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Sally Kohn celebrated the release of her new book, The Opposite of Hate, with a star-studded karaoke party on Friday night at the Guggenheim Museum, sponsored by Tinder, HINT, Ruth Ann Harnisch, Paul Bernon, Divine Chocolates and Lifetime. Kohn invited an eclectic mix of celebrities and political figures, including Alysia Reiner, Stacey London, Sophia Bush, Laura Benanti, Vanita Gupta, Katie Couric and more.
The event had minimal decor, with the exception of a Tinder flower wall, letting the Guggenheim’s architecture shine. Hors d’oeuvres including grilled octopus skewers, olive tapenade, ahi tuna over a rice cracker and Tinder cookies were passed around throughout the night. In addition to the open bar, HINT offered a few coolers filled with their fruit-infused water in a variety of flavors.
This was far from your average karaoke party. Kohn kicked off the night with a speech, announcing that the event doubled as a fundraiser, with proceeds from the presale going to the Leadership Conference, a coalition including more than 200 national organizations that focus on promoting human rights.
Kohn invited Gupta onstage to discuss the importance of the Leadership Conference.
“Sally and I go way back. I knew her when she was a wee thing in law school, and she was a righteous warrior even back then. I am honored that she has chosen the Leadership Conference tonight, and as a recipient of her generosity, everyone needs to read [The Opposite of Hate],” said Gupta. “Darkness cannot drown out darkness. Hate cannot drown out hate. Only love can do that. That is what Sally’s book is about, and that is what the Leadership Conference is fighting for.”
After Gupta finished her speech, Kohn returned to the stage, saying, “Everybody says I’m supposed to say something about the book. Guys, I wrote a book. It’s called The Opposite of Hate. And I have to tell you, I’m a little proud of it. It’s a good book, and I feel like it can make a real difference in the world.”
For the book, Kohn set out to uncover what it takes to overcome hate, traveling around the world interviewing, among others, a former white supremacist and a former Middle Eastern terrorist to find out what made them change their views.
She reminded guests that they were free to explore the Guggenheim — but not above the second floor, “because we did not pay for that.” She said that to celebrate her book, she wanted to have a karaoke party and jokingly demanded that the attendees participate, saying, “You do not want to see me throw a hissy fit!” Kohn said she initially had the idea of hosting a karaoke party and having Cher sing karaoke with her, but it unfortunately, didn’t pan out. So she sang her own karaoke rendition of Cher’s classic “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
There was plenty of dancing and singing, with Kohn and her friends elatedly singing along to each performance.Throughout the night, many took the stage, including SiriusXM Progress and Marvel’s Voices host Angelique Roche, whose rendition of “Killing Me Softly” had every guest, including Katie Couric and Sophia Bush, singing along and taking videos. Amy Ziff’s band BETTY also took the stage, in colorful matching jumpsuits, and singer Courtney Graf performed “Beautiful.” The Resistance Revival Chorus also performed throughout the night, standing out in white attire.
Upon exiting the party, guests were given gift bags filled with HINT sunscreen spray and water bottle, a Madeline Trait print, and daisy seeds with the tagline “Sow some humanity!” — a nod to the daisy on the book’s cover.
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