On December 7th, non-profit “Bridges of Understanding” (BOU) hosted its annual awards gala which celebrates global citizenship, at The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center.


The event included the 9th annual presentation of the Building Bridges Award by David G. Bradley to celebrated journalist Arianna Huffington, and the inaugural presentation of the Young Global Trailblazer Distinction to world refugee activist and author, Chaker Khazaal (Author of “Confessions of a War Child” and Esquire Middle East’s ‘Man of the Year’). 


Partnering with the United Nationsthe event also included an virtual reality pop-up exhibition on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 goals adopted by world leaders in 2016 to end poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.  Broadway veteran Carrie Manolakos was also on-hand for a very special performance.



With the current cultural climate what it is, organizations like BOU are of increasing importance. New programming includes Refugees Deeply, a single subject platform designed to clarify the complex web of geopolitical, human rights, environmental, legal, and other factors combining to make the refugee issue one of the most challenging of our lifetimes. Additionally, the existing Youth Talk video exchange program between high schools in the U.S. and the Middle East is now being piloted to middle school students, with the increasing belief that empathy building needs to start earlier.


Bridges of Understanding is a non-profit aimed at bridging the gap between Americans and the Arab World through community outreach and in-school education programs including schools in New York City.   Funds raised from the evening will allow BOU’s education programs to continue to grow.


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Photo Credit: Shoot Me Peter Photography


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