This afternoon, I was blessed with an opportunity to link up with my brother Emmanuel Jal, a Nuer spoken word and hip-hop artist, to enjoy a concert series that included Ed Sheeran and others to raise awareness about the global refugee crisis.
Emmanuel, alongside Holly Branson, was in DC hosting an event put together by Amnesty International and Sofar Sounds, entitled #GiveAHome. The event, as described by the organizations is “Massive global concert series will show solidarity with refugees.”
This event put together over 300 live shows in over 60 countries featuring established and brand new artists. The concerts were hosted in peoples homes all over the goal with the idea in mind that refugees deserve somewhere to call home when they are forced to leave their homes due to varying factors such as war, famine, or natural disasters. “Music and art have always been powerful partners to the cause of justice because they share an ability to stir something deep within us. They help us to look beyond borders and see what unites us” says Salil Shetty the Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“Music and art have always been powerful partners to the cause of justice because they share an ability to stir something deep within us. They help us to look beyond borders and see what unites us” says Salil Shetty the Secretary General of Amnesty International.
Amnesty International is a global organization that campaigns and raises awareness for various human rights issues. The organization’s website describes the organization as “a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally. We are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.”
In looking for a creative way to raise awareness about the global refugee crises that currently affects over 22 million people, Amnesty International partnered with Sofar Sounds to bring together artists, musicians, and creatives all over the world to put together this one of a kind concert series. SoFar Sounds is an events company that puts together “secret gigs and intimate concerts” based on the idea that the best way to enjoy music in a respectful and intimate setting.
The DC concert this afternoon started by an amazing spoken word piece by Emmanuel and he was followed by Ed Sheeran.
Emmanuel, a former child soldier from our native South Sudan, is an amazingly talented artist, actor, author, and activist. “Through unbelievable struggles, Emmanuel managed to survive and go on to emerge as a recording artist, achieving worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip hop with its message of peace and reconciliation born out of his personal experiences.”
Below is a TedTalk he did a few years back so you can hear him tell his story.