The star tells why he’ll headline DBC’s fundraiser. Learn about his humanitarian side — and fave barbecue joint.By JOAN LA BARR
So how did a movie star like Danny Glover become an advocate for Dallas Bethlehem Center, on the tough streets of South Dallas, far from Hollywood and his hometown of San Francisco?
Turns out a mutual friend invited him to participate, and after making a quiet visit to the center in October, Glover was on board. He’ll headline the early childhood and family services center’s main fundraiser, StarBright: A Gathering of Hopes and Dreams, on February 20, 2016.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT BETHLEHEM CENTER? The center’s projects — early childhood development, family services, food security, community empowerment — fit right in with Glover’s advocacy of social justice. In his visit, he stopped to play with the kids and talk to the staff, and caught the infectious spirit. DBC’s mission, he says, is vital: “Once we begin to talk about children and education, we hit the very nerve or foundation” of improving a community. Playing off its logo, he calls Bethlehem Center “the star that brings joy and hope to people who need it most.”
NO STRANGER TO SOUTH DALLAS: When Glover was filming Places in the Heart in Waxahachie, some of the extras took him to Meshack’s, a barbecue joint at Malcolm X Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue. He was so impressed that now, on airport layovers, he’ll take a taxi to eat there and has had the barbecue shipped to him.
WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT GLOVER: He is a believer in economic justice and access to health care and education in the U.S. and abroad. He served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. Development Program from 1998-2004, focusing on poverty, disease and economic development in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. He is now a UNICEF ambassador, supporting a multitude of causes for the world’s children. He co-founded Louverture Films, dedicated to films of historical relevance, social purpose, commercial value and artistic integrity.
ON THE SHELF NEXT TO THE ACTING AWARDS: The Directors Guild of America honored Glover for his humanitarian efforts in 2006. In 2011, he received the National Civil Rights Museum’s Pioneer Award and the prestigious Medaille des Arts et des Letters from the French Ministry of Culture. In 2014, Glover received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of San Francisco.
WHAT YOU’LL SEE AT STARBRIGHT: Glover will share the Dallas City Performance Hall stage with a variety of acts, including singing, dancing, African drumming and mime. Of course, there will be DBC children and the stellar Voices for Bethlehem Chorus, composed of volunteer singers from a number of church choirs and organizations.
FOR TICKETS: Tickets for StarBright, February 20, 2016, 7:00 p.m. at Dallas City Performance Hall, are available in a broad range of prices. To order online, go to www.boxofficetickets.com (select keyword StarBright) or find the link on the DBC website, www.dallasbethlehemcenter.org.