A big online celebration is being held for the birthday of singer-songwriter, actor and activist Harry Belafonte on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. (EST) with proceeds going to his not-for-profit The Gathering For Justice, which utilizes Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolence approach as a social application for change and civic engagement.
Belafonte, who turns 94 on March 1, founded The Gathering for Justice in 2005 with a mission “to end child incarceration while working to eliminate the racial inequities that permeate the justice system.” Among its recent campaigns were #FreeMeekMill and Wisconsin’s 40,000-plus person March for Stolen Lives and Looted Dreams.
The Gathering For Harry, as it is called, will feature more than 60 guests (see full list below) extending their well-wishes to Belafonte and no doubt talking about the cause, among them Usher, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Susan Sarandon, Pete Buttigieg, Common, Danny Glover, Chuck D, Bernie and Jane Sanders, Rev. Al Sharpton, and more.
The event — with tickets ranging from $25 (USD) for general admission to $75 for a contest prize entry, donation spotlight on socials, and other bonuses to $350 for VIP pre-show experience, more contest entries and donation spotlight — will be packed with performances and video tributes by a range of musicians, athletes, actors, civil rights leaders and government officials. All proceeds go to The Gathering For Justice.
During the show, Jay-Z will also receive The Gatekeeper of Truth Award. “The unwavering support that Jay-Z and his record label Roc Nation have provided to the movement has been a game-changer,” it says in the press release.
Carmen Perez-Jordan, president and CEO for The Gathering For Justice, said in a statement, “As our nation faces a critical time in our democracy and the fight to protect our freedom, much of the work of today’s movement for justice is inspired by the leadership and guidance of Mr. B, as we lovingly call him. Jay-Z has picked up that baton for this generation."
The Gathering For Justice "provides direct services, engage artists and cultural leaders as foot soldiers in grassroots mobilization, and consult and advise on legislative and policy initiatives while organizing in local and national communities – all to sustain and build this Movement, the essence of which is grounded in the Movement for Racial Equality,” it reads on its “about” page.
The event will benefit nonprofit organization The Gathering for Justice and is sponsored in part by Frontline Solutions, the Hope and Robert F. Smith Family, and the National Basketball Player Association Foundation
The Gathering for Harry Participants:
Bryan Stevenson (Legacy Award)
Charlamagne Tha God
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
DeJuana L. Thompson
Dr. Angela Davis
Dr. Bernard Lafayette
Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Gaye Theresa Johnson
Patrick Gaspard (Legacy Award)
George Gresham (Legacy Award)
Hope and Robert F. Smith Family (Sponsor)
James Counts Early
Jane and Bernie Sanders
Jason Daley Kennedy
Keiajah ‘KJ’ Gabbrell (Youth Justice Award)
Lonnie G. Bunch III
Luis Jonathan Hernandez
Marcia and Michael Eric Dyson
Mysonne The General
Rev. Al Sharpton
Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter
Susan L. Taylor & Khephra Burns
Tamika D. Mallory
Tony Shaloub & Brooke Adams
Xochitl Larios (Youth Justice Award)
And more to com