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The Origins of the American Whistleblower Tour
The genesis of the American Whistleblower Tour was a February 2010 event that teamed GAP with film production company Participant Media and the Paley Center for Media to produce the definitive television presentation on whistleblowing — Anyone Can Whistle: The Essential Role of the Whistleblower in American Society:
Watched live by thousands online, this event was the first-ever television-format presentation explaining and celebrating the role of whistleblowers in our culture. Hosted by Juan Williams (then of NPR) and featuring whistleblower heroes such as Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers), Frank Serpico (NYPD), Coleen Rowley (FBI) and others, the program examined the six stages of the typical whistleblowing experience, celebrated the courage of whistleblowers, and decried the lack of adequate legal protections.
More importantly, the presentation educated the public on the practice of whistleblowing. With the help of a grant from Participant Media, the first year (2011-12) of the American Whistleblower Tour expanded upon the goals and the energy that animated the Paley Center event.
What started as a one year pilot project to bring smaller-scale but equally compelling educational events to colleges and universities resulted in four years of visits to academic institutions across the United States, with more than 10,000 students, faculty and members of the public hearing about the experiences of more than 20 different whistleblowers. The success of GAP’s American Whistleblower Tour far exceeded expectations. We intend to continue to offer this uniquely valuable program as a standing element of GAP’s growing commitment to sharing its expertise in whistleblowing through a diverse range of educational initiatives.