The Katie Hall Educational Foundation will honor national leaders and a famous author at its 5th Annual Katie Hall Public Service Awards Luncheon scheduled for Saturday, April 8.
Among those being honored with the Foundation’s highest award is Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and former U.S. Representative Lee H. Hamilton representing Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District from 1965 to 1999, where his chairmanships included the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran. As a Member of Congress, U.S. Representative Hamilton voted for House of Representatives Bill, H.R. 3706, commonly known as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law, which was authored and sponsored by his colleague, former U.S. Representative Katie Hall representing Indiana’s First Congressional District; and signed into federal law by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on November 2, 1983, at The White House.
Mr. Hamilton has been one of the most influential voices on international relations and American national security over the course of his more than 40 year career. He is a former Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission and Co-Chairman of the Independent Task Force on Immigration and Americans Future.
An accomplished author, Mr. Hamilton has penned and/or copenned the Iraq Study Group Report; Without Precedent; How Congress Works-Strengthening Congress; A Creative Tension- The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress; State of the Struggle- Report on the Battle Against Global Terrorism; The 9/11 Report; and Congress, Presidents, and American Politics- Fifty Years of Writings and Reflections. Currently, Mr. Hamilton is serving as a member of the U.S. Security Advisory Council and serves as a Professor in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington.
The second 2017 Co-Recipient of the Katie Hall Public Service Award is Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the best-selling novel, Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win The Space Race (2016). Her non-fiction book was adapted as a feature film- Hidden Figures, starring actress Taraji P. Henson as one of the main characters, Katherine G. Johnson, a mathematician. The feature film, Hidden Figures was a contender for Best Picture during the 89th Academy Awards Ceremony in February 2017.
Both the book and the feature film tells the incredible story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson- three (3) highly talented African-American women working at NASA, who served as “human computers” (the brains) behind one of the greatest operations in history–the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, an unprecedented accomplishment that turned the tide in the American Space Race with Russia and other countries. Their achievements at NASA galvanized the world. Thus, the trio crossed all gender and racial barriers to inspire generations to dream big.
Katherine G. Johnson, in 1961, calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard’s flight– the first American in space; and later worked on the 1969 Apollo 11 trajectory to the moon. Mrs. Johnson, in 2015, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama at The White House.
The third 2017 Co-Katie Hall Public Service Award recipient is The Honorable Karen Freeman Wilson. On December 31, 2011, Karen Freeman-Wilson became the first woman to lead the Steel City of Gary, Indiana and the first African-American female Mayor in Indiana.
Prior to becoming the City of Gary’s Chief Executive, Freeman-Wilson has demonstrated public service and leadership in state government. During her tenure as Indiana Attorney General, Freeman-Wilson fought passionately on behalf of youth, seniors and abused nursing home patients. She was one of the first Attorney Generals in the country to combat gas price gouging and to ensure that tobacco settlement dollars were directed towards smoking cessation and health care. While she was the Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, Indiana was one of the first states in the U.S. to pass legislation comparable to the American with Disabilities Act.
Her accomplishments and track record of success have resulted in awards from local, state and national organizations.
Freeman-Wilson serves on the National League of Cities’ Board Executive Committee, Co-Chair of the Presidential Task Force and the
REAL (Race Equity and Leadership) Council. She previously chaired NLC’s Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee. In November 2016, she was elected second Vice President (VP) of the organization’s Leadership and Board of Directors. Freeman-Wilson also chairs the Crime and Social Justice Committee for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Mayors/Police Chiefs Working Group on Police Community Relations and is also a member of the USCM Advisory Board.
She was valedictorian of her graduating class at Roosevelt High School and went on to graduate from Harvard College (cum laude) and from Harvard Law School.
The Honorable Karen Freeman Wilson is currently in her second term as Mayor of the City of Gary, Indiana.