A benefit evening (HB95) will also feature the first Harry Belafonte Social Justice Awards in honor of the 10th anniversary of Sankofa.org, the social justice organization co-founded by Mr. Belafonte. HB95 will be held March 1, 2022 at City Hall (123 W. 43rd Street) at 7:00 p.m. ET.
The evening will include musical performances, video tributes and testimonials from civil rights and racial justice leaders, elected officials, musicians, actors and more. Aloe Blacc, John Legend, The Belafonte Alumni Band, Laurence Fishburne, Doug E Fresh, Danny Glover, Amy Goodman, Lenny Kravitz, Michael Moore, Q-Tip, Tim Robbins, Rev. Al Sharpton, Bryan Stevenson, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Jesse Williams and Alfre Woodward are among the confirmed contestants.
This year’s inaugural Harry Belafonte Social Justice Awards were created to recognize the broad scope of Mr. Belafonte’s contribution to social justice and American history. For their unwavering commitment to justice, the recipients are Angela Davis, Rashad Robinson, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Dr. Cornel West, Darren Walker, Hank Willis Thomas, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Congresswoman Barbara Lee. In addition to the live performances, Mr. Belafonte’s memorable film, television and humanitarian career will be showcased through archival footage as well as testimonials from some of today’s most popular and celebrated performers, activists and performers. today.
Proceeds from this evening will benefit Sankofa.org and many of its programs, including an innovative virtual/alternative reality technology and reintegration in the arts program, created to impact the ability of returning citizens to develop basic skills essential for a transition successful and sustainable towards the community. This scientifically validated art-based program with virtual reality has been used to create breakthrough treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and shows promise in treating many other mental health conditions. Harry Belafonte said: “I am honored that so many people come together to celebrate my birthday, my life and my legacy. I founded Sankofa.org alongside my daughter Gina and Raoul Roach to create an additional space for artists and allies to collaborate to achieve an artistic approach to the needs of our disenfranchised communities…to use the art as a tool to educate messages of hope and to encourage and motivate the public to engage. One heart, one mind, one soul. “We are honored to host Harry Belafonte’s 95th birthday as part of our centenary season,” said City Hall Artistic Director Melay Araya. “Like his mentors Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes, and his contemporaries Coretta Scott King and Fannie Lou Hamer, Mr. Belafonte has taken to the stage many times over the past 70 years to support the movements in which he participated and led. We hope that celebrating his life and work will inspire those present to use their talents in the service of others.
Gina Belafonte, Executive Director of Sankofa.org said, “Artists are the keepers of truth, the radical voice of civilization. Without art we have nothing. Sankofa.org uses the arts as a tool to engage people in action. We are thrilled to honor my father on his 95th birthday and celebrate his legacy. “We are happy to celebrate this milestone birthday of the iconic Harry Belafonte. As a legendary artist and activist, he is an inspiration to us all. It is also beautiful to see Gina continue the important work of Sankofa.org to positively impact future generations,” Bridgid and Don Cheadle said of the occasion.
Actress and activist Alfre Woodard said: “HB95 is a celebration of Harry Belafonte’s bold, insistent and joyous journey towards justice. Sankofa.org is the vehicle he gave to generations to continue this journey forward. Here is the roof! Although this is its first public fundraising event, Sankofa.org has created and produced innovative and cutting-edge programs over the past decade. The organization is committed to rooting out systemic violence, working tirelessly for the adoption of restorative justice initiatives, and advocating for meaningful immigration reforms and a decent minimum wage.
Sankofa.org was founded by Harry Belafonte, his daughter Gina Belafonte and Raoul Roach in 2012. Its mission is to educate, motivate and activate artists and their allies in service of grassroots movements and equitable change. Sankofa.org focuses on issues of injustice that disproportionately affect the disenfranchised, oppressed and underserved, which, left unaddressed, will continue to impact the lives of too many. and will remain a scar on the moral character of our nation. The ASBL is fiscally sponsored by Environmental Social Entrepreneurs (www.SaveOurPlanet.org).