Amnesty International USA kicked off the award season with the Inaugural Art for Amnesty Pre-Golden Globes Recognition Brunch.
Art for Amnesty combines the power, creativity, and passion of those within the creative community who believe in freedom of expression to projects and campaigns with potential to reach new audiences and inspire creative activism for human rights around the world. With this mission in mind, the organization honored writer/director Adam McKay, actress and human rights activist Nazanin Boniadi, and CEO of Participant Media Jeff Skoll.
The Inaugural Art for Amnesty Pre-Golden Globes Recognition Brunch, which was hosted by Nick Cannon, took place at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, and featured special performances by Tori Kelly and Andra Day.
Host Nick Cannon welcomed the guests ranging from activists to entertainment executives who gathered around the Chateau’s iconic poolside. Grammy-nominated performer Tori Kelly opened the program with a striking performance of “Hollow.” Ann Burroughs, Chair of the Board of Directors for Amnesty International USA, discussed the importance of free speech touching on her own personal experience being imprisoned as a young student in her native South Africa as a result of her anti-apartheid activism.
In the spirit of celebrating art, artist Hebru Brantley took the stage to unveil an original canvas to much applause.Margaret Huang, Interim Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, introduced the three honorees and presented each with their award, speaking about Adam McKay’s longtime support for causes such as gun control and economic inequality, Nazanin Boniadi’s commitment to bringing attention to human rights abuses against Iranian youth, women and prisoners of conscience, and Jeff Skoll’s dedication to entertainment that inspires the audience and compels action for human rights and social change.
Russell Simmons surprised the audience by taking the stage with an impassioned speech which highlighted the importance of protecting human rights especially against police brutality, while encouraging guests to take action. Andra Day concluded the program with a powerful performance of “The Light That Never Fails.”
Guests then moved to the bungalow for a seated brunch and special premiere of Bush|Renz’ mini-documentary “Canvases of Courage,” which was executive produced by Art for Amnesty Creative Director Marvin Bing and directed by Christopher Renz and Gerard Bush.