Recap: Bridges of Understanding Award Dinner Honoring Arianna Huffington
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Recap: Bridges of Understanding Award Dinner Honoring Arianna Huffington

On December 7th, our client “Bridges of Understanding” (BOU), an incredible non-profit, hosted its annual awards gala at The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center.

The event, which celebrates global citizenship, included the 9th annual presentation of the Building Bridges Award by David G. Bradley to celebrate journalist and founder of the Huffington Post Arianna Huffington, and the inaugural presentation of the Young Global Trailblazer Distinction to world refugee activist and author, Chaker Khazaal (Author of “Confessions of a War Child” and Esquire Middle East’s ‘Man of the Year’).

Both offered their inspiring words on the importance of building bridges between people, countries, and cultures. Following their acceptances, everyone enjoyed a beautiful performance by Broadway veteran Carrie Manolakos.

Partnering with the United Nations, the event also included a virtual reality pop-up exhibition on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 goals adopted by world leaders in 2016 to end poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.

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With the current cultural climate, organizations like BOU are of increasing importance. The new programming includes Refugees Deeply, a single subject platform designed to clarify the complex web of geopolitical, human rights, environmental, legal, and other factors combining to make the refugee issue one of the most challenging of our lifetimes. Additionally, the existing Youth Talk video exchange program between high schools in the U.S. and the Middle East is now being piloted to middle school students, with the increasing belief that empathy building needs to start earlier.

It was an informative and inspirational night, with all funds raised going toward BOU’s education programs. 

About Bridges of Understanding:

BOU is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, nonpolitical organization established in 2007, is driven by a mission to foster a personal understanding between the American people and people of the Arab World, as defined by the League of Arab States, through education and outreach programs that emphasize 21st century skills.  For those from and engaged in the region, the organization’s cornerstone initiatives provide an empowering lifeline — an opportunity to have their voices heard in the classroom and by their peers in the United States.  And, for Americans, these initiatives showcase the diverse Arab cultural legacy and paint thoughtful, nuanced portraits of those who respective homelands and histories are oftentimes distorted in the current sociopolitical landscape.