision. And you gave me some vision. Thank you for sharing that with me, and giving me a shot with all of us, so that we can learn from you.”
The Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner, Liberty Hill’s major annual fundraising event, drew more than 700 people from across Los Angeles. Past recipients of the Upton Sinclair Award include Walter Mosley, Eric Schlosser, Robert Greenwald, Harry Belafonte, Jane Fonda, Edward James Olmos, Bonnie Raitt, Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson, Oliver Stone, Alfre Woodard, Howard Zinn, and Susan Sarandon.