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Tribute to William Clay Ford, Jr.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  William Clay Ford Jr.

Tribute to William Clay Ford, Jr.

Congressman Sander M. Levin (D-MI)
Congressional Record: 114th Congress
Extensions of Remarks
September 10, 2015


Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a remarkable leader from my home state of Michigan, William Clay Ford, Jr. Mr. Ford is being honored in Detroit on September 10, 2015 by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute with its 2015 Ambassador for Humanity Award. The USC Shoah Foundation Institute says that ``The Ambassador for Humanity Award is reserved for individuals who embody the Institute's values and mission to promote tolerance and mutual respect.'' Bill Ford is undoubtedly such a person, and it is fitting that he receives this honor.

Bill Ford is the Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, which was founded by his great-grandfather, Henry Ford. He worked his way up in the company, where he started at the age of 22 as a product planning specialist, and throughout the years he has mastered the complexities of the company and the auto industry. His leadership at Ford has reflected a twofold commitment--to building the world's best automobiles, while at the same time being a strong corporate citizen in the communities where its facilities are located and in society at large. As a lifelong champion of environmental stewardship, Bill Ford has led Ford Motor Company's efforts to develop and broaden the use of new, environmentally-friendly technologies in its vehicles and to lessen the environmental impact of its manufacturing, from increasing the use of post-consumer product in its plastic parts to leading the restoration of the Ford Rouge Center, which the company says is ``the world's largest brownfield reclamation project.''

Bill Ford's passion for protecting the environment is matched by his commitment to ensuring that our communities are strengthened by the vital educational, healthcare, and cultural institutions which serve them. One of the important efforts that he and Ford Motor Company are involved with is a partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's IWitness educational program. IWitness provides educators and students with firsthand audio and visual accounts from survivors of and witnesses to the Holocaust as well as genocides in Armenia in the early twentieth century, in Nanjing, China in 1937, in Cambodia in the 1970s, and in Rwanda in 1994. These testimonies enable students to learn from history in a deeply personal way, and encourage them to act to oppose and prevent future acts of genocide. Thanks to the commitment of Mr. Ford and the Ford Motor Company, the Institute's IWitness program will be expanded to more schools and students throughout Metro Detroit.

When the award was announced, Steven Spielberg, who founded the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, captured so well the importance of the IWitness program and of Bill Ford's leadership when he said, ``Reaching people when they're young is the key to changing the world with testimony ..... the commitment of Bill Ford and the Ford Motor Company to support new approaches to learning, to provide scholarships, and to help deserving students attain higher education make him a great ambassador, and I am proud to recognize him for his efforts.''

Mr. Speaker, President John F. Kennedy once said ``For of those to whom much is given, much is required.'' Bill Ford, who has committed so much of his time, talents, and financial resources into strengthening our communities in Southeast Michigan, truly exemplifies this spirit. I encourage my colleagues to join me in congratulating him on so deservedly receiving the 2015 Ambassador for Humanity Award from the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.

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