Champion of Freedom of Speech
Spirit of Tiananmen Award
1989 VAG artist Tom Van Sant with help from members built replica of goddess of democracy and placed on the pedestrian bridge in downtown LA in front of LA City Hall on June 12, one week after the Tiananmen Massacre of June 4.    
1990 Goddess of democracy statue stood in front of the Westwood Federal building for the annual commemoration.    
1991 VAG president Ariel Heart and member Tom Van Sant received commendations from the city honoring them and VAG for building the replica of the goddess of democracy statue. Presented by LA Councilmembers Michael Woo and Zev Yaroslavsky.    
1992 LA City Council presented commendations to Hei Feng, Amy Ai Chiang, Song Leng, Wu Yenhua, participants of the Tiananmen pro-democracy movement. Presentation made by Councilmember Michael Woo's assistant, George Yin. Honored by VAG: Hei Feng, Amy Ai Chiang, Song Leng, Wu Yenhua and Wallace Hsieh, a businessman who was in Tiananmen and supported the students with Tiananmen award.  
1993   Wan Dan, Tiananmen student leader (still in China at the time.)
Tony and Claire Maglica (Croation Christian couple who adopted a Bosnian Muslim boy during the conflict of Yugoslavia).
1994     Arnold Schifrin, past President of Visual Artists Guild, was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. as California's first "Maestro of Painting".
1995     Todd Carrel, foremr ABC News bureau chief and foreign correspondent in China 1985-1992 until he was severely beat up by the Beijing secret police on June 3, 1993 City of LA also presented commendations to Todd Carrel and Harry Wu.
1996   Emily Lau, Hong Kong pro-democracy legislator. Amy Biehl, Stanford student and Fulbright scholar who was murdered by blacks in South Africa while on a mission of voter education during South Africa's first democratic election for all races.
1997     PEN Center USA West, accepted by Sherrill W. Britton, Executive Director.
1998   Wei Jingsheng, considered as father of China's modern democracy. Harry Wu, human rights activist.
1999     Tom Van Sant, artist who built the replica of goddess of democracy statue VAG received a commendation from the city of Los Angeles, presented by Councilmember Zev Yaroslavsky on the tenth anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre.
2000 Honored Li Lu, former Tiananmen student leader.    
2001 Honored Ho Pin, publisher of the Chinese language version of "The Tiananmen Papers".    
2002   Li Shaomin, economist, professor. Helie Lee, author who brought her family out of North Korea.
2003   Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) accepted by Sophie Beach, Asia Research Associate.  
2004   Ding Zilin, founder Mothers of Tianamen, a Beijing Based orgnization that seeks justice for missing children of Tiananmen. Accepted by friend. Chief Anthony Enahoro, elder statesman in Nigeria who dedicated his life to a democratic system of government in Nigeria. Accepted by friend.
2005   Han Dong Fang, China labor activist, resides in Hong Kong. Ethan Gutmann, author of "Losing the New China".
2006   Yongyi Song . Hungarian Freedom Fighters.
2007   Mak Yin Ting, Hong Kong advocate for journalistic freedom. June Pulcini, human rights activist.