Revered African-Amercan a cappella group Sweet Honey In The Rock will receive The Search for Common Ground (SFCG) organization’s Common Ground Award for outstanding career achievements as artists and activists.
The award will be presented at SFCG’s annual Common Ground Awards ceremony, to be held Nov. 14 at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.
With its current lineup of Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, founding members Carol Maillard and Louise Robinson, and American Sign Language interpreter Shirley Childress, Sweet Honey In The Rock will also perform three songs at the event.
Sweet Honey In The Rock grew out of the 1960s civil rights movement, having been founded in 1973 by Bernice Johnson Reagon, who had been a member of The Freedom Singers, the movement’s paramount African-American singing group.
But in addition to political songs deriving from the movement, the group has also specialized in original and traditional American and African folk songs touching all aspects of everyday life. Featuring exuberant singing, African hand percussion, dynamic sign language interpretation and spectacular costumes, Sweet Honey has delighted fans of all ages with all-inclusive performances for 40 years.
Also receiving SFCG awards this year are Johann Olav Koss, founder/CEO of Right To Play, which uses games to educate and empower children facing adversity; John Hunter, creator of the World Peace Game, which promotes the mission of peace and developing self-awareness in children; No Labels, the congressional coalition committed to building trust and finding negotiated solutions; and Swiss Ambassador to Iran Livia Leu Agosti and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, for diplomatic efforts as a mediating channel between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the absence of official diplomatic relations during the past 34 years.
The Search for Common Ground was founded in 1982. It seeks to transform the way the world deals with conflict in avoiding violence and building sustainable peace via collaborative problem-solving through dialog, media and community efforts.
SFCG has 53 offices in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Its Common Ground Awards have been presented annually since 1998 to honor outstanding accomplishments in conflict resolution, negotiation, peacemaking, and peacebuilding.
[The Examiner wrote the CD liner notes for Sweet Honey In The Rock: A Tribute—Live! Jazz At Lincoln Center.]
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