2021 Fulbright Prize to Bono

Photo Credit: Louis van Baar (@louisvanbaar)

Bono, U2 lead singer and cofounder of ONE and (RED), to be awarded the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding

  • Musician, activist, and humanitarian to be honored for his commitment to fighting injustice, extreme poverty, and the global AIDS crisis
  • Award ceremony to take place in Washington DC (TBA)

Washington, DC/Ireland – The Fulbright Association will award the 2021 J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding to Bono, the lead singer of U2 and the co-founder of ONE and (RED), sister organizations dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty, AIDS and other crises impacting the developing world, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. With this award, the Fulbright Association honors Bono’s commitment to seek justice by fighting to end extreme poverty, tackle global health crises, and spur economic development in the poorest parts of the planet.

Representing the Fulbright community in the United States, the Fulbright Association believes that Bono embodies the best of leadership in times of unrelenting global crises and challenges. Bono will receive the award in a ceremony which will take place later this year in Washington DC at a date and venue TBA.

About the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding

The Fulbright Prize honors one of the world’s most prestigious international exchange programs, as well as the vision of its sponsor, the late Senator J. William Fulbright. Awarded by the Fulbright Association since 1993, the Prize recognizes outstanding contributions to promoting peace through greater understanding among peoples, cultures, and nations. The Prize has a distinguished history of laureates, among them Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Bill Clinton, Vaclav Havel, Corazon Aquino, Mary Robinson, Doctors without Borders, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Angela Merkel. More on the Prize, with a complete list of laureates, at fulbright.org/prize

About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program celebrates its 75th Anniversary this year, marking its creation in 1946 through Congressional legislation proposed by Senator J. William Fulbright. The Program embodies the visionary concept of promoting mutual understanding between countries through academic and bicultural exchange. The Program provides exchanges between the United States and more than 160 countries worldwide, funded by the U.S. Government with bipartisan support and contributions from 52 foreign countries whose permanent commissions execute the Fulbright Program on a binational level. Annually, about 8,000 grantees, American and foreign, participate in the Fulbright exchange as students, scholars, researchers, English teachers, and professional specialists. Since its inception, the Program has sponsored approximately 390,000 grantees. Read more at eca.state.gov/fulbright

About the Fulbright Association

The Fulbright Association is the alumni organization of the Fulbright Program in the United States, representing over 140,000 American grantees. Founded in 1977, it is an independent non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, with 55 chapters in 38 states. Its mission is to continue and extend the Fulbright tradition of education, advocacy, and service through local, national and international programs. The Fulbright Association works with partners in more than 160 countries and 70 sister alumni associations around the world. Read more at fulbright.org

About ONE and (RED)

ONE is a global organization campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, so that everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity. Whether engaging political leaders in world capitals or running cutting-edge grassroots campaigns, ONE pressures governments to do more to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, and empowers citizens to hold their governments to account. ONE’s supporters are crucial to this work. They come from every walk of life and from across the political spectrum. Co-founded by Bono and other activists, ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funds. Read more at www.one.org.

(RED), named for the color of emergency, was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 to turn companies into a cavalry to fight the AIDS pandemic. Today, that cavalry is also fighting the urgent threat of COVID and its devastating impact on the world’s most vulnerable communities, answering the need for a truly global response. (RED) partners with the most iconic brands and people to create (RED) products and experiences — all of which raise money for the Global Fund, one of the world’s largest funders of global health. (RED) partners include: Amazon, Apple, Balmain, Bank of America, Beats by Dr. Dre, Buffalo Games, Calm, Claro, Durex, eos, Girl Skateboards, Louis Vuitton, Mavin Records, Montblanc, NTWRK, Primark, Salesforce, Starbucks, Telcel, Therabody, TRUFF, U-Mask and Vespa. (RED) Supporters include: Merck and Roche.

To date, (RED) has generated more than $650 million for the Global Fund, helping more than 220 million people. The money raised by (RED)’s partners and campaigns goes directly to strengthen health systems and support life-saving programs in the communities where pandemics hit hardest.

About BONO

The lead singer of U2, Bono was born Paul David Hewson in Dublin. He met The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton at school and in 1978, U2 was formed. Acknowledged as one of the best live acts in the world, U2 have toured the globe countless times, released 14 studio albums, sold over 157 million albums and won numerous awards, including 22 Grammys.® In 2005 the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

As a singer and songwriter, Bono has been part of a number of projects and collaborations, including: the official UEFA EURO 2020 song ‘We Are The People’ by Martin Garrix ft. Bono & The Edge; music for film (Citizen Penn, The Million Dollar Hotel, Gangs of New York, Golden Eye, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom); and for the stage (A Clockwork Orange by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark). This December, Bono will make his animated film debut as part of the cast of Sing 2.

Alongside his role in U2, Bono is a long-time activist. He and the band have been supporters of the work of Amnesty International since they were teenagers and outspoken on issues of social justice. In 1999, Bono began to get deeply involved in addressing the structural causes of extreme poverty as part of his involvement in the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt campaign which helped to pressure wealthy nations and multilateral institutions to eliminate over $100 billion in developing country debts so that money could instead be dedicated to health and education in those countries.

Following his work with Drop the Debt, Bono cofounded two sister organizations, ONE and (RED), dedicated to the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty.

ONE is a global organization campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030. Whether engaging political leaders in world capitals or running cutting-edge grassroots campaigns, ONE pressures governments to do more to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, and empowers citizens to hold their governments to account. As part of his work with ONE, Bono has lobbied heads of state and members of legislatures all around the world. Bono’s lobbying, combined with the work of ONE’s grassroots membership, has helped to ensure the passage and funding of government policies and programs, such as the United States PEPFAR program (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), that have helped to save tens of millions of lives over the past 20 years. Since March 2020, Bono and ONE have also been campaigning for a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, fighting to ensure that developing countries have access to vaccines and support for their economic recovery.

Named for the color of emergency, (RED) was founded to turn iconic companies, including Apple, Starbucks, Bank of America and Amazon, into a cavalry to fight the AIDS pandemic. To date (RED) has generated more than $650 million for the Global Fund to treat and prevent AIDS in Africa and (RED) is now also fighting the urgent threat of COVID-19 and its devastating impact on the world’s most vulnerable communities. Since launching, (RED) has helped more than 220 million people, with the money raised by (RED)’s partners and campaigns going directly to strengthen health systems and support life-saving programs in the communities where pandemics hit hardest.

Bono is also cofounder of The Rise Fund, a global impact fund investing in entrepreneurial companies driving measurable, positive social and environmental change in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Bono has received a number of awards for his music and activism, including the Legion D’Honneur from the French Government, TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year (along with Bill and Melinda Gates), and an honorary British knighthood.

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2 Responses

  1. maryam donnelly

    Excellent choice! So very proud of all his accomplishments!

  2. Sandra

    Well deserved ❤️

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