The annual award "is given in recognition of an individual whose work embodies the principles and values of the public interest in telecommunications and the media as demonstrated by the late Rev. Dr. Parker, OC Inc.’s founder," according to OC. The organization, founded in 1959, says "Parker was prompted by the Rev. Martin Luther King to set out to reform television stations in the south, which were doing a poor job of covering the civil rights movement." The organization says it works to "create just and equitable media structures that give meaningful voice to diverse peoples, cultures and ideas."
Davis lives in Whitesburg, Ky., and is a native of nearby Hazard. OC said of him: "Starting as a trainee in 1973 at Appalshop, the prominent Appalachia-based media, arts, and education center, Davis became its first president and spearheaded a number of initiatives that used media as a strategic tool for organizing and rural development. In 2000, he founded the Center for Rural Strategies to improve economic and social conditions for rural communities, both at home and around the world, through the innovative use of media and communications. Since then, he and the center have been instrumental in building and managing the National Rural Assembly, a coalition of more than 1,000 organizations and individuals seeking to promote the concerns of rural America." (Read more)