MEDFORD, MA – Legendary entertainer Bill Cosby and renowned psychiatrist, educator and social commentator Alvin F. Poussaint will be honored at Tufts University's fifth Eliot-Pearson Awards for Excellence in Children's Media for their groundbreaking work. The awards ceremony, will take place on February 25 at 10 a.m. in the Distler Performance Hall at the Granoff Music Center on Tufts University's Medford/Somerville campus.
The Eliot-Pearson Awards for Excellence, cosponsored by the Communications and Media Studies Program (CMS) and the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts, are given biennially to organizations, individuals or companies with a commitment to innovation, diversity, non-violence and developmentally appropriate media. Nominations are made in categories that include television, film, interactive media and media literacy and advocacy.
"Our selection committee conducts a rigorous search to recognize those who work to create media that are free of gender, racial and ethnic stereotypes and make a real difference in the lives of children," said Julie Dobrow, the director of the CMS program. "Bill Cosby was a natural choice for this award based on his ability to educate audiences through humor and compassion, as was Alvin Poussaint for his understanding of children's developmental differences."
Cosby, perhaps best known for his work as the producer and star of "The Cosby Show," has been a long-time advocate of education and holds a doctorate in the field. For more than 50 years he has used his stardom to strengthen families through his comedy routines, acting and bestselling books such as Fatherhood.
Poussaint, an administrator and professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School who also taught at the Tufts School of Medicine, is an expert on race relations, families and parenting, and a crusader in the fight against exploitation of children in the media. He served as a production consultant to "The Cosby Show" and consults to the media on a wide range of social issues, including the needs of children and the changing family. He currently serves as senior advisor for the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and previously was the media center director for the Harvard-affiliated Judge Baker Children's Center.
Previous recipients of the Eliot-Pearson Awards for Excellence include Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh and Cathy Galeota, producers for the American animated television series "Dora the Explorer"; Linda Ellerbee and Mark Lyons, executive producers of educational children's and teenagers' television show “Nick News for Kids”; Peggy Charren, founder of activist group Action for Children's Television; and Carol Greenwald, executive producer of the educational television series "Arthur."
Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university is widely encouraged.