For years, one of the most prestigious peace prizes in all of the United States has been given out right here in New Haven by a group called Promoting Enduring Peace. It’s named after Mohandas Gandhi, and if you’ve never heard of the Gandhi Prize before, you probably have heard of the guy who is getting it this year.
The Gandhi Peace Prize has a long history. Martin Luther King accepted it. So did Dr. Benjamin Spock, and Cesar Chavez, but organizers were looking for something different.
“So this year, we decided that we wanted to give the Gandhi Peace Award to someone in the music field, an artist,” explained PEP Administrator Stanley Heller.
So, singer-songwriter Jackson Browne will accept the award later this year. He may have written “Running on Empty,” but his career has been full of charity work, including creating “Musicians United for Safe Energy,” or MUSE in response to the Three Mile Island incident in 1979.
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Promoting Enduring Peace has given the prize to several anti-nuclear activists, and the group has started leaning towards environmental causes, changing its focus from “Peace on Earth” to “Peace with Earth.” Jackson Brown fits in with that idea, too.
“He has been a major activist from the pop music community on environmental causes in general,” said PEP treasurer James van Pelt. “He’s now very concerned about the amount of plastics going into the environment.”
Before you go out and try to get tickets to the big event at which he will formally accept the award, we are told it is not going to be a Jackson Browne concert. He is not expected to perform, but Browne will be in New Haven to accept the award on Sept. 14.