Over the past decade, CARE has recognized individuals who have made significant contributions to the fight against poverty and social injustice, and whose work has advanced international understanding, cooperation, friendship and development. Previous recipients have included Nelson Mandela, Sir Elton John, Melinda Gates, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu who received CARE's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.
"John Legend represents a new generation of young people who are embracing the idea that ending poverty is within our grasp," said CARE president and CEO, Helene Gayle. "We are honored to acknowledge John for the tangible changes he is making in the lives of men, women and children in Africa."
In response to the news that he would receive this year's award, Legend stated, "CARE's long commitment to defending dignity and fighting poverty among the world's most vulnerable people is a shining model for us all. I am truly honored by this gesture from CARE and accept it as a call to intensify the fight to end global poverty in our lifetime."
John Legend was inspired into action after reading "The End of Poverty" by Columbia University Professor, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs; and afterwards, launched the Show Me Campaign. Dr. Sachs, added, "Through his Show Me Campaign, John is calling on all of us to contribute to lifting the villages of Africa from extreme poverty. His millions of fans are being reached not only by his soulful melodies and searching lyrics but by his commitment for a better world."
The CARE Anniversary Celebration includes two-high profile events recognizing the organization's work for more than six decades. It kicks off with the June 17 Diplomatic Celebration and concludes on June 19 with a series of intimate dinners hosted by 14 ambassadors to be held at their residences throughout the Washington area. These events honor the diplomatic corps and the international relationships that make CARE's work possible throughout the world.
The theme of this year's events, "The Power of Partnership," underscores the importance CARE places on working collaboratively in tackling global poverty. "We can't do it alone," said CARE President and CEO Helene D. Gayle. "Our work hinges not only on our ability to join forces with individuals, like John Legend, but also communities, corporations and governments-who together are vital in building lasting solutions to poverty. CARE's Anniversary Celebration is a reminder of those unique partnerships and of the collective power we have to make a real difference in the world."
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Last year, CARE programs improved the lives of 65 million people in 71 countries. Recognizing that women suffer disproportionately from poverty, CARE places a special focus on working with women to create permanent social change. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increased access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of way and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives. For further information on CARE's mission and programming, please visit http://www.care.org/.
About John Legend
Born and raised in Springfield, Ohio, John Legend (nee John Stephens) developed his musical talents during his childhood and teen years as a gospel pianist and choir director. In 1999, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Today, John is a five-time Grammy-winner and multi-platinum singer, songwriter, and performer whose albums -- "Get Lifted" and "Once Again" -- and singles -- including "Ordinary People," "Used To Love U," "Save Room," and "Heaven," have secured his place as one of the most striking, vital and important American musical artists to emerge in the 21st century. John will release a new album in September.