Congressman Charles Rangel’s Tribute to the Builders of the New World Program



On May 31, 2002, Representative Charles Rangel graciously accepted the First Annual Builder of the New World Award from Thurman E. Scott in recognition of his hands-on work and success in bringing the community together in a vision of harmony and hope for the future.

Congressman Rangel demonstrated his support for the young members of his Congressional district by serving as an enthusiastic audience member for several of the children who presented the original artwork and stories they created. The children’s work focused on the events of September 11th and examined how it affected their lives and the lives of those around them.

Afterwards, the Congressman gave an enthusiastic heartfelt response saying Thurman Scott has been blessed with an extraordinary ability to make a contribution to these kids’ minds. They will never forget the experiences that they had here. I can tell you that my political and social consciousness is always recharged when I see lovely kids whose minds are just beginning to develop, being exposed to all the things God would want them to have and people who care enough to be with them… And so I don’t have envy in my heart, Mr. Scott, but to be able to be so creative, to bring all of the genius and the beauty that’s in these children and to be able to develop it so that they can share it with us, all I can say is that I am a very, very happy human being … Thank you, Mr. Scott. I believe that your vision is inspiring and your talent and creativity are boundless.

Artistic Director and Founder Thurman E. Scott explained that ATW selected Congressman Rangel to be the first recipient of the Builders of the New World Award “…because he embodies the essence of what this award and the Builders of the New World program represent. Mr. Rangel’s legacy is that he is the ‘people’s Congressman’: he fights for humanistic, progressive ideals and change for his constituency. Mr. Rangel’s path and the program’s mission are one and the same: to join together to bring hope and inspiration to the least among us, and to work toward the common aim of upholding the dreams and aspirations of the beloved community first articulated by our great leader Dr. Martin Luther King. Because of his vision, compassion and long history of success in serving the community, we present to him this award that symbolizes the core essence and vision of the Builders of the New World.”