UNAFF goes virtual – and honors Joan Baez with its Visionary Award
Woodside resident Joan Baez is the recipient of the UNAFF Visionary Award by The United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF). The legendary singer, songwriter, musician and activist is being recognized her life-long unwavering commitment to human rights, and her leadership, creativity, persistence, and vision, which inspired several generations to promote peace and a better future for all.
Joan is a key subject featured in the UNAFF Closing Night film The Boys Who Said No!, which profiles the young men and women who actively opposed the military draft in order to end the Vietnam War. A passionate nonviolent activist, Joan was married to David Harris who was a leader in the draft resistance movement. The Boys Who Said No! is offered to stream on the Festival’s closing day of the 11-day online film festival on Sunday, October 25. At the last of the daily panels on zoom that day starting at 6:00pm, Joan will participate and receive the award. All details can be found at unaff.org.
The awards and accolades given to Joan Baez over the last six decades are unique in reflecting both her legendary talents as a musical artist, and her dedication to human rights. From Grammys and induction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, to multiple awards from ACLU and Amnesty International, Joan Baez has been justly acknowledged for her timeless music, and the impact she has made to society and the world.
From the beginning, Joan’s life’s work was mirrored in her music. At a point when it was neither safe nor fashionable, Joan put herself on the line countless times. She has been among the first to recognize wrongs, and speak out – and sing out – to inspire change. The struggles she stood behind include the 1960s Civil Rights struggle, the Free Speech movement at UC Berkeley, opposition to the Vietnam war, support for migrant farm workers striking for fair wages, opposition to capital punishment, ending the violence in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, support for gay rights, the nuclear freeze movement, opposition to the Iraq war, many environmental causes, and others. She is cited for having an impact on the transition to a peaceful Chile, Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution, and the new millennium’s protest movement against economic inequality.
The United Nations Association Film Festival, which runs this year from October 15-25, was founded 23 years ago at Stanford and Palo Alto as a bridge to connect academia and the community through documentary filmmaking focusing on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. No doubt Joan’s cosmopolitanism was informed through the influence of her father, who was a Stanford alumnus who worked for UNESCO.