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Cosby, Poussaint accept Tufts awards

Posted by Matt Byrne  February 27, 2011 10:04 AM

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CosbyAFP.jpgActor-entertainer Bill Cosby (right) and psychiatrist and educatior Alivn F. Poussaint accepted the Eliot-Pearson Award for Excellence in Children's media at a Tufts University ceremony Friday, the university said.

"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," said Julie Dubrow, director of the Communications and Media Studies Program at Tufts in a statement.

The biennial award is the fifth to be given out, and honors producers of innovative, diverse, nonviolent, and developmentally appropriate media for children, the university said.

Cosby and Poussaint coauthored the 2007 "Come On People: On the Path From Victims to Victors," a treatise urging participation in the African-American community to overcome institutional racism.

Cosby, 73, has been in the spotlight for more than 50 years. He has championed education and advocated for equality and empowerment in the black community for decades.

Poussaint, 76, is administrator and professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and is a scholar of race relations, families, and parenting, and an advocate against child exploitation in the media.

The 2007 book was not their first collaboration, however; Poussaint served as a production consultant to "The Cosby Show," which ran from 1984 to 1992. Poussaint has consulted to other media producers on social issues, including the needs of children and the depiction of families, according to Tufts.

Poussaint also currently serves as senior advisor for the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a nonprofit group that advocates against the influence of marketing in children's lives. The group seeks to reclaim childhood and steer youngsters toward more productive social and family values as a result, according to the nonprofit's website.

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