The in Pittsburgh has announced the recipients of the twenty-first annual .
Established in 1993 to honor Sen. John Heinz (R-PA), who was killed in a plane crash in 1991, the awards recognize extraordinary individuals for their creativity and determination in finding solutions to critical issues in five areas that were important to Heinz: the arts and humanities; the environment; the human condition; public policy; and technology, the economy, and employment. Each honoree will receive an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000.
This year's recipients are Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and musical innovator dedicated to passing along the music traditions of New Orleans to the next generation through his and ; Hal Harvey, the CEO of and founder of the and , who works from the premise that global climate change is solvable and that the move to zero-carbon energy technologies can be accomplished; Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician and founder and CEO of the who has dedicated her career to developing protocols for identifying and treating children suffering from toxic stress caused by adverse childhood experiences that have been linked to increased risk of chronic disease later in life; Michelle Alexander, a legal scholar, advocate, civil rights attorney, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness; and Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of , a free, open-source website and blogging platform that is helping to democratize online publishing.
"Though they come from diverse backgrounds and represent wide-ranging fields of knowledge and expertise, these outstanding men and women that we honor this year embody the true spirit of the Heinz Awards," said Heinz Family Foundation chair Teresa Heinz. "They are not only leaders, they are truth-tellers, barrier-breakers, givers of hope, and givers of help. They have taken their innate talents and abilities, harnessed the opportunities they have been given to achieve and excel, and directed their focus to ideas and actions that are making a lasting impact on our communities and our world. At a time of increasing divisiveness, these Americans inspire us with what is possible, remind us of our potential, and challenge us to do better."