Wyclef Jean to be Honored with NAACP Vanguard Award
The NAACP has seen fit this year to honor Mr. Wyclef Jean with the Vanguard Award. The recipient of this award is chosen based on their work to improve racial and social issues. It is an honor well deserved by Mr. Jean.
Wyclef Jean is a native of Haiti, and moved at the age of 13 to Brooklyn, NY and then to NJ. He is a Grammy award winning singer, songwriter and musician, playing the guitar, piano and drums. He has a long career in the music industry starting out with the Fugees, and then began a solo career in 1997. He currently has 6 solo albums to his credit, and number 7 due out this year. His music crosses genres from hip-hop, reggae, compas, R&B, folk and Bachata.
In 2005 Jean established the Yele Haiti Foundation with a quarter of a million dollars of his own money. Wyclef coined the term Yele and it comes from a creole word that mean to scream. He chose it because he wanted his cry for his country to be heard. The foundation was created to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to his homeland. In its first year of operation, Yele Haiti provided scholarships to 3,600 students, and has concentrated efforts on education, arts, sports, food distribution and emergency relief. Yele Haiti now has an annual operating budget of $3 million dollars.
After the devastating earthquake struck Haiti recently, Mr. Jean was on a plane to Haiti almost immediately and worked tirelessly to help during the disaster and to raise money and awareness of his country's plight.
It is that kind of dedication and activism that has earned Mr. Jean this honor. Well done and well deserved.