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USA Names Characters Unite Award Winners

USA Network Monday announced the 2012 recipients of its annual Characters Unite Awards.
The "Characters Welcome" network presented 10 winners with the honor, which recognizes extraordinary efforts in combating prejudice and discrimination while increasing tolerance and acceptance in their communities, the network said.

"Congratulations to this year's Characters Unite Award winners who deserve to be recognized for their tireless work in fighting hate and discrimination and promoting acceptance in their communities," said Bridget Baker, President, NBCUniversal TV Networks Distribution in a statement. "Along with our distribution partners, we salute these winners on the incredible efforts they lead."

Each honoree later this summer will be acknowledged during a hometown award ceremony and will receive a $5,000 grant from USA Network and participating local MVPDs to support his/her project or related nonprofit organization. Additionally, honorees will be featured on-air in a PSA and online at 

The winners and their sponsors include:

Phillip Ambrose, Davenport, IA (Mediacom)
Principal, Thurgood Marshall Learning Center

Wade Carpenter, Park City, UT (Comcast)
Founder, Leaders for Life

Gabrielle Ford, Fenton, MI (Charter)
Disabilities and Anti-Bullying Advocate, Motivational Speaker and Author; Founder of Friends of Gabe & Izzy

Helen Greenspun, Longwood, FL (Bright House Networks)
Holocaust Survivor, Speaker and Advocate

Wanda Jacobsen, Monroe, NY (Cablevision)
Founder, Kindness Above Malice

Alison K. Malmon, Washington, DC
Founder and Executive Director, Active Minds

Chantel Miller, Greenville, NC (Suddenlink)
Student and Advocate

Kahina Parrish, Las Vegas, NV (Cox Communications)
Counselor, May Elementary School

Timothy Porter, Cibolo, TX (Time Warner Cable)
CEO of Appddiction Studio

Patrick Wallace, San Diego, CA
Co-Founder and Executive Director, A Note to My Kid

To learn more about the 2012 Characters Unite Award Recipients click here.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.