John Legend is an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award-winning entertainer. The singer-songwriter is currently on tour promoting his seventh album, “Bigger Love,” a compilation of uplifting songs released after the murder of George Floyd. Legend also recently launched the HUMANLEVEL initiative to support communities disproportionately affected by institutionalized racism. He joins The Post’s Jonathan Capehart on Friday, Oct. 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET to discuss his racial justice advocacy and his music.

Highlights

John Legend says he was inspired by artists like Harry Belafonte and Nina Simone to make activism a priority throughout his music career. “I’ve always believed that a musician’s role was bigger than just making music, that we have an awesome opportunity — and I believe a responsibility — to try to make the world a better place.” (Washington Post Live)
John Legend recently launched HUMANLEVEL, an initiative that works with local governments to fight structural racism. “HUMANLEVEL is focusing in on local government, working in our cities, working in our counties, and saying, ‘On a human level, how do we connect with the issues that the folks in these cities are dealing with? How do we address big systemic issues on a local level?’” (Washington Post Live)
John Legend says there’s a symbiotic relationship between activists and musician, and each continually inspires the other. “I believed there’s a symbiotic relationship between…activists and artists, because I think we as artists are all inspired by the activists. The messages that they’re putting out there, I think, inspired a lot artists to create different music and put different messages out in their music. But, then also, when we create this music people, use it as soundtracks to their marching.” (Washington Post Live)

John Legend

EGOT-winning, critically acclaimed, multi-platinum singer-songwriter John Legend has garnered twelve Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, and two Emmy Awards, among others.

In an essay competition Legend won at age 15, he wrote of his dream to become a star recording artist and to use his influence and resources to give back to his community.

In 2007, Legend started The Show Me Campaign, to give every child access to a quality education as well as address systemic issues in our criminal justice system that disproportionately impact the poor, minorities, and disadvantaged.

Legend launched LRNG Innovators, in partnership with The National Writing Project and support from The MacArthur Foundation, to empower teachers to redesign learning and connect students’ passion to purpose.

In 2014, Legend launched FREEAMERICA, to amplify the voices of those impacted by the criminal justice system and those working to change it in an effort to challenge stereotypes, break down barriers, and end the era of mass incarceration.

In 2020, Legend launched HUMANLEVEL, to support local governments as they address the racial inequalities that exist across every indicator for success— health, criminal justice, education, jobs, and housing. By supporting innovative projects, encouraging policy change, and highlighting human stories, Legend aims to advance the effort to achieve racial equity at the local, state, and national levels.

In addition to Legend’s signature initiatives, he currently serves on the Advisory Board of FUSE Corps, The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Teach for All. Legend is also on the Board of Directors for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Harlem Village Academies and Governing Board of Management Leadership for Tomorrow