Islam was conferred the American Bazaar Philanthropy Award.Frank Islam with the American Bazaar Philanthropy Award, which was presented to him by Assistant Secretary of Commerce Arun Kumar, in Washington, DC, on October 10, 2015.Frank Islam with the American Bazaar Philanthropy Award, which was presented to him by Assistant Secretary of Commerce Arun Kumar (left), in Washington, DC, on October 10, 2015.By Raif KareratPhilanthropist and entrepreneur Frank Islam was honored with the American Bazaar Philanthropy Award at the organization’s second annual Philanthropy Dialogue on October 10, in Washington, DC.After being introduced by US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Arun M. Kumar, Islam stated that while he has received many awards throughout his lifetime, the American Bazaar Award is particularly special because it pertains specifically to philanthropy.Islam said that he maintains a firm commitment “to serve the underprivileged, to serve those who are forgotten, and to serve those who are not fortunate.”
“I take this award on behalf of all philanthropists who have embarked on this journey with me, together,” he stated. “So let us together change the face of the world, change the face of America, and change the face of India, one family and one village at a time.”
He then expressed his genuine hope that people would extend their helping hands to “do it right” and “do good.”
During a panel moderated by Dr. Sanjay Rai of Montgomery College, Islam commented on how education is the greatest weapon in the fight against the vicious cycle of poverty.
“Education is the gift that keeps on giving,” he said. “Education empowers the mind and uplifts the soul. It is the best investment that we can make to create the next generation of entrepreneurs, leaders, and innovators,” he continued.
He went on to attest that education “builds bridges to the future” and “empowers the people, freeing the human mind from the shackles of ignorance.”
Islam claimed that while the focus on education is important in the United States, it is even more so in India, “Especially for those people who are socially and economically disadvantaged. By enabling them, by empowering them, by giving them economic mobility — they can do wonders.”
Islam currently serves on number of boards and advisory councils, including the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Brookings Institution, Johns Hopkins University, American University, and George Mason University.
He has also written two well regarded books on the American condition, “Working the Pivot Points: To Make America Work Again” (2013), and “Renewing the American Dream: A Citizen’s Guide for Restoring Our Competitive Advantage.” (2010)