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"Here I Stand" Award Gala

HTCMLI in past years produced a program at the Historic Lincoln Theatre on U Street NW that presented an award, in the spirit of Paul Robeson, to an outstanding artist activist. 

An artist activist is one that makes no distinction between their work as an artist and their life as a human being, to paraphrase Paul Robeson.

The award program included pre-program events, usually a lion dance or an awakening of a new lion, or a drum circle at a local venue such as Ben's Chili Bowl. 

Following these smaller events, a multi-hour program consisting of local performing arts groups, including Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute's Lucky Lions, as well as nationally recognized artists entertained the audience in between an interview with the recipient of the HTCMLI "Here I Stand" award.

The goal of the award ceremony was to join community efforts of the present with the powerful vestiges of U Street's Black Broadway, a birthing place of world-shaking musical and performing talent, and artist activism. 

Our nonprofit president prepared the show and hosted the awardee. Students trained. Volunteers drove honored guests around DC, ran pre-production and post-production tasks included the hauling of scores of large drums from our headquarters down U street to the theatre. Skilled Lincoln Theatre stagecrew ensured that the mammoth show went on

"Here I Stand" Award Artist Activists:

Harry Belafonte 2005

Dick Gregory 2006

Dr. John Hope Franklin 2007

Judith Jamison 2008

Rita Moreno 2009


Spike Lee 2011

Common 2012

Chuck D 2013