June 30, 2009
Posted: 04:34 PM ET
Tonight, our "Impact Your World" segment will focus on "USA for Africa." The organization was founded in 1985, and was the beneficiary of the song, "We Are the World," written by Michael Jackson. Harry Belafonte, Inspirational Founder of USA for Africa, explains the organization's mission below.
Editor's Note: "We Are the World" is currently #70 on iTunes most downloaded songs.
When dramatically faced with tragedy or injustice, people respond in unprecedented ways. They are galvanized to action or compelled to respond in someway. This is why people keep trying to improve the world.
People have demonstrated this in situations throughout history both large and small, be it neighbor helping neighbor during the Depression, or when famine and other natural disasters such as the Tsunami or Katrina happens.
I discovered some time ago that being in the struggle for freedom, to fight against injustice or to end poverty is not a part time job, nor can it be treated as a hobby. I have strongly believed in the importance of artists recognizing their potential role in effecting social change. Public figures have always used their status to help others, by using their public visibility and drawing power to spotlight serious problems where ever they may exist.
Here in America, right in our own backyard, we witness the tragedy of hunger and homelessness. In the world's wealthiest country, millions of women, children and men lack the most basic human needs.
I would like not to be political, but I see no way for the issues of famine, hunger and the lack of adequate medical care for all people of the world to be settled, other than politically. But before any action can be taken, we each must on a global scale, make a commitment that all people have a right to be free from hunger and disease.
This requires the commitment, not only of each of us but governments along with the collective resources of industry and private enterprise to make the difference that is needed. It will also require the continuing and important involvement of artists who can use their art to send messages to audiences of millions. We now have many more artists who truly understand this power and are making their presence felt by galvanizing the public to put pressure on world leaders along with them, so that there can then exist a world where all of humanity can fulfill its potential for good.
To learn more about "USA for Africa," CLICK HERE.
To learn more about "Impact Your World," CLICK HERE.
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