On Monday, December 13, 2004, at 6:00 P.M., the ACLU Foundation of Southern California will host its annual Bill of Rights Awards Dinner at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The event honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of civil liberties. Tickets for this awards ceremony and dinner are available to the public.

This year’s event will honor Academy Award winning actor Dustin Hoffman. Throughout his career, Dustin Hoffman has participated in films that address core ACLU issues including disability rights, political corruption, the First Amendment, women's rights, criminal justice reform, prisoners' rights and censorship. The challenges faced by autistic adults was portrayed with great sensitivity in Rain Man. Hoffman pointedly exposed political corruption in the political satire, Wag the Dog, and provoked the public to wonder what is real news and what is merely promotion. With a powerful use of humor, Hoffman brought attention to the gender inequities in America's workforce in Tootsie. In Sleepers, he addressed abuse in the juvenile justice system, a perennial issue for the ACLU. In Lenny and in Outbreak, the issues of censorship and the abuse of military power, both very current issues, were vividly portrayed. In addition to his film work, Hoffman, with his wife Lisa and others, co-founded Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, and has supported numerous other charitable organizations including: Rob Reiner's foundation to raise public awareness about the need for early childhood development programs; MusiCares, the Recording Academy`s charitable foundation, focusing on health and human services for the music community; the Brady Institute, named for former White House Press Secretary James Brady; to prevent gun violence; the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and the ACLU of Southern California.

"The Bill of Rights Award was created to acknowledge the contributions made by individuals whose creative and committed work affirms the democratic principles embedded in the Bill of Rights,’" said Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU/SC.

The event takes place Monday, December 13, 2004 at 6:00 p.m., and will be held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, 9876 Wilshire Blvd. Tickets start at $150, and all proceeds contribute to the ACLU’s watchdog efforts. For additional ticket information call toll free: 877/225-8487.

Samuel L. Jackson will emcee the event and Ben Stiller will participate. Also expected to attend the event are: Larry Flynt, Sharon Osbourne, actors James Whitmore and Red Buttons, and past honoree producer Paula Weinstein.