The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) plans to give its Distinguished Service Award to Venice resident Jim Hubbard, creative director of the Venice Arts: In Neighborhoods organization, for his service to children and youths.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for Monday, January 29th, in New York City.

Each year, the National Child Labor Committee presents its Distinguished Service Award to business leaders and individuals in the public eye who have made a positive impact on the welfare of the nation’s children and youths.

Hubbard will also be honored for his award-winning social documentary photography and photojournalism work.

While photographing the homeless in Washington, D.C., in the late 1980s, Hubbard gave cameras to his subjects and encouraged them to document their own life stories through photography.

National Child Labor Committee spokeswoman Joyce Appelman said Hubbard empowered homeless, at-risk children and youths by giving them a voice for their despair, and he opened the eyes of lawmakers to their struggle, thus pioneering a new form of photography called participant or subject-produced photography.

Hubbard has been a social documentary photographer and photojournalist for 40 years and he is the first photographer to receive the Distinguished Service Award for his lifelong pursuit of the truth with his camera, Appelman said.

He is being honored for using his camera to call attention to the plight of low-income, homeless, Native American, gang-involved, and disabled children and youths, as well as for his photo/media program “Shooting Back” and the “Shooting Back” Education and Media Center, which he founded.

“Shooting Back” photo exhibits have been displayed across the country and overseas. Hubbard’s photographs and those of his subjects are found in the books Shooting Back, Shooting Back from the Reservation, American Refugees, and American Photography 2003.

Currently, Hubbard is creative director of Venice Arts: In Neighborhoods, a Venice-based nonprofit mentoring organization in which professional photographers, digital artists and filmmakers are paired with at-risk, low-income youths, “to nurture their creativity, imagination, and talent.”

The organization’s mentor-artists guide disadvantaged youths on how to use photography and film to tell their life story and how to put together a portfolio as well as help prepare them for college and/or to start a career.

The organization also arranges for the photographs to be displayed in galleries and at other venues.

Prior to focusing on homelessness, Hubbard traveled the globe for United Press International capturing images, raising awareness and calling attention to the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, the 1979 Cambodian genocide by the Pol Pot regime, the death of 10,000 people during a Calcutta cyclone, and the Wounded Knee siege.

Hubbard has received awards for his work, including United States Congressional Recognition, the Leica Medal of Excellence Award, the ARA Spirit of Service Award, and the Parents Magazine As They Grow Award for the Arts as well as three Pulitzer Prize nominations.

The National Child Labor Committee is a private nonprofit organization founded in 1904 and incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1907. Its mission is to promote the rights, dignity, well-being, and education of children and youths as they relate to work and the workplace.

In its tenth decade, the National Child Labor Committee continues the work of its founders as a leading force in ensuring child labor law compliance, transforming the workplace into a learning environment, improving youth occupational safety and health, educating children and increasing public awareness of the rights of children.

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