Belfast Telegraph

John Legend to receive social justice award

John Legend is to receive the Salem Advocate for Social Justice Award on Tuesday (02May17).

John Legend has been named as the first recipient of a new social justice award.

The All of Me singer will be honoured with the first-ever Salem Advocate for Social Justice Award during a ceremony to be held at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts on Tuesday (02May17).

The award, which is presented by The Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice, is designed to recognise people who champion social justice issues and advocate for minorities or people who are underrepresented.

During his visit to the institution, Legend is expected to perform some of his hit songs. He is also due to hold a talk about his initiatives, including the Show Me Campaign, which focuses on education as a key to breaking the cycle of poverty, and the #FREEAMERICA campaign, which is aimed at ending the school-to-prison pipeline and mass incarceration.

Legend, 38, launched the #FREEAMERICA campaign after witnessing a number of friends and family members enter prison, and he believes that the whole philosophy behind the prison system is now deeply flawed.

"What's true of drug criminalisation is, unfortunately, true of our criminal-justice system in general," he told previously. "It takes people whom we have failed since birth - subjecting them to substandard food, poor living conditions, failing schools, unsafe communities - and then tries to 'correct' them through inhumane, over-punitive treatment."

Since launching his career in 1999, Legend has won 10 Grammy Awards.

He also co-wrote the hit song Glory, from the 2014 film Selma, which won an Academy Award and Golden Globe.

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