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Chris Evans to Receive Spirit of Service Award for A Starting Point Work

Chris Evans to Receive Spirit of Service Award for A Starting Point Work

Captain America, indeed.

Chris Evans, the veteran actor and one of the beloved stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universal, has been selected to receive a Spirit of Service Award with his A Starting Point partners Mark Kassen and Joe Kiani. It’s the same honor given in years past to leaders like former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker and former PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff.

The Spirit of Service Award comes from Partnership for Public Service and is awarded during the nonprofit’s Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals award ceremony, scheduled to take place Sept. 11 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Per the organization, the annual event is designed to honor “outstanding career federal employees for their achievements and contributions to the public good” but the Spirit of Service Award is an outlier as it “recognizes individuals outside government whose work is critical to the goal of a better government and a stronger democracy.”

Evans and his partners Kassen, a filmmaker, and KIani, a technology entrepreneur, co-founded A Starting Point in 2020 as a video-based civic engagement platform. Its mission is simple and is best described by the group itself: “To create a bipartisan channel of communication and connectivity between Americans and their elected officials with the goal of creating a more informed electorate.”

For example, over the past week, A Starting Point’s Instagram account has shared updates on FEMA’s response to extreme heat, a debate over whether Washington D.C. should become a state, and controversial Supreme Court rulings like the Chevron decision and giving presidents absolute immunity from criminal prosecution. A Starting Point focuses its work on high school and college-aged youth as a way to better inform the next generation about the way the government works and to encourage civil discussion around key political issues and the democratic process.

“Today, only 7 percent of the federal workforce is under the age of 30, and trust in the federal government among young people is low. By connecting with young people, A Starting Point helps build a more civically engaged society, an effective government that looks like the people it serves, and, ultimately, a stronger democracy,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “We’re honored to be able to recognize Chris Evans and his co-founders for their achievement in founding A Starting Point and supporting its important mission.”

In a joint statement, Evans, Kassen and Kiani expressed gratitude to Partnership for Public Service and said they are “so proud” of their talented team at A Start Point. They added: “We created ASP to encourage civic engagement and make it accessible for everyone, so we are truly humbled for ASP to receive this recognition alongside so many incredible federal employees who share the same goal within the government.”

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In a previous interview with People, Evans explained his desire to get involved by helping people become more involved in America’s democracy. “There’s a lot of things you can do as an actor with your name,” he said. “I could be making booze — I don’t discourage anyone from doing that, I love booze — but there’s no denying that I played a certain character [as Captain America], and it just so happens to align with part of my nature in terms of being someone who is politically involved and who cares about the wellbeing of people in this country.”

The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals are known in some circles as the “Sammies” and “the Oscars of public service.” This year, 25 finalists were chosen from more than 500 nominations across five categories. Sponsors for the 2024 Service to America Medals include national sponsors Tom and Andi Bernstein, David and Jennifer Millstone, SAIC and Standard Industries, and capital sponsors Karan Bhatia, Google, Lockheed Martin and Microsoft.

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