Rosario Dawson, Jesse Williams, Aloe Blacc Among Harry Belafonte Voices for Social Justice Award Recipients

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The 2024 Tribeca Festival celebrated the power of storytelling and activism by awarding the prestigious Harry Belafonte Voices for Social Justice Award to a diverse group of honorees. This year’s recipients included renowned celebrities, rising stars, and dedicated community leaders, all recognized for their unwavering commitment to creating positive change.

Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson

Honoring a Legacy: The Harry Belafonte Voices for Social Justice Award

Established in 2021, the Harry Belafonte Voices for Social Justice Award pays tribute to the legendary entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte. The award recognizes individuals who utilize their platforms and talents within the arts to champion social justice causes and inspire positive transformation within their communities.

Following the world premiere screening of the Belafonte documentary “Following Harry,” directed by Susanne Rostock, the 2024 awards ceremony unfolded on Friday at the Tribeca Festival. Political activist and author Angela Davis had the distinguished honor of presenting the awards to the chosen recipients.

A Celebration of Diverse Changemakers: Meet the 2024 Honorees

The 2024 Harry Belafonte Voices for Social Justice Award ceremony honored a remarkable group of individuals, each with a unique and impactful story.

Rosario Dawson: A Force for Empowerment

Actress and activist Rosario Dawson is a prominent voice for social justice. Beyond her on-screen achievements, Dawson actively champions various causes. She co-founded Voto Latino, an organization dedicated to educating and empowering Latinx voters. Additionally, she established Studio One Eighty Nine, a Ghana-based lifestyle brand celebrating African heritage through artisan products. Dawson’s tireless work extends to issues like youth homelessness and domestic violence, highlighting her unwavering commitment to creating a more just society.

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Jesse Williams: Beyond the Screen, a Changemaker Emerges

Best known for his captivating roles in shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Only Murders in the Building,” Jesse Williams extends his influence beyond the silver screen. A Tony Award winner for his performance in “Take Me Out,” Williams is also a powerful voice for social change. He served as producer for the Oscar-winning short film “Two Distant Strangers” and the thought-provoking documentary “Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement,” demonstrating his dedication to social justice storytelling.

Aloe Blacc: Music for a Better Tomorrow

Grammy-nominated musician Aloe Blacc has consistently used his musical platform to promote positive social change. Hits like “Wake Me Up” and “The Man” showcase his ability to blend catchy melodies with powerful messages. Blacc’s commitment extends beyond lyrics. He actively amplifies the goals of various non-profit organizations within his upcoming music projects. Furthermore, he founded Major Inc., a biotech company focused on preventing future pandemics and infections, reflecting his dedication to scientific advancement for the greater good.

Recognizing Rising Stars: Aja Monet, Matt Post, Carmen Perez-Jordan, RodStarz, and Sean Pica

The 2024 ceremony also recognized the critical contributions of emerging social justice advocates.

  • Aja Monet: A surrealist blues poet and musician, Monet actively participates in and spearheads social movements. Notably, she was a featured speaker at the Women’s March, amplifying the voices of women demanding equality.
  • Matt Post: A student leader at Yale Law School, Post has become a prominent voice in the gun safety movement, dedicated to enacting change through organizations like March for Our Lives.
  • Carmen Perez-Jordan: The current president and CEO of The Gathering for Justice, founded by Harry Belafonte, Perez-Jordan is a seasoned activist. She is also the co-founder of Justice League NYC and Justice League CA, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to building a nationwide network for justice.
  • RodStarz: One half of the hip-hop group Rebel Diaz, RodStarz utilizes music as a tool for social activism. Their lyrics raise awareness of various injustices while simultaneously mobilizing communities through music.
  • Sean Pica: As the executive director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, a non-profit organization, Pica champions education and re-entry support for incarcerated people. His dedication to providing vital resources and opportunities creates a pathway for positive change.
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A Legacy of Love and Resistance: “Following Harry”

The documentary “Following Harry,” directed by Susanne Rostock, offers a poignant glimpse into the life of Harry Belafonte. The film chronicles Belafonte’s decade-long journey, starting at the age of 84, as he embarks on a mission to inspire unity and overcome social unrest. His unwavering belief in the power of love as a force for change serves as a central theme within the documentary.