Willie Nelson honored for Peace Work


by Jan Janner 

Michael Barnes
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

The Hollywood posse that included the Wilson Brothers, Woody Harrelson and Jessica Simpson — in town to shoot Willie Nelson’s music video of “You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore” — did not make an appearance at the Erwin Center dinner honoring the musician for his peace efforts Friday. But Austin musicians, academics, sports leaders and media figures saluted Nelson as he accepted the first Bridging Divides award for conflict resolution.

“He’s the antenna of the age in terms of socially engaged artists,” said Gavin Garcia, executive director of Humanitarians Engaged in Respectful Dialogue, the nonprofit group that sponsored the event in conjunction with the University of Texas. “He’s made a huge footprint in the peace and conflict area.

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Watch a news video of Willie at the awards show, at http://www.kvue.com/news/top/stories/101907kvuewillienelson-mm.1896d885a.html

By SHELTON GREEN
KVUE News 

A Texas legend in the world of entertainment was recognized as a peacemaker Friday.

Country and western great Willie Nelson received the Bridging the Divides award from a number of different groups at UT.

Friday’s event was the first time the award was given. Thats fitting, since it honored a one of a kind Texan.

The event is sponsored by UT’s Project on Conflict Resolution. The group resolves disputes between students, faculty and other interested parties.

“Willie has lived a life of compassion and tolerance, he’s advocated peace he’s been about building community and bringing people together,” said Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith.

You don’t have to be a saint, you don’t have to be devoted to diplomacy or giving your all to everything, you can look for opportunities and use what you have and the resources you have on hand to try to make a better world,” said Madeline Maxwell with the project.

Willie Nelson, the champion of farm aid brought friends like Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Ray Wiley Hubbard.

    

Nelson’s children were also present, and they sang for him for the first time in public.

“I think it’s a well-deserved honor long overdue probably. He’s put so much time and is such a great humanitarian it’s an honor for both of us to be able to be here with him,” said daughter Paula Nelson.

Friday’s $300-a-plate affair raised money for a variety of projects from money for UT students to money to get a Nobel Peace Prize winner to speak at the school.

 

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