Our Mission

The HUMANITAS Prize was created in 1974 to celebrate television programs, which affirm the human dignity, explore the meaning of life, enlighten the use of human freedom and reveal to each person our common humanity.

HUMANITAS exists to encourage writers who create contemporary media to use their immense power to:

  • Encourage viewers to truly explore what it means to be a human being.
  • Challenge viewers to take charge of their lives and use their freedom in a responsible way.
  • Motivate viewers to reach out in respect and compassion to all their brothers and sisters in the human family.

For over four decades, HUMANITAS has empowered writers with financial support and recognition to tell stories which are both entertaining and uplifting. While HUMANITAS continues to honor the writers of today, under the leadership of President Ali LeRoi and Executive Director Cathleen Young, HUMANITAS also empowers writers to tell the stories of tomorrow with the creation of the New Voices program.

In the words of our Founder…

“We believe film and television have tremendous power. By bringing into our living rooms human beings who are very different from ourselves in culture, race, lifestyle, political loyalties and religious beliefs, we can dissolve the walls of ignorance and fear that separate us from one another. We believe mass media can help human beings fulfill their destiny and expand human consciousness by giving us an experience of the world in which we live and our fellow human beings. We believe the unsurpassed power of visual storytelling delivered through mass media can give us a powerful experience of what it means to be a human being searching for meaning on this earth. We believe television and film can be a liberating, freeing influence by challenging us to take charge of our own lives and by motivating us to reach out in love to our fellow human beings. That is the power of television and film. To play a powerful role in unifying the human family. It is our hope and our dream that this power is used to enrich rather than degrade the human family. And that is why we honor and nurture those who pursue with passion. After all, in the beginning was the word.”

Fr. Ellwood “Bud” Kieser

In what other activities is HUMANITAS involved?

Throughout the year, the HUMANITAS Prize serves as a resource for writers through on-going educational programs in conjunction with the Writer’s Guild of America. These include Master Writer Workshops which bring together some of television’s most accomplished writers and producers to offer their insights and share their experiences. Panel discussions explore the challenges and pitfalls of creating provocative entertainment programs which tackle difficult social issues with intelligence and honesty.

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