The 2017 Andrew J. Young International Leadership Awards, recognizing exceptional individuals whose activism, philanthropy and leadership are transforming lives throughout the global community, has been presented at the Foundation’s gala event on Saturday, at the Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Former Miss Malaika winner and model, Hamamat Montia, was present and Davido, was on the line-up of performers. Singer, songwriter, rapper and producer Akon received an award for his Lighting Africa project; using small-scale solar energy systems and street lights to bring transformational change to communities in Africa whose development has been harmed by lack of electricity.
The Chairman’s Award was presented to former Vice President Joseph Biden. The honor is given to an individual whose lifelong leadership has demonstrated excellence in areas that reflect Ambassador Young’s life’s work as Pastor (Community Engagement), Activist (Civil Rights and Civic Participation), U.N. Ambassador (International Humanitarian Initiatives) and Congressman and Mayor of Atlanta (Public Policy and Advocacy).
The theme of the 2017 Andrew J. Young International Leadership Awards and 85th Birthday Tribute is “Lead Young,” highlighting the Foundation’s commitment to supporting and developing emerging leaders and their ideas.
The 2017 Andrew J. Young International Leadership Award recipients are:
Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Bob Bland, National Co-Chairs of the Women’s March on Washington for inspiring and organizing a worldwide outpouring of positive civic engagement;
Ron Clark, for creating a transformational school that models teaching excellence and nurtures future leaders, and opens its doors to share those strategies with thousands of other educators;
Activist, commentator, and Dream Corps founder Van Jones, for promoting human rights and police accountability and helping young people fill jobs, not jails; and
Former Vice President Joe Biden, whose lifetime of public service was recognized by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Anthony Anderson, star of ABC’s “Black-ish,” was the host for the gala evening, which included tribute performances from Usher, Jill Scott, Wyclef Jean, Estelle, Anthony Brown and more.