Gov. Dannel Malloy’s decision to accept refugees from Syria, when governors of several other states said they would stop accepting them amid fears following terror attacks in Paris, has won him the 2016 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
President Kennedy’s grandson, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on May 1, according to a statement from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
The award is presented each year to “public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences.”
It is named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Profiles in Courage."
“As half of U.S. governors, leading presidential candidates and countless others across the country voice support for a ban on Syrian refugees from entering the United States, Governor Dannel Malloy took a stand against the hateful, xenophobic rhetoric,” Schlossberg said in a statement. “In doing so, he put principles above politics and upheld my grandfather’s vision of America that, he said, ‘has always served as a lantern in the dark for those who love freedom but are persecuted, in misery, or in need.’”
Malloy called the honor "incredible" and said it's "humbling" to be recognized.
“The refugee issue is one that has unnecessarily divided our country at a time when we need to stand together more than ever. We must as a state and as a nation be inclusive, and we must recognize that it’s our diversity that makes us strong," Malloy said in a statement. "For me, the refugee issue is not in isolation — it’s part of a broader series of steps we have taken to stand up for what’s right."
Former Connecticut Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. received the award in 1992 for ushering in the personal income tax.