Economist Glenn Loury, historian Wilfred M. McClay, and human rights activist Chen Guangcheng are this year’s recipients of the annual Bradley Prize, awarded to those who further American exceptionalism.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a philanthropic organization committed to traditional American values, presented the awards Tuesday night during a ceremony at the National Building Museum in the District of Columbia.

Loury is an economics professor at Brown University and host of “The Glenn Show” podcast. He is the author of several books, including “The Anatomy of Racial Inequality.”

“Glenn is one of our country’s most influential and highly regarded academic economists, whose work has been extensively published, shared, and honored by prominent organizations nationally and abroad,” said Bradley Foundation President Rick Graber in a press release. “Glenn also stands out for promoting viewpoint diversity within the academy, challenging the progressive narrative on race and inequality, and vigorously defending America’s founding principles.”

The Brown University professor has been a critic of critical race theory and its proponents.

“Is ‘race’ an undeniable difference between people, or is it a social construct? Interracial marriage has grown dramatically, as has the number of people who view themselves as ‘multiracial,’ including the first black president and vice President of this country. We talk incessantly about racial identity. But what about culture and values—aspects of our humanity that transcend race?” Loury said at the Bradley Prize event.

McClay is the Victor Davis Hanson chair in classical history and Western civilization at Hillsdale College. He is the author of the book Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story.”

The Hillsdale professor said his book is intended to be a sort of antidote to Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” which provides a skewed, exceedingly negative portrayal of the United States.

At the event, McClay spoke about the need for a deeper understanding of American history and how it could restore a better kind of citizenship:

We need to become a serious country again. And to do that, we need to believe in ourselves again, believe in the reason we have been placed here, as a land of hope for a world that needs us more than ever. We need to understand that a world without America will be immeasurably diminished, both in material and spiritual terms, and that we have no choice but to live up to the responsibilities that come with our many blessings. Our history can, I believe, be an enormous resource in that endeavor.

Guangcheng was born in Shandong, China. As a child he contracted an illness that left him blind. He nevertheless educated himself and attended a school for the blind. He eventually became a lawyer.

He became a fierce critic of the Chinese Communist Party’s one-child policy and was jailed by state authorities. After being released, Guangcheng escaped the country, fled to the U.S., and continued to argue against the cruel practices of China’s communist regime.

“Truly, in the hearts of those who refuse to be enslaved, America is the land of the free and the home of the brave,” Guangcheng said when receiving his award. “It is a beacon of freedom and a model of democracy. America holds the hopes and dreams of humanity.”

Guangcheng’s memoir, “The Barefoot Lawyer: A Blind Man’s Fight for Justice and Freedom in China,” has been translated into 10 languages.

“I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of The Bradley Prize than Chen Guangcheng,” said Victims of Communism President and CEO Ambassador Andrew Bremberg in a statement in March. “His lifelong commitment to expose the Chinese Communist Party for their human rights abuses, and to defend those in China who have no voice, is admirable and so critical in the fight for justice for the people of China.”

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