*This past Friday (the 28th of April) I arrived to a welcoming Grammy winning musician Nile Rodgers at the door of Manhattan Center in New York City for his annual “We Are Family” foundation gala.
Attendees were excited and dressed to the nines, as they paraded on the red carpet. Speaking of which, LL cool J, Angela Yee and Sway were among the attendees walking the red carpet in support of the event.
Rodgers founded the foundation back in 2001, after the September 11th attacks, in attempts to revitalize a spirit of unity and civic pride among US citizens. The organization has dedicated its efforts to creating programs that promote cultural diversity while nurturing and mentoring young people. Rodgers says “we get thousands of applicants every year.”
This year’s gala was put together mainly to honor those who are making a cultural change in society at large. The three honorees for 2017 were former NBA star player Dikembe Mutombo who received the Humanitarian Award; Nelson Mandela (presented to grandson Ndaba Mandela) who received the Peace Award and A Tribe Called Quest who received the Unity Award.
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This year’s gala was put together mainly to honor those who are making a cultural change in society at large. The three honorees for 2017 were former NBA star player Dikembe Mutombo (pictured above) who received the Humanitarian Award; Nelson Mandela (presented to grandson Ndaba Mandela) who received the Peace Award and A Tribe Called Quest who received the Unity Award.
All of the honorees were in attendance and we were able to catch up with Mutombo who was very humbled to be recognized for his efforts in reforming his country the Democratic of Congo. He has donated over 30 million dollars toward a 300 bed hospital on the outskirts of his hometown. Dikembe; upon receiving his award, he gave us this piece of insight and wisdom:
“When you are on an elevator and it takes you to the top, make sure you send it back down for someone else.”
We Are Family Backgrounder
We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the vision of a global family by creating and supporting programs that promote cultural diversity while nurturing the vision, talents, and ideas of young people who are positively changing the world.
Through global initiatives like Three Dot Dash and TEDxTeen, WAFF has mentored and empowered extraordinary youth from more than 64 countries on six continents by giving them platforms to share their messages, tell their stories, inspire others, amplify their work and foster respect and understanding across cultures. For more information please visit wearefamilyfoundation.org.
(Special thanks to Eleina Elachkar of Frank Publicity for hooking us up.)
EUR BONUS COVERAGE:
Below, Nile Rodgers, Kathy Sledge and others perform the signature song of the night, Sister Sledge’s classic, “We Are Family.