Easily moving between late-night child’s play and worldlier matters, the Roots joined hundreds of people participating in the 2013 Clinton Global Citizen Awards in New York Wednesday night to help honor those whose work and advocacy contributed to the social change within their respective communities and the world.
The Clinton Global Initiative, which was founded in 2005 as a way to bring leaders together to brainstorm and create solutions to the world’s most difficult problems, has taken a moment each year to emphasize community involvement through the awards ceremony. “Today, to be honored here with this great award, is a miracle from God to the nation of the people of Southern Sudan and Africa at large,” said National Bishop Elias Taban of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, one of this year’s honorees. Taban was recruited as a child soldier during the civil war in Sudan, during which time he witnessed the worst of poverty, war and disease. He was later able to move forward with his life, enrolling in school and studying both theology and civil engineering before going to work for the people of both South Sudan and Uganda as a religious leader.
Offering their support and talent, The Roots put on an energetic show featuring Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, Elvis Costello and other special guests. The biggest surprise of the night was what could be called, a Roots Reunion when founding member Rahzel joined the band for a number of songs. Music producer Randy Jackson produced the performance and pledged to come back each year to support the Clinton Global Initiative.