The Peace Ball is returning to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 19, bringing with it a safe space for activists to truly celebrate the United States of America.
And thankfully, Andy Shallal‘s ball will include performances by the likes of Solange, an open bar, and the opportunity to rub shoulders and exchange high fives with Angela Davis, Danny Glover, Alice Walker, Van Jones, Esperanza Spalding, Ben Jealous, and Melissa Harris-Perry.
Shallal, a good friend of The Fab Empire, told us earlier this week that he started planning this year’s ball last August for those who “don’t get a chance to celebrate around this time of year” because “they’re always on the outside.”
And to top it all off, the ball will be held inside the new holy grail of blackness in the not so chocolate city — the National Museum of African American History and Culture (1400 Constitution Avenue NW).
“That location has become a symbol” for those who were born “with a lot of pain, but out of that pain came lots of resilience and hope and…celebration,” Shallal explained, “and it really speaks to who [we] are; to be able to go through hell and come out on the other end stronger, better, more resilient and more able to fight injustice.”
“It’s not an anti event at all. It’s really about a celebration of accomplishment over the years.”
“It’s not an anti event at all,” he continued. “It’s really about a celebration of accomplishments over the year.”
Shallal added that this year, activists can celebrate on issues such as marriage equality, voting reform, reproductive rights, climate change issues, labor issues, and healthcare issues.
The owner of Busboys and Poets (which is the location for The Fab Empire creator Joi-Marie McKenzie‘s D.C. launch party for her memoir, The Engagement Game, on March 28 ::shameless self-promotion::) said that although politics has “taken strange twists and turns,” and “we’re still at war all over the world,” the Peace Ball is being held to “celebrate progress. It’s not all drudgery and heartache.”
Shallal said he’s inviting “anyone who believes that there’s a better world out there. It’s not about a republican or a democrat — we don’t do party politics — it’s really about movements that have shaped us throughout the world.”
Furthermore, Shallal said this ball is for the people not the powers that be.
“Politicians are followers. They’re not leaders.”
“So I think it’s important for us a to recognize that we cannot wait for a single politician to lead us into the promise land,” he added. “We have to lead ourselves there.