Smokey Robinson to perform, Mary Brown to be honored, at MLK celebration

DSC_4216Georgetown announced Smokey Robinson as the performer for this year’s Let Freedom Ring Celebration at the Kennedy Center on January 20, 2012. Mary Brown, who has worked with African American youth in the district, will receive the John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award.

Robinson is best known for his songs “My Girl” and “Tracks of My Tears.” He will perform in conjunction with the Let Freedom Ring choir and conductor Rev. Nolan Williams Jr.

Vox is just disappointed we couldn’t get Clarence Carter to perform, but Smokey will do.

Brown is the executive director and cofounder of Life Pieces to Masterpieces, which provides disadvantaged boys and young men in the D.C. area access to opportunities for self-expression. The curriculum of the program promotes learning languages, artwork, meditation, and leadership.

According to Brown, they “want [participants] to develop so they can be a part of the human fabric.”

Her project has served more than 1500 youth in the D.C. area, mostly focusing on Wards 7 and 8, and has seen a 100 percent graduation rate from its participants. This is quite an accomplishment considering the graduation rate for black males in DC is only 40 percent.

“Mary Brown is a visionary who saw a need for an organization to empower young people in our nation’s capital,” said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. “We are delighted to honor her in the spirit of Dr. King for her mission to transform lives and communities right here in Washington, D.C.”

Georgetown has held this concert in honor Martin Luther King’s legacy for the past 10 years. Past performers have included Bobby McFerrin and India.Arie and previous award winners include Dikembe Mutombo and Dr. Clarence Jones. Tickets are free and will be distributed beginning at 4 p.m. on January 20, 2013 on a first-come, first-served basis in line in the Hall of Nations at the Kennedy Center. A limited number of tickets will be available to Georgetown students and staff; distribution will be announced in January.

Photo by Flickr user jcrawford3505 under Creative Commons license

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