taking the words of Jesus seriously

Author, Activist, & Co-Founder of Red Letter Christians to be honored alongside Dolly Parton

For immediate release Press Contact: Mary Grace Puszka

January 9, 2023 | Philadelphia, PAShane Claiborne, Co-Director of Red Letter Christians, will be recognized by The King Center at their annual Beloved Community Award Ceremony on January 14, 2023 at 7:30pm ET in Atlanta, Georgia.

The awards recognize individuals that exemplify excellence in leadership, pursuit of social justice, and commitment to creating the Beloved Community in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, and have made notable strides toward improving the quality of life for all.

Claiborne will be honored with the Beloved Community Social Justice Award, which recognizes those who have demonstrated a commitment to utilizing influence and power with love to transform unjust systems. 

Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO, The King Center, said of Claiborne,

“From your work with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, your advocacy for the homeless, to your courageous fight to eradicate militarism through the power of love, your life’s work depicts the very essence of this award.  We believe you, Shane Claiborne, represent the courageous, willing, and committed leadership our founder, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, spoke of when she said, the Beloved Community is a ‘goal that can be accomplished through courage and determination and through education and training if enough people are willing to make the necessary commitment.’”

“I’m not big on hype,” said Claiborne. “I’ve often noted that charity wins you awards but justice gets you killed.  Nonetheless, if there’s anyone in the world who has the credibility to validate the sacred work of justice, good trouble, and holy mischief,  it is Rev. Dr. Bernice King and The King Center. It is beyond an honor to receive this award on behalf of all the heroic people I work alongside and on whose shoulders I stand.  I am humbled, delighted, and thrilled about all that lies ahead.  We’re just getting started.”

Shane will receive the award alongside Dolly Parton and a host of other leaders at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

The event will be streamed on the King Center Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and on thekingcenter.org on Monday, January 16, 2023 at 5:30 pm ET.  

Previous recipients of The Beloved Community Awards included Simone Biles, Malala Yousafzai, Rev. William Barber II, Oprah Winfrey, Andrew Young, Bono, Stevie Wonder, Muhammad Ali, Ervin “Magic” Johnson, and Maya Angelou. 

Shane Claiborne is available for interviews. Please contact [email protected] for scheduling. 


Staying true to the foundation of combining Jesus and justice, Red Letter Christians mobilizes individuals into a movement of believers who live out Jesus’ counter-cultural teachings. As a faith-rooted organization dedicated to cultural change and shifting the narrative around faith and politics, Red Letter Christians focuses on civic engagement, direct action, and movement building through storytelling and social justice. RLC amplifies the voices of those on the margins to help counter toxic evangelicalism and to incite transformative social change.

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