Posted by Arab American Institute on February 28, 2018 in Blog

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Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala

Thursday, April 26, 2018

J.W. Marriott
1331 Pennsylvania Ave, NW | Washington, D.C.
5:30 Reception | 6:30 Gala
Black Tie

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José Andrés & World Central Kitchen

Award for International Commitment

Michelin-starred chef, author, food and hunger activist, and founder of the global NGO World Central Kitchen, José Andrés has become a powerful force in his industry, working to effect change “through the eyes of a chef.” As we prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Gibran Gala, AAIF continues to recognize organizations and individuals who exemplify Kahlil Gibran’s belief that it is when we give of ourselves that we truly give. For his visionary leadership, The Arab American Institute Foundation is proud to honor José Andrés and World Central Kitchen with the Award for International Commitment at the 2018 Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala.

Mr. Andrés has been a powerhouse on the U.S. restaurant scene since 1993, bringing traditional and avant garde Spanish cooking styles to American palates. Known for his innovative and groundbreaking dining concepts, he has rallied his industry in the pursuit of change, championing the voices of chefs in important policy debates surrounding nutrition education, food security, and poverty. In 2012, Mr. Andrés founded World Central Kitchen in response to the devastation he witnessed firsthand in Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. Since then, WCK has created a network of chefs who are ready to respond in times of crisis, while also providing crucial food and safety trainings and building school kitchens to ensure children are fed and ready to learn. When Hurricane Maria landed on Puerto Rico’s shores last fall, Mr. Andrés and WCK responded quickly. As traditional government response mechanisms failed, they worked diligently to provide comfort in the form of hot meals in the days and weeks after the hurricane. During a time that is often fraught with chaos and anxiety, Mr. Andrés and his team gave hope and community to many Puerto Ricans who had lost nearly everything, serving more than three million meals to people in need.

While his restaurants are a staple in our nation’s capital, Mr. Andrés has remained committed to serving his local community at every level. As Chairman Emeritus of D.C. Central Kitchen, he continues to help fight hunger and homelessness by creating economic opportunities through culinary training. His work has taken him from Capitol Hill to the White House, where he collaborated with former First Lady Michelle Obama on her “Let’s Move!” initiative to empower children and provide them with access to more nutritious foods. For his tireless efforts and dedication to serving those around him, President Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2016 and Time magazine named him on of the world’s “100 Most Influential People.”

Mr. Andrés and World Central Kitchen embody Gibran’s message of serving our neighbors and remaining committed to our common humanity. Their efforts in Puerto Rico and around the world remind us that by harnessing the unique skills and talents available to each one of us, we can effect change that ripples across communities. In receiving the Award for International Commitment, they join a distinguished group of honorees, including Refugees International, Mercy Corps, and Women for Women International.

José Andrés will accept his award alongside fellow awardees Irish Senator Frances Black, Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba, and the American Civil Liberties Union at AAIF’s 20th annual Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala. Get your ticket today!


Reservations at the J.W. Marriott can be made by calling the hotel at 1-800-393-2503 or visiting the Gibran Awards J.W. Marriott reservation page