The John F. Kennedy Foundation is awarding former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords a Profile in Courage Award on Sunday evening for her advocacy on reducing gun violence. The broad political spectrum of panelists, including Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and former GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe, selected Giffords for promoting safe and responsible legislation and bringing awareness to gun violence.
Giffords has been the public face for curbing gun violence ever since she was shot point blank in Tucson that left her critically injured and killed six people.
Caroline Kennedy, president of the foundation, will be presenting the award to Giffords at ceremony in Boston. The award is given to public officials who have risked their lives or careers to act in accordance with their conscience in the pursuit of the greater good, and especially in the face of opposition.
"Gabby Giffords has inspired the world with her bravery and her dedication to making change through the political process," Caroline Kennedy said in a statement.
"Instead of retreating following the tragic shooting that ended her Congressional career, she has recommitted herself to fighting for a more peaceful society free from hate and violence."
Giffords, who represented Arizona as a Democrat in the House during her tenure, was shot outside a supermarket parking lot in Casas Adobes, Ariz., during a meet-and-greet for her constituents in January 2011. Giffords was shot in the head while six others died, including a 9-year-old girl and one of Giffords' staffers.
After resigning from Congress following the shooting Giffords has committed herself to gun violence reduction. She launched Americans for Responsible Solutions as a platform for elected officials to understand and support gun violence prevention measures and promote responsible gun ownership.
The Profiles in Courage award is based off President John F. Kennedy's 1957 Pulitzer Prize winning book of the same name, which told the personal stories of eight U.S. senators that made historic legislative change despite huge oppositions. Previous recipients have included Sen. John McCain and former Sen. Ted Kennedy.