Under The Duvet Productions

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The 16th Annual Dr. Betty Shabazz Awards Honoring Poet Sonia Sanchez 2017 by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino

The 16th Annual Dr. Betty Shabazz Awards Ceremony, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Harlem, New York, June 29, 2017. This year’s honoree is Professor Sonia Sanchez, renowned poet, author, and activist.

Professor & Poet Sonia Sanchez. Photography by Lisa Pacino.

Sonia Sanchez (born Wilsonia Benita Driver; Birmingham, Alabama; September 9, 1934) is a professor, activist, author, and poet most often associated with the Black Arts Movement. She has authored over a dozen books of poetry, as well as short stories, critical essays, plays, and children’s books. Sanchez is also known for her Haiku, a short form of Japanese poetry. Awards: In 1969, Sanchez was awarded the P.E.N. Writing Award. The National Education Association Award, 1977-1988. The National Academy and Arts Award and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Award in 1978–79. In 1985, she was awarded the American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades. She was a recipient of 1993 Pew Fellowships in the Arts. In 2001, Sanchez was the recipient of the Robert Frost Medal for her poetry (one of the highest honors awarded to a nationally recognized poet). She has also been awarded the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities, and the Peace and Freedom Award from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She was also awarded the 1999 Langston Hughes Poetry Award, the 2004 Harper Lee Award, the 2006 National Visionary Leadership Award, and countless more.

The simple phrase “Find the good and praise it,” handed down to Dr. Betty Shabazz from her mother, became the cornerstone of a life lived powerfully, honorably, sincerely, and provided a winning formula that moved her through all of life’s challenges. It is because of that that the Schomburg Center and Women In Islam, Inc. are proud to celebrate Dr. Shabazz’s legacy at our annual Dr. Betty Shabazz Awards Ceremony, which recognizes women of all backgrounds and faiths who demonstrate unwavering and courageous dedication to helping others. This year’s honoree is Professor Sonia Sanchez, renowned poet, activist, and educator. We are also excited to present the Compass Award to local women who, through their exceptional dedication, mark as well as forge a clear direction for our communities. This year we’re honoring three amazing rising track stars Tai, Rainn and Brooke Sheppard, Sports Illustrated’s 2016 SportsKids. —Schomburg Center

Lisa Pacino and Under The Duvet Productions are based in New York. Photography services are available worldwide. If you wish to book photography services, receive information, and/or license images for commercial and/or promotional use please E-mail: UnderTheDuvetProductions@gmail.com

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