Senator Frances Black receives humanitarian award in Washington
2018-07-26 15:08:19 -

Senator Frances Black has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Award for Individual Achievement by the Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF) at its 20th annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards.


The singer, charity head and politician travelled from Dublin to Washington, DC to receive the prestigious prize at a black-tie ceremony on Saturday 26 April.


The award was presented by NBC’s Vivian Salama, acting on behalf of former US senator George Mitchell who played a leading role in negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland and the Middle East. He sent a video message that was played at the ceremony, praising Senator Black for her achievements.


Through its annual awards ceremony, inspired by the life and work of Lebanese writer and poet Kahlil Gibran, the AAIF recognises individuals, organisations and communities whose work, commitment and support make a difference in promoting coexistence and inclusion in all walks of life.


Senator Black was chosen in recognition of her “steadfast commitment to public service and tireless efforts on behalf of those struggling with addiction and their families,” according to the AAIF.


Previous recipients of the award include former President Mary Robinson, Queen Noor of Jordan, musician Sting, actor Salma Hayek and former Polish president Lech Walesa.


“Her compassion for the vulnerable and forgotten and her consistent dedication to social justice is what makes Senator Black a positive change-maker,” said AAIF president James Zogby on the award. “She has the courage of her convictions to challenge government processes when they fall short, and that makes her a trailblazer and role model for all those who pursue justice wherever it is needed. Her career is a great example that an individual’s call to service can take many forms.”


Accepting her award at the gala event, Senator Black said she was “deeply honoured” and “blown away at receiving international recognition for my work in Ireland [and I] will continue to fight for the rights of others, particularly those who are marginalised, underprivileged and oppressed.”

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