What is James Parks Morton Interfaith Award?
The James Parks Morton Interfaith Award, named in tribute of The Interfaith Center of New York’s founder and active board member, recognizes individuals or organizations that exemplify an outstanding commitment to promoting human development and peace — values shared by the world’s great religious traditions. A thorough vetting process is conducted of nominated candidates taking into account their lifetime achievements and contributions towards increasing respect and mutual understanding among people of different faiths, ethnicities, and cultural traditions.
The Award is bestowed upon one or more honorees at a gala benefit dinner for ICNY. Prestigious past honorees include, President Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Hon. Judith Kaye, Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei, and more.
Over 250 faith leaders, friends, and supporters attend the gala that usually takes place in late spring at an elegant New York based venue. Adding to the festive spirit are well-known actors or journalists serving as the Master of Ceremonies such as CBS Sunday Morning Contributor Nancy Giles, Actors Sam Waterston and Richard Gere and more. The evening begins with an abundance of hors d’oeuvres and an open premium bar, followed by a three-course epicurean feast with wine pairings and live entertainment.
Upon receipt of the 2011 Interfaith Award, Internationally Acclaimed Musician Wynton Marsalis, described the award as “beautiful and embodies the Interfaith Center’s identity: gritty, sturdy, and elegant”.
The 2013 James Parks Morton Interfaith Award Honorees
Recipients of the 2013 James Parks Morton Interfaith Award are:
~ Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian, Veteran Civil Rights Activist & Colleague of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
~ Bill Moyers, Host, PBS Bill Moyers Journal
~ Judith Moyers, CEO, Public Affairs Television
~ Russell Simmons, Chairman, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
~ Sister Pat Farrell, OSF, Vice President, Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque & Past President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Other Previous Award Recipients
Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Abigail Disney, Philanthropist and Filmmaker
Wynton Marsalis, Composer and Musician
Philip Glass, Composer and Musician
Thomas Cahill, Author
The Hon. Judith S. Kaye, Chief Judge of the State of New York
Dr. Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Foundation
Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Rabbi of Jewish Community in the Hague and Dutch Interfaith Leader
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Spiritual Leader of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism
Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, Environmental Human Rights Interfaith Leader
Rev. Kyotaro Deguchi, Japanese and Global Shinto Interfaith Leader
Nicholas D. Kristof, Pulitzer-Prize winning Op-Ed columnist and Global Human Rights Advocate
Steven Rockefeller, Educator and Global Environmentalist; creator of The Earth Charter
Carl Sagan, Posthumous award for pioneering work in astronomy, the environment, and interfaith activites
Paul Winter, Environmental Musician
The Hon. Stephen Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the IAEA AND 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Richard Gere, Human Rights Activist
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and his wife, Daisy Khan, Founders American Society for Muslim Advancement
Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), Spiritual Leader and Humanitarian from southern India
No award, instead there was a celebration of The Very Rev. James Parks Morton’s 75th birthday
Santiago and Robertina Calatrava, Spanish Architect and his wife/administrator/lawyer
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Actors and Civil Rights Activists
Judge Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Muslim Judge, Human Rights Activist
Philippe Petit and his partner Kathy O’ Donnell, World Trade Center High Wire Walker
Daniel and Nina Libeskind, Architects and Winners of the Master Plan Design for Ground Zero
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, former Archbishop of Southern Africa
Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America
Alan Slifka, Interfaith Philanthropist
James Carroll, Author
H. H. the Dalai Lama, 1989 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
Ravi Shankar, Musician and Peace Activist