Photo from Jeff Wignall on Flickr[Charles] It's easy to get hung up on the big names that get attached to causes like Wyclef in Haiti or Brad Pitt in New Orleans. Sometimes the people doing the hardest and most important work get lost in the shadows of those celebrities. I noticed that most of the promos for the Peace Awards this weekend on WMNF center around the celebrities Amy Goodman and Eliza Gilkyson attending. I think that both of them are amazing people that really deserve recognition and I'm glad they are rubbing elbows with our little radio station. I'll never forget watching Amy Goodman getting arrested and hauled in during the overzealous policing at the Denver National Convention and I get chills every time I hear Eliza push back at "the cowboy" W. with her song "Man of God".
This event is about the other people though - the ones that don't make the news. There are plenty of behind the scenes, hard-working folks that are pulling more than their weight in our world's endless tug-of-war between the warmongers and the peace makers. Recognition of those quiet and not-so-quiet fighters for the disenfranchised is the whole point of the event. The other reason for the event is to raise money for the station so that it can keep doing its part in the struggle. Without 88.5 there would be a complete lack of coverage for events that the major media avoids while covering the same awful stuff they cover every night. If you want to hear about the protests of St. Pete For Peace or the Immokalee Workers, don't bother tuning in to the major media. Most radio stations don't bother with news at all anymore. I can't remember the last time I heard news at the top of the hour on a mainstream station.
They nominate people like Faith Fippinger who has worked as a human shield in Iraq and Rev. Bruce Wright who works with the homeless. They also nominate groups like Equality Florida that works tirelessly for those whose orientation or gender are discriminated against. They also present Legacy Awards to people who've been involved with numerous causes - I sort of think of it as the equivalent of a Lifetime Achievement Award.
So if you've got the cash to blow ($60 a non-vip ticket), want a great way to support WMNF, or just want to rub elbows with one of the best singer-songwriters ever to come out of Austin, Saturday is your night. It will be held down at the newly renamed Straz Center and the party kicks off at 6:00.
Here's a couple of links about the event: