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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Richard Gere Wins Humanitarian Award

November 14, 2007

By JOANN LOVIGLIO - 23 hours ago

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Richard Gere, who has donated time and money to 
the causes for Tibetan independence and HIV/AIDS care, on Monday 
accepted a prestigious humanitarian award given by the city of 

The actor was given the Marian Anderson Award, named after the black 
American opera singer who achieved international acclaim by the 
mid-1930s but faced racial segregation at home.

Gere, 58, accepted the honor and its $100,000 honorarium at a gala at 
the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

"I'm not worthy of this award in any way whatsoever," Gere said. "I 
can't tell you how this makes me feel. My heart is so wide open."

Gere was lauded for taking on the dual role of artist and activist 
before it became fashionable, lending his fame and finances to global 

Gere, a Buddhist, has advocated Tibetan independence from Chinese 
rule since 1978. He co-founded the Tibet House and is board chairman 
of the International Campaign for Tibet.

He established Healing the Divide, a public charity for improving 
care for HIV/AIDS patients, and a philanthropic foundation bearing 
his name helps humanitarian organizations.

His three-decade film career includes "An Officer and A Gentleman," 
"Pretty Woman" and "Chicago," which won him a Golden Globe.

Anderson became the first black person to perform at the White House 
in 1939 and the first black soloist at the Metropolitan Opera in New 
York in 1955. She received the Medal of Freedom in 1963 and died in 
1993 at age 96.
On the Net:

     * Marian Anderson Award:
     * The Gere Foundation:
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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