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Out of the 250,000 deaths caused by natural disasters in 2010, the overwhelming bulk of them occurred when the massive 7-point earthquake struck Haiti on January 12 and took some 230,000 lives, prompting concerted relief efforts that are going on to this day. A major part of those efforts has been maintaining awareness about Haiti’s continuing recovery needs and U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has teamed up with the Grammy Award-winning group Linkin Park to do exactly that via an online town hall meeting called “Haiti Today, Haiti Tomorrow” on February 22 at 6 p.m. (EST).
Dialogues employing the theme of “Haiti Today, Haiti Tomorrow” have been underway at least since the first week of the mega-quake but this is the first to feature a live stream that will allow online attendants to sit in with Ki-Moon and Linkin Park. The live stream will be provided courtesy of VSee and Facebook executive Randi Zuckerberg will moderate the event on Facebook.
Guests will include Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation; and Will Davis, Director, United Nations Information Center.
Like the Middle East Protests But Different
Possibly borrowing a page from the work-in-progress playbook on how to use online social media to impact offline social conditions, Ki-Moon and Linkin Park hope their online grassroots campaign help keep alive the “Hope for Haiti” that inspired the world so powerfully just over a year ago. Specifically, they will discuss the best ways for people to lend assistance in the ongoing reconstruction and transformation of Haiti.
Just as many other celebrities have established ways to assist victims of natural disasters, Linkin Park founded Music for Relief in 2005 following the Indian Ocean Earthquake of 2004. Music for Relief recently launched Download to Donate v2.0, which in exchange for a $10 donation offers a one-year subscription to a substantial music catalog featuring work by such artists as Slash and Alanis Morissette. Despite the millions of dollars already generated by organizations like the Red Cross and the U.N. Foundation, money remains a critical need so Music for Relief is hoping this second Download to Donate effort will prove as successful as the first.
Although he did not mention Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, or Libya specifically, Moon may have been alluding to the current protests sweeping through the Middle East when he suggested the following last week at press conference in Peru:
“It is now time, the right time for the Haitian people and government to overcome these tragedies and through this very fair and credible election in March, I hope they will be able to build their country and enjoy genuine democracy and freedoms.”
NEXT: Report on 2011 International Year part 5 Haiti’s Poetics of Pain and Resilience
by Aberjhani, National African American Art Examiner
founder of Creative Thinkers International
and co-author of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance
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