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In Music and in Football, Two Heroes

What do a two-time Grammy-nominated singer and a football star have in common?

They’re both advocates for young people.

America’s Promise Alliance will recognize music star Andra Day and New England Patriots rookie Malcolm Mitchell as Promise Heroes at the annual Promise Night Gala on April 18.

The award recognizes the “often unheralded contributions” of heroes who are making an impact on their communities in ways large and small.  And while Day and Mitchell are hardly unknown in their industries, they’ve each made contributions to issues impacting young people.

Andra-DayBest known for her inspirational anthem “Rise Up,” Andra Day is also a powerful advocate for arts education. She serves on the artistic board of the Urban Arts Partnership, which uses arts-integrated education programs to advance the intellectual, social, and artistic development of underserved public school students and close the achievement gap.

Day also participated in the Why I Vote video campaign to encourage young people to vote “to create change in arts education.” And she has worked on “We Will Rise,” a documentary about girls who have overcome immense barriers to get an education. Her motivational anthem, “Rise Up” serves as the theme for the film.

Day will be performing during Promise Night with the Harlem’s Boys & Girls Harbor Choir. 

Malcolm Mitchell

Malcolm Mitchell, who helped the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl in his rookie season, doesn’t just make touchdowns—he’s making an impact on child literacy through his Read with Malcolm initiative.

Mitchell routinely visits schools and conducts reading rallies to share his message and distribute books, and he’s the author of the children’s book, The Magician’s Hat, a major accomplishment for someone who says he was reading at a junior high level when he entered college.

Frustrated by his struggle to read, he dedicated every spare moment he could to reading, even joining an all-female book club as a junior in college; he was the only man and the youngest by a generation. In an interview for CBS News, Mitchell explained why he does not consider football his greatest accomplishment. “[Football] came natural. That’s a gift. I had to work to read.”

In addition to Promise Heroes, America’s Promise is also recognizing Promise of America award winners, the leaders of industries, corporations, foundations or celebrities who reflect the values of America’s Promise; a Powell Legacy award winner, an organization that serves as a public model for the Alliance’s work; and People of Promise, young adults taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform the lives of children and youth.

Learn more about Promise Night and the campaign to #Recommit2Kids here.