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Sotomayor, Spielberg win Harvard Du Bois medals

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October 2, 2013 11:07 AM EST | AP


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and director and producer Steven Spielberg are among six people set to receive Harvard University's highest honor in the field of African and African-American studies.

Harvard will honor its W.E.B. Du Bois medal winners at a ceremony Wednesday. The medals have been awarded since 2000.

Sotomayor is the first Latina to serve on the high court and speaks frequently of her upbringing, helping to influence and inspire children trying to succeed in the face of adversity, according to the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research, which presents the medals.

In addition to Spielberg's many filmmaking accomplishments, the center cited his establishment of a foundation to record oral histories of those who survived the Holocaust and other genocides. Another of his foundations, the Righteous Persons Foundation, provides grants to promote cooperation and cross-cultural understanding among ethnically and religiously diverse groups across America.

The medals will also be given to senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett, playwright Tony Kushner, Georgia civil rights activist and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and NBA Commissioner David Stern.