Alicia Keys has been named the 2017 recipient of Amnesty International’s prestigious Ambassador of Conscience Award.
The Empire State of Mind singer has been chosen by executives of the human rights organisation in recognition of her philanthropic work, which includes co-founding non-profit Keep a Child Alive, which helps those affected by HIV in Africa and India. She also co-founded the We Are Here movement, which helps encourage millennials to take positive action to help fight social issues such as gun control and criminal justice reform.
The 36-year-old said in a statement she was honored to be selected for the award, calling the news “one of the most proud moments of my life”.
“It encourages me to continue to speak out against injustice and use my platform to draw attention to the issues that matter to me,” she continued. “Our conscience is something we are all gifted with at birth, no matter who we are. That little voice that speaks to you and tells you when something is not right, I always use as my guide.
“Since I was a small girl my inner voice would yell at me! Now I just say, OK, what can I do? That is a question we can ask ourselves and then act upon.”
The Ambassador of Conscience Award, which is given to those who use their talents to inspire others and stand up to injustice, has previously been given to public figures such as Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai and singer Joan Baez.
Alicia will receive the prize during a ceremony in Montreal, Canada on 27 May (17) alongside members of the Indigenous rights movement of Canada.
“Both Alicia Keys and the Indigenous rights movement of Canada have in their own ways made inspirational and meaningful contributions to advancing human rights and towards ensuring brighter possibilities for future generations,” Sali Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said.
“Crucially, they remind us never to underestimate how far passion and creativity can take us in fighting injustice.”