Actor William Baldwin, LaFace Records founder Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds and choreographer Bella Lewitzky were honored at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California’s annual Bill of Rights Dinner.

The event, held Monday at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, also honored Peter Edelman with the Courageous Advocate Award. He is among the Clinton administration officials who resigned their posts over the President’s signing of the welfare reform bill.

Baldwin on the issues

Baldwin was honored for his work in educating people on the First Amendment, health care, homelessness and gun control, among other topics. He is a member of the Creative Coalition, a group of film industry professionals active in social and political issues, and recently led the group’s presence at the Democratic and Republican conventions.

Opportunities for minorities

Edmonds, who composed the score to “Waiting to Exhale,” was cited for his efforts to expand opportunities for minorities in the entertainment industry. He also is the national spokesman for the Boarder Baby project, involved in finding homes for infants abandoned by their mothers.

Lewitzky was honored for her work against censorship. She rejected an NEA grant for her dance troupe rather than sign an anti-obscenity oath. In the 1950s, she refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

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