Recognition and Awards

Environmental Protection Agency Alumni Environmental Safety Award (April 22nd, 2014): This award is only given every ten years. The plaque reads, “This decennial award for courage in service goes to Si Kahn, reflecting his lifelong service giving voice to the voiceless and protecting the environment.”

Borderline Folk Club Tribute To Si Kahn (August 26th, 2012): As part of this tribute, held at the Borderline Folk Club’s annual picnic in New City NY, eighteen artists each performed one of Si’s original songs. Si did a set of his songs and led a workshop titled “The Influence of Immigration on the Organized Labor Movement and How It Inspired the Folk Music That Grew Out Of It.”

Charlotte Folk Society Folk Heritage Award (August 13th, 2011): The inscription reads, “To Si Kahn: Singer and song-maker, grassroots organizer, giving voice to the voiceless, claiming dignity, justice and hope, carrying on from Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Thank you for bringing fresh inspiration to the tradition of singing for a better world.”

Folk Alliance International Special Triple Crown Award (February 16th, 2011): At its opening plenary session, Folk Alliance International (the association representing the folk music community worldwide) presented Si with a special “Triple Crown Award” honoring him for having had the #1 CD (Courage) and the #1 song (“Peace Will Rise”) for 2010, as well as for being the #1 folk artist for the year, based on statistics compiled by the Folk DJ List for airplay by DJs around the world.

Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Risk Taker Award (December 8th, 2010): This award was presented by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice at their annual meeting in New York City. As a congregational rabbi in Buenos Aires during the years of the Argentine military regime of 1976-1982, Rabbi Meyer became a strong critic of the military government and its violations of human rights. He worked to save the lives of hundreds of people that were being persecuted by the regime and he visited prisoners in jails, among them the renowned journalist Jacobo Timerman, who dedicated his book, Prisoner Without A Name, Cell Without A Number to the rabbi, who “brought solace to Jewish, Christian and atheist prisoners.”

21st Century Democrats Solidarity Forever Award (June 10th, 2010): Previous honorees include the late Senator Paul Wellstone, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman John Lewis, Senator Al Franken, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor Howard Dean, and filmmaker Michael Moore.

Distinguished Senior Fellow, Demos: A Center for Ideas and Action: Si was appointed to this honorary position shortly after his retirement from Grassroots Leadership in May 2010, and held it through the end of 2013. During this period, he focused on further developing strategies and tactics for combining cultural work with social justice organizing.

The Oxford American Magazine Southern Master: In its annual “Southern Music” issue in December 2009, Si was named a “Southern Master” and profiled by the magazine.

Other Awards and Recognitions: A public television broadcast of Si’s musical Some Sweet Day won the Award for Cable Excellence (ACE) in 1982. The video We’re Not Leaving, produced by the United Steel Workers of America (USWA), for which he wrote and recorded the title song and soundtrack, won the Silver Screen Award at the U.S. Industrial Film Festival in 1985. Six children’s CDs by John McCutcheon, for which Si co-wrote the majority of the songs with John, have been Grammy finalists.

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