Jun 21, 2017 01:30 pm
Multi-Grammy Award-winning, Golden Globe nominee Chris Cornell’s official music video for his song “The Promise” was released this morning by Survival Pictures.
“The Promise” was Cornell’s last release prior to his passing.
“Chris Cornell was not only a dear family friend for many years, but he was also a once-in-a-generation talent who is missed more than words can convey. It was such an honor to collaborate and partner on ‘The Promise’ over the years,” said Eric Esrailian, Producer of “The Promise” and Co-Manager for Survival Pictures. “His music and lyrics will not only shine a light on the Armenian Genocide and the human rights crisis of modern times, but they will also inspire people and provide hope for years to come.”
Esrailian added, “Although it is bittersweet because Chris filmed his performance in Brooklyn, NY shortly before his passing, he wanted his video to be released on World Refugee Day, and he was passionate about helping people through this project. True to Chris’s charitable spirit, he made a commitment to donate all of his proceeds from ‘The Promise’ to support refugees and children, and to further the conversation about the refugee crisis the world continues to endure.”
The video was directed by Grammy Award-winning director Meiert Avis (Audioslave, U2) and Stefan Smith (Madonna, Sting). “The Promise” is Cornell’s last music video performance. It also includes media donated by Academy Award-nominated director Evgeny Afineesvky (HBO’s Cries from Syria), UNESCO Prize for Peace Recipient SOS Méditerranée, Freshwater Films (Ross Kemp’s Libya’s Migrant Hell), Keo Films (Exodus: Our Journey To Europe), Nazik Armenakyan (Survivors), Human Rights Watch, Refugee Rescue, and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
At the time of the song’s release Cornell said, “‘The Promise’ to me is mainly about paying homage to those we lost in the Armenian Genocide, but it’s also about shining a light on more recent atrocities. The same methods used in the Armenian Genocide were used to carry out crimes against humanity in Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda and right now in Syria on multiple fronts, contributing to a massive global refugee crisis. Unfortunately, the words ‘never again’ seem like just words when we recall these mass executions of the twentieth century, as well as renewed racism and prejudice around the world. Even in the US, the warning signs – isolating groups based on race and religion – are evident. We really need to tell these stories and keep telling them in as many different ways as we can. As humans, we have a tremendous capacity to trudge ahead in our lives and not look at the difficult and challenging moments… but I think it’s important. Educating ourselves on the past is the best way to understand the present and avoid future atrocities by understanding and intervening. We must educate and stand as one to combat this fear and violence, and as citizens of the world, work to protect each other’s human rights.”
In April 2017, Cornell and his family toured refugee camps in Greece and it was there that they decided The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation would focus its efforts on child refugees and the issues affecting them including education, health and human trafficking.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Paul Simon has reached the midpoint in his month-long tour to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the planet’s biodiversity.
Last month, Simon plugged the tour on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Simon is inspiring audiences across the U.S. with new and beloved songs, and donating tour proceeds to the Half-Earth Project, an initiative of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.
Simon first met E.O. Wilson at TED over a decade ago. In 2016, Simon reviewed Wilson’s book, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight For Life, for The New York Times, saying, “Half-Earth is compulsory reading if we care about the lives of our children, our children’s children and all of the species alive today.”
Simon has talked about Half-Earth at each of his shows, often donning a Half-Earth cap. According to the CincyMusic website: “Throughout the show, a baseball cap with a small ‘e’ rested on his mic stand. Simon returned for Encore No. 2 with it atop his head for the first time. He explained, ‘This cap that I’m wearing…it represents an organization called Half-Earth that was started by a scientist, E.O. Wilson… his book, Half-Earth – which I recommend to anyone who is interested in ecology and the planet and saving what we’ve got – had a great effect on me.’”
Wilson said of the tour: “I am delighted that Paul Simon is helping raise awareness of Half-Earth. Paul believes strongly in our work to save the planet’s biodiversity.”
“Species are the basic units of biodiversity, yet we are driving them to extinction up to 1,000 times faster than before the coming of humanity,” said Wilson. “If we do not move quickly to reverse our negative effects on the rest of life, its diversity will be diminished drastically to our loss and even endangerment.”
Remaining concert cities include: Billings, Missoula, Spokane, Bend, Lake Tahoe, Denver and Milwaukee.
The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation fosters stewardship of our world through biodiversity research and education initiatives that promote and inform worldwide preservation of our biological heritage. The Half-Earth Project has science at its core and our moral obligation to the rest of life at its heart. To learn more about Half-Earth, visit www.half-earthproject.org.
President Clinton is currently matching donations to the Clinton Foundation, and longtime supporter Barbra Streisand has reached out to fans via a Clinton Foundation newsletter to urge fans to give generously.
“Over the years, I’ve used my voice to speak out, to make my opinions heard, and to become an advocate for others,” she wrote. “So I know the power that a voice can have. And I know – very personally – that finding your voice can transform your life.
“That’s why I’m so proud to be a longtime supporter of the Clinton Foundation. Every day, the Foundation is working toward a world where more girls and women are empowered to be healthy and succeed in all aspects of life – a world where women’s voices are heard and heeded.
“When you help a woman find her voice, you change her life – and you can change the world.”
“It has now been almost two years since the world was confronted with the harrowing image of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach,” wrote Annan. “At that moment, there was an overwhelming sense of “Enough is enough” — a cry of anguish over the misery endured and lives snuffed out as refugees seek safety. In the time since then, thousands more have lost their lives while trying to traverse the Mediterranean, with 2016 becoming the deadliest year on record. Globally, refugees now number more than 22 million.
“Yet the sad truth is that for many, especially in the prosperous Global North, refugees have slipped from the minds of citizens. When they do appear, it’s often because of irresponsible political rhetoric designed to stoke fears rather than foster genuine debate. Citizens of countries witnessing an influx of refugees sometimes feel overwhelmed, concerned that borders are no longer secure and that their jobs and way of life are under threat. Quasi-populist politicians have all too often exploited these fears — when what is needed is responsible leadership shaped by facts, principles and values.
“No one underestimates the challenges of devising a fair and robust shared refugee policy or of balancing humanitarian imperatives with fraught domestic political agendas. Nevertheless, there is a clear need for moral leadership from the E.U., an institution created amidst the rubble of post-war Europe with solidarity at its core.
“The current negotiations on an E.U. Resettlement Framework present an opportunity for precisely this leadership. It is imperative that this framework increases the quantity and quality of resettlement places available, without making this conditional upon third country cooperation with the E.U. on migration controls. The March 2016 EU-Turkey deal, for example, offered resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey, but only in exchange for the forcible return of those arriving on Greek shores. The lives of the world’s most vulnerable refugees cannot be allowed to become a political bargaining chip.
“In his poem “No Man Is An Island,” the English poet John Donne wrote that “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.” His words ring true today, some four centuries later. They should guide our global efforts to treat refugees with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
According to the latest figures, more than 65.6 million people last year were forced to flee their homes because of crisis and disaster. This World Refugee Day, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and YouTube’s Creators for Change program have joined seven YouTube stars to help raise awareness of refugee stories through a series of new YouTube videos.
These #MoreThanARefugee videos are designed to help put names, faces and real stories to the people behind the staggering statistics and to help people around the world understand who refugees are and why they are displaced from their home countries.
Over the past weeks, seven YouTube Creators including Mama Bee from Eh Bee Family, Tyler Oakley, Jouelzy, Fly with Haifa, Francis Maxwell of The Young Turks, Suli Breaks, and Greg and Mitch from ASAPScience traveled to Jordan, Serbia, Uganda, Greece, and a couple of cities in the U.S. to meet refugees and film video collaborations to help share their personal stories. Combined, these YouTube stars have over 21 million subscribers who regularly tune in to watch their content, and their new videos are now available on YouTube here.
Each video will have a donation card enabled on it, which will allow people watching to contribute funds to help support the IRC’s ongoing on-ground support work. As part of this collaboration, YouTube and Google.org have pledged up to match up to $500,000 of these donations.
“When we see refugees as people first, we are able to replace fear with recognition and hope,” said David Miliband, IRC president and CEO. “Our YouTube partnership allows us to introduce refugees in a distinctly deeper and personal way while reaching millions of people who otherwise may have remained unengaged.”
“We’re proud to partner with the International Rescue Committee to support their work and help raise awareness of refugee experiences around the world. We’re also humbled to be a platform where refugees and creators alike can share their personal stories through video, and in doing so, help create empathy for the brave people who are experiencing life as a refugee,” said Danielle Tiedt, Chief Marketing Officer, YouTube.
YouTube Creators for Change is a global YouTube program dedicated to amplifying the voices of YouTube creators who are tackling difficult social issues with their channels. From combating hate speech, to countering xenophobia and extremism, to simply making the case for greater tolerance and empathy toward others, these creators are helping generate positive social change with their global fan bases.