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Sister Marilyn Lacey Receives Honor in Song

March 18, 2018

On Sunday, March 18, 2018, 20 highly-distinguished women were celebrated by The Canales Project for their exceptional achievements and contributions, among them Sister Marilyn Lacey. Sister Marilyn, the founder and executive director of Mercy Beyond Borders, was honored alongside former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who attended the event.

The honor was presented in a concert of 21 original songs composed for each of the inspirational women. The event, titled “Hear Her Song,” was held at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Sister Marilyn was noted for her work with Mercy Beyond Borders providing education, assistance and hope to women and children in South Sudan and Haiti. MBB also happens to be celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

Composer Anna Dagmar wrote the song titled “Mercy” for Sister Marilyn based on her responses to interview questions about her work with MBB. "I knew after reading the interview that what was needed was a song about the women," she said. Her song lyrics focused on the stories of women in South Sudan and Haiti. " She added, in the face of devasatation, "You can get overwhelmed and do nothing or you can do a small something. [Sister Marilyn] chooses to do something specific and has a very powerful impact."

Highlights from the lyrics include:

Mercy. … We are the sisters of our nation. … Beyond the devastation, through education and imagination, we are the sparks of new creation. … Rise to the rhythm. …

Poet Jacqueline Suskin provided inspiration for each of the composers by writing verses based on her reading of the interviews. You can read her work for Sister Marilyn here.

The music from “Hear Her Song” is expected to be recorded. See the Canales Project website for more information about the other honorees, composers and songs.

Photo: Composer Anna Dagmar greets Sister Marilyn Lacey for whom she wrote the song "Mercy." 

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