FILManthropist of the Year:
Hill Harper’s intellect, passion for philanthropy and genuine concern for the human condition shine through everything he does: acting, writing, producing films and starting up non-profit organizations. Harper received a Bachelor of Arts degree from from Brown University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, and he holds several honorary doctoral degrees.
Harper’s philanthropic work includes a non-profit organization that he launched in an effort stop the high school drop-out rate of underserved youth through mentorship, scholarship and grant programs, Manifest Your Destiny Foundation. He adopted a high school in Inglewood, CA with the goal of providing resources to students to help them excel in high school and go to college. He is expanding the foundation to new levels by providing its students access to new subject matters such as Legal Literacy, Environmental Literacy, Financial Literacy and STEMS.
Harper’s long and distinguished film and television career has seen him appear as guest star and in regular roles on numerous cable and broadcast television shows. Television roles include Fox’s Married With Children, HBO’s The Sopranos, Showtime’s Soul Food, UPN Network’s Live Shot, as well as ER, NYPD Blue, Murder One, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Harper was nominated for a 2004 Golden Satellite Award for his work on the CBS series The Handler, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the NAACP Image Awards for his performance in the CBS series, City of Angels. Since 2004 Harper has starred on the hit series CSI: NY as the CSI Doctor Sheldon Hawkes.
His film career started with Spike Lee’s Get on the Bus (1996), and he went on to appear in a wide range of significant mainstream and independent films alongside major actors. Harper’s works extends to both sides of the camera - he has produced several television documentaries, wrote two short films and most recently made his directorial debut with the short film The Truth, a 2012 Pan African Film Festival Award Winner.
Harper has also written four New York Times bestselling books, including “Letters to a Young Brother,” named “Best Book for Young Adults” by the American Library Association in 2007 and “The Wealth Cure,” named Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction in 2012 by the NAACP Image Awards.