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Published on December 15th, 2017 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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Q&A With Danny Glover, Peter Frampton & Alfre Woodard At The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ 2017 Ripple of Hope Awards

Last night on December 13, 2017, The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights hosted its annual Ripple Of Hope Awards dinner at the New York Hilton, raising over $3 million. Ethel Kennedy presented legendary singer/activist Harry Belafonte, Alex Gorsky (Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson), and Hamdi Ulukaya (Founder of Chobani) with the organization’s Ripple of Hope Award. An award intended for leaders of international business, entertainment, and activist communities, its recipients have demonstrated a commitment to social change on a global basis.

Alec Baldwin acted as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies for the dinner, which was hosted by Ethel Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Philip W. Johnston, B. Scott Minerd, Marvin S. Rosen, Robert & Hope Smith, Pedro Torres-Mackie and Donato Tramuto. Other notable guests included Hilaria Baldwin, Tony Bennett, Kenneth Cole, Maria Cuomo Cole, D’Brickshaw Ferguson, Peter Frampton, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Van Jones, Catherine Keener, Keegan-Michael Key, Tony Lo Bianco, Patrick Kennedy, Chris Matthews, Gloria Steinem, Louise Vongerichten, Alfre Woodard, Usher, and Colin Kaepernick.

When covering the red carpet before the dinner began, I had the pleasure of asking a few questions apiece to actress Alfre Woodard, actor Danny Glover and musician Peter Frampton. More on the annual event can be found at www.rfkhumanrights.org.

How did you first get involved with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization?

Alfre Woodard: I’ve been affected by Robert Kennedy since I was probably 12. When I say “affected,” I mean moved, felt empowered and compelled to action when I was 12, 13 as an activist. I don’t know when I met Kerry [Kennedy], but I’ve gone on delegations with them. We were in Uganda together some years ago, when being LGTBQ was a capital offense… I went to Zimbabwe with them… A real activist is like someone in a volunteer fire department, but you’re also planting trees. We say, “Come over here, we need you for this.” Everything is related. It is all about the common good. It’s all about justice, equal justice, not just by laws, just by sharing space.

Danny Glover: I happened to be, in 1968 I was 22, I wasn’t a baby. I went back with Robert F. Kennedy back then, all of us saw the vision… I was asked to be on the foundation’s board by Harry Belafonte, who’s being honored today, who singularly outside of my father has been the most important man in my life.

There are a lot of major actors here tonight, including yourself. What was the last play you saw in New York?

Alfre Woodard: I’ve seen about 20 plays in the last three months. The last play? I saw The Band’s Visit… I’m definitely going to see Keegan’s [Michael Key] play. I’ll see anything he’s doing.

Danny Glover: I saw Hamilton early on, but that’s a time ago. (laughs) But I don’t live in New York, I live in San Francisco. When I’m on the road, I’m trying to figure out where I’m at most of the time.

After 18 Emmy nominations, is there something you are still hoping to accomplish?

Alfre Woodard: I wasn’t trying to accomplish Emmy nominations… I never tried to make a career accomplishment as an actor. What I do is tell stories, I’m an actor. It’s like being a violinist. You get the best violin you can, a Stratovarius. You don’t think, “I’m going to play it well and this will happen,” or “I’m going to play until I’m 50.” This is who you are. When you practice, you’re constantly in pursuit of that perfect note, that perfect sound. We never get it, that’s what’s so joyous about being an artist, that we get to practice. We’ve got possibilities until the day we drop. What I want to accomplish is that I want to keep telling stories, I want to keep bringing people’s voices forward.

When not busy with your career, what is your top hobby?

Danny Glover: I read books. I don’t read too much on the Internet, except to catch up on news.

Is there a career highlight you back on most fondly?

Peter Frampton: At Abbey Road Studios, overdubbing acoustics for All Things Must Pass. Especially jamming between takes with George [Harrison], I still get chills thinking about it.

Finally, any last words for the kids?

Alfre Woodard: Do the things you enjoy. Be kind, look out for each other. I mean, all of each other.

Danny Glover: As I always say, you’re the future.

Peter Frampton: Treat people right, don’t lie. (laughs)


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of the bi-weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with V13 (formerly PureGrainAudio.com). He has also co-authored two published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), with a second podcast set for a June 2020 launch.


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