PHOTOS: Peace Ball @ National Museum of African American History and Culture

all photos: Franz Mahr & BlinkOfAnEye, Mike Coppola / Getty Images, Farrah Skeiky

While there was no lack of celebrity attendees (Angela Davis! Ashley Judd! Ellen Page! Alice Walker! Danny Glover! Cory Booker!) and knock out performances (Esperanza Spalding! Solange!) at last night’s Peace Ball, the real stars of the event was, without a doubt, the audience. The Busboys & Poets team, who started the Peace Ball in 2009 as a big Welcome-Obama celebration and are keping the tradition going, organized the event at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (is there a better location for a Peace Ball? We can’t think of one). And if the crowds that showed up were any indication, they were clearly onto something with this “party with a purpose”. The idea of a safe, positive space for like-minded people during a time when togetherness matters more than ever, clearly resonated with, well, everyone.

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Thousands of aware, action driven, and above all human, beings showed up for this party with a purpose in such a rainbow of colors and ages and persuasions that it was hard to not keep a smile on your face throughout the event, even as things got a little crowded and the next day loomed more and more. In fact, the president-elect’s name was barely mentioned. Instead, the message shared by many of the distinguished speakers (who got as much of an applause as the musical acts, if not more) was the now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to keep doing what needs to be done, in all the aspects of what makes this city, this country and world a place to call home: human rights, environmental issues, arts, advocacy and more (the list does go on).

With that reminder, we leave you to enjoy the pictures, in all their glory:

Photos by Farrah Skeiky

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Photos by Mike Coppola / Getty Images

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Photos by the BYT photo team.

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