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1991 Jaime Escalante

Headshot of Jaime Escalante

1991 Jaime Escalante, “Hispanic Issues in Idaho”

Jaime Escalante is a remarkable man-a high school teacher whose students, underprivileged and Hispanic, have set standards in mathematics all but unequaled in American education. His fascinating, unforgettable and inspirational story gives a vivid picture of genius in the teaching profession. The subject of the book “Escalante: The Best Teacher in America,” Escalante in person is as vital, genuine and challenging as he is to his student’s everyday. An immigrant from Bolivia, Escalante has become a folk hero for his success-so much so, in fact, that a movie has been made about him, “Stand and Deliver,” one of 1988’s most acclaimed films. In 1999 he was officially inducted into the Teachers Hall of Fame. “I’m just a math teacher,” protests Escalante. “I’m just helping my students achieve their highest degree of personal development.” But his persistent, challenging and highly inspiring teaching methods have made his school-plagued by poor funding, constant violence, and atrocious working conditions-the seventh ranked school in this country in calculus.
1990 Martin Luther King, III, “The Struggle for Human Rights, the Man and his Dream”
President and CEO of the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King, III continues to follow in the footsteps of his late father, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, III’s dedication to promoting nonviolence action to rid the world of social, political, and economic injustice has propelled him to the forefront as one of the nation’s most ardent advocates for the oppressed and the disillusioned. He was instrumental in getting Georgia legislators to change the state’s flag, an offensive and divisive symbol for many Georgians. In the 1980’s, King was incarcerated for protesting against injustice in South Africa, and for supporting the freedom of Nelson Mandela. Throughout the 1990’s, he addressed the moral and political dilemmas of Haiti, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. He has spoken to the United Nation on behalf of individuals living with AIDS, and has proactively confronted racial profiling by conducting hearings that led to the passage of anti-racial profiling resolutions.