John Legend is a multi-award winning singer-songwriter whose work has garnered him 19 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, A Golden Globe Award, and a BET Award for Best New Artist, among others. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Legend recently won his first Golden Globe Award, a Grammy award, and a Critic’s Choice Award for his song “Glory,” which he wrote and performed with Common for the film Selma.
Legend has worked throughout his career to make a difference in the lives of others. He launched the Show Me Campaign, which focuses on education as a key to breaking the cycle of poverty, in 2007 and has received numerous awards for his leadership, including the 2010 BET Humanitarian of the Year award, the 2009 CARE Humanitarian Award for Global Change, the 2009 Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award from Africare, and the 2011 Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year Award. In 2015, Legend initiated the #freeAmerica campaign, designed to change the national conversation to make change in America’s criminal justice system.
Based on his extensive efforts to make a difference in the lives of others, Legend will be the inaugural recipient of the Salem Advocate for Social Justice award, presented by Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice. When possible, this recognition is presented in collaboration with Salem State University at the Salem State Series. The award recognizes luminaries in their fields who use their platforms to champion social justice issues and advocate for the underrepresented populations. Recipients embrace the Salem Award Foundation’s mission to promote awareness, understanding and empathy in support of human rights and social justice.