The LBJ Foundation will present its most prestigious honor, the LBJ Liberty & Justice for All Award, to Willie Nelson on Friday, May 12 at a gala dinner at the LBJ Presidential Library.
A lifelong advocate for farmers, alleviating food insecurity and support of rural communities, Nelson embodies President Lyndon Baines Johnson‘s commitment to public service, particularly in the areas of farming and food security.
Net proceeds from the gala tribute will benefit the newly established Willie Nelson Endowment for Uplifting Rural Communities at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, a part of The University of Texas at Austin. The endowment will fund research and student fellowships focused on sustainable agriculture, eliminating hunger, resilient energy, sustainable water and natural disaster recovery to benefit rural and farm communities.
“Willie Nelson is a national treasure who gained fame through his sheer musical talent and won hearts as someone who truly cares about the lives of his fellow Americans,”says Larry Temple, Chairman of the LBJ Foundation Board of Trustees. “A product of rural Texas, Willie has never forgotten where he comes from. His longtime efforts to raise money and awareness for family farmers through Farm Aid and numerous other endeavors to help those in need throughout his career make him a true inspiration.”
President Johnson and Nelson share similar backgrounds as rural Texans, aware of the struggles of those who work in the agricultural industry. As President Johnson said in a 1965 Special Message to Congress on Agriculture, “The bounty of the earth is the foundation of our economy. Programs in every aspect of our nation’s life depend on the abundant harvests of our farms.” Nelson has long supported our nation’s farmers through Farm Aid, established in 1985, which has raised over $70 million for those who own and operate family farms throughout the United States. He has also helped raise millions around disaster relief, for families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and for veterans, as well as working toward environmental and animal advocacy, and voting rights.
Nelson has won multiple Grammy Awards, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993, received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1998, and was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2015.
- Mike Gossin To Release Debut Solo Project - October 13, 2023
- The Neal Agency & Red Light Management Anchor Habitat For Humanity’s Fall Music Row Build - October 13, 2023
- On The Row: Alex Miller’s New EP ‘Country’ Shows Continued Growth After ‘American Idol’ - October 12, 2023