Saturday, February 6, 2010

We Are the World- Singing Social Change

25 years ago Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote a song of unity that served as an extended hand of brotherhood from the richest nation on Earth to the poorest nations of Africa. The song “We Are the World” brought together musicians from every genre and background. From Kenny Rogers, to Smokey Robinson, from Hall and Oates to Tina Turner, to Stevie Wonder; anybody who was somebody showed up to lend a helping hand to a cause they knew was bigger than themselves. Answering that call is the essence of social entrepreneurship and these singers showed 25 years ago that even they could be social entrepreneurs by using their talents to better the lives of someone else. Because of their unselfishness and willingness to put their own personal gain aside they were able to raise over $30 million that went to support the advancement of the people in Africa. In light of the catastrophe that has struck the small island nation of Haiti, that same spirit of unity that was evoked 25 years ago by that day’s top artists is being called upon again today. From Janet Jackson, to The Jonas Brothers, to Celine Dion, to Kanye West; today’s pop, rock, rap, and R&B stars responding to the call to action and are re-recording the classic song to provide a help to those devastated by the earthquake in Haiti. Social entrepreneurship isn’t always about thinking of new solar panels that will create a more efficient source of energy, or building the next big hybrid car that diminishes our dependency on oil; sometimes it’s simply singing a song of hope, of help, of love that will impact millions of lives in ways many of us can’t begin to imagine.

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