The Chapin Awards Gala this week at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan commemorated not only WhyHunger’s founding 40 years ago by visionary Bill Ayres and the late Harry Chapin. It was also a tribute to Bill Ayres who was presented by new Executive Director Noreen Springstead the WhyHunger Lifetime Achievement Award and who will transition to fresh responsibilities within WhyHunger. (See Ambassador Muhamed (Mo) Sacirbey’s blog in Huffington Post – “Exposing Food Chain to Human Rights, via Music’s Diplomats.”)
Ambassador Mo and I were among the attendees who joined to resonate Bill Ayre’s legacy to end hunger and bring justice to all. The evening’s live presentations featured performances by the Tom Chapin family and friends; Paul Shaffer presenting The Rascal’s lead singer, Felix Cavaliere; and Warren Haynes presenting Grace Potter, artist activist and internationally performing rock musician. Special video messages were provided by Diplomat Artist Bruce Springsteen and the Honorable Patrick Leahy. President Barack Obama in a written programme message thanked Bill for his efforts to the community through public service.
Hard Rock International CEO Hamish Dodds and members of the Hard Rock team were visible among the guests and board directors. Music is the universal language for peace, love, building bridges and healing. Artists Against Hunger & Poverty is a movement to end hunger and poverty and brings together Diplomat Artists and their communities and the music industry to achieve their goal in building a food justice movement.
“WhyHunger is not merely a logo or a set of accomplishments spanning decades. It is something bigger, something more than the sum of its parts. We are not just another organization with a mission statement. We are on a MISSION. Together we are building a world where nutritious food is a human right for all.”
It’s about the human right that everyone around the world has the right to nutritious food. It’s about food justice, sustainable food production, farm worker dignity, providing a living wage for those in the food distribution and restaurant channels, land justice, and the empowerment of youth and women. (See: “Women – Hands that Rock the Cradle & Breadbaskets for Families”)
Almost a billion of the globe goes to bed hungry each night, including hunger here in the US at an all-time high. Grassroots efforts in raising awareness and education, sustainable business models, and government programmes must be on the global citizen menu to solve this most basic need/right. Let there be an encore to WhyHunger’s vision and the contagious spread of its mission to “end hunger and bring justice to all.”
By, Susan Sacirbey