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Dolly Parton among recipients of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

NEW YORK — Country superstar Dolly Parton, who made a large donation to help fund coronavirus vaccine research in 2020, is among the recipients of this year’s Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy.

Dallas entrepreneur Lyda Hill, Kenyan industrialist Manu Chandaria and Lynn and Stacy Schusterman of the Oklahoma investment family are also honored.

The award, presented by the international family of Carnegie Institutions to honor innovative philanthropists, debuted in 2001 and is normally awarded every two years. It was not issued in 2021 due to the pandemic.

The 2022 winners will receive their medals at a private ceremony in New York on October 13. A priority of the ceremony is to foster personal encounters to encourage the exchange of ideas and stimulate potential collaboration — something this year’s honorees have already done, said Eric Isaacs, president of the Carnegie Institution for Science and fellow of the Medal Selection Committee.

Parton’s $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center has received a lot of attention. But fellow Honoree Hill, through her Lyda Hill Philanthropies, was also one of the first donors at work who would donate the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

“I invested before it was anything,” Hill told The Associated Press. “One of the things that Warren Buffett said that stuck with me was, ‘Don’t do what other people can and will do. Do what others can’t and won’t do. And take risks. I had to apply this to my philanthropic investments.

Hill, which focuses its funding on advancing science and nature conservation, as well as supporting women in those careers, said she never received a photo from Moderna.

“Unfortunately,” Hill said, “when I went to get my shot, I rolled up my sleeves and said, ‘What do you have? And she said, ‘Pfizer.’ I said ‘Okay’.

Parton, in a statement, said she was honored to receive the Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy.

“I’ve always believed that if you’re able to help, you should be helping, and I really hope I can be an inspiration to others to uplift those around them,” said Parton, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in November, and makes most of his donations through his Dollywood Foundation. “Whether through my imaginative library or donating to COVID-19 research, I try to support things that have special meaning to me. I hope everyone can find something they are passionate about. and do what he can to help make this world a better place.

Given the intense need created by COVID-19, the pandemic was a priority while the selection committee was making its decisions, Isaacs said.

“Obviously it’s a very difficult time with the pandemic,” he said. “But we think environmental issues probably have as much, if not more, impact in the sense that pandemics like COVID-19 are likely to become more frequent as the atmosphere warms. I think we take a long-term view in terms of our selections.

The Schustermans are examples of philanthropists whose giving has had a lasting impact, in addition to providing grants in a timely manner to meet current needs.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation was established in 1987 to invest in systemic change in the United States and Israel for justice and equity. When Charles died in 2000, Lynn Schusterman took over the foundation, expanding its work and becoming a strong advocate for inclusion, especially for the LGBTQ community. In 2018, their daughter Stacy Schusterman took over the foundation, which last year changed its name to Schusterman Family Philanthropies and now also includes work on reproductive equity, voting rights and criminal justice – all hot topics. this summer.

“I hope work like this inspires others to give more now,” Stacy Schusterman told the AP. “It’s important that people donate a meaningful percentage of their family’s assets. And I think the partnership that can exist between philanthropy and the communities we seek to help is vital. The government cannot solve all the problems.

She said she was delighted to continue her parents’ work and would be celebrated with her mother.

“I’m so thrilled that we’re being honored together,” she said. “It’s fun that it’s happening as a mother-daughter team.”

The Chandaria Foundation got its start as a family business in the 1950s, although the Indian-born, Kenyan-born industrialist had to convince before he started.

When he first brought up the issue, Chandaria recalls his father asking him if something was wrong with him and if he had lived too long in the United States. “We’re not the Rockefellers,” Chandaria’s father told him. “You better get to work. There’s a big hole there.

But by 1956 they had established a charity providing scholarships in Kenya, and decades later its work extended to building education and health infrastructure in Africa.

“It’s a basic tenet of Gandhian philosophy: if you have wealth, you don’t own the wealth,” said Chandaria, who also attributes generosity to being a follower of religion. Indian Jainism. “You really should go and help others who can’t help themselves.”

Isaacs said the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy is intended to recognize the work of the winners in their various fields and places. This year, the Carnegie Institutions will also launch the Carnegie Catalyst Prize to “celebrate the transformative power of human kindness,” which will go to World Central Kitchen, the anti-hunger nonprofit founded by chef Jose Andres.

This award was inspired by the late Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and co-founder of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, who passed away in 2021.

“World Central Kitchen is an exceptional model of how humanity can respond in times of dire need by activating the inherent goodness in others – an ideal that has been embodied through the life and work of Vartan Gregorian,” Thomas H. Kean, Carnegie Corporation chairman of the New York board of directors and former governor of New Jersey, said in a statement.


The Associated Press’s coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits is supported by the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit