The United Nations just created a new award called the High Note Global Prize, in order to recognize artists who use their music and platform to advance social justice issues across the globe. Naturally, iconic pop singer Cyndi Lauper is the first person ever to get the award.
According to the music magazine Rolling Stone, Lauper is receiving the award for her work with True Colors United, a charity she founded in 2008 to prevent and bring an end to LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. The organization uses advocacy, training, education, technical assistance programs, and collaborations with queer and trans youth to implement “innovative solutions to youth homelessness that focus on the unique experiences of [LGBTQ+] young people.”
According to the Williams Institute, a pro-LGBTQ+ think tank at the University of California Los Angeles, queer and trans young people make up about 40 percent of all homeless youth in America, despite accounting for less than 10 percent of the overall youth population. LGBTQ+ young people also have a 120 percent higher risk of being homeless than their straight, cisgender peers.
Lauper will receive the award at her annual Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays benefit concert on December 10. Kesha will present her with the award, while Lily Tomlin, Billy Porter, and Brandi Carlile, as well as other celebrity guests, will also perform and attend. All proceeds go to True Colors United.
The award is a project of producer David Clark, who founded the High Note Global Initiative. In a statement, Clark said that Lauper deserves the award because of her decades-long commitment to promoting “human rights,” calling her “a voice and active participant for change [who has] inspired people around the world to be tolerant and true to themselves.” Amen to that!