Anti-Oppression and Healthcare Inequality hosted by Dwayne Johnson
The Contribution was Unparalleled
If you weren’t online or skipped social media this weekend, you missed an opportunity to watch a concert that spoke to our hearts.
While the event like others was to raise funds, this was no stay at home concert. In fact a lot of the performers presented from areas now accessible with limited openings throughout the world.
Some of the production value of these performances seemed to rival “regular times”, reminding us that there is hope coming. Jennifer Hudson along the river bank in Chicago, Miley Cyrus in Pasadena in an empty stadium and the Love Choir performed from the hills in Santa Clarita.
While this was a feel-good concert, we should also remember the reason as to why the concert was brought together. Johnson says, “Access to Healthcare is a fundamental human right.”
So while there are millions affected around the world with Covid-19, the access to resources has still been trickle-down and those most in need may not have the capabilities to build testing systems like other countries.
A campaign, concert & summit calling on citizens to tackle global injustices
by using our collective voice to drive change for everyone, everywhere.
That was the mission for the Global Goal: Unite for our Future. Something near and dear to my heart.
195 countries. That is how far any viable vaccine needs to go in order to help the world. While some of us have had the privilege of working from home, staying at home and being able socially distance there are so many in the world that do not have that luxury.
Vaccines only realize their true power when they are deployed to protect the poorest and most vulnerable.Dr. Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General
With the help of supporters of the program, countless government organizations and individuals, the fund along with the European Commission was able to coordinate $1.5 Billion in Cash Grants, and $5.4 Billion in loans and guarantees to combat the disproportionate impact of Covid-19. For more information check out Newswire.
We can’t do this as isolated countries or as isolated systems.Dr. Solelwa Zifumba, TB Survivor and Activist
She’s right. The absolute mass effort needed to mobilize the kind of health care needed in order to combat the unprecedented nature of this pandemic.
Since January, The WHO has been working with researchers, governments and private industries in order to coordinate efforts throughout the world. Whether you agree with their methods or not, they are tasked with helping the distribution between all parties involved. For more information, check out The WHO website.
My Favorite Top Performances
While the majority of performances were musical, there can be no denying the event was full of speeches and moments of solidarity and thankfulness for medical staff, combating the illness at the front lines.
One of my favorite bits was from Ken Jeong, actor and former medical doctor, who was there to debunk from Covid-19 myths.
No, alcohol consumption does not protect you from the virus. Neither does eating hot peppers.
The best part however, was straight to camera when he said, ” Don’t deny the science.” (I’m assuming you know who you are.)
- The performance by the original cast of Hamilton was incredible, my all-time favorite musical.(I burned through that CD). The Roots, playing instruments around the house and Jimmy Fallon, somewhere in the background- I guess.
Top Powerful Performances
2. The program started with Jennifer Hudson singing, “Where Peaceful Waters Flow”, with the backdrop of Chicago while she languidly drifted downstream on a boat. Beautiful.
3. Love Choir sang an acapella rendition of Beyonce’s “Freedom”. Set against the Santa Clarita hills. Gorgeous.
4. Usher, with all his graciousness, had backup dancers and a storytelling license that spoke to the heart. Deep into one’s heart, when his eyes teared up, I was done.
5. King and Country, Tori Kelly and Kirk Franklin sang “Together” inter spliced with images of protestors and Black Lives Matter signs. The imagery alone was powerful.
Most Memorable Speeches
Kerry Washington was brilliant. Reminding us that it is not for ourselves that we must work together but for our children. She asked the poignant question of when your children ask, what did you do? What will your answer be?
Billy Porter was powerful by remembering those that fought for equality before some of us knew what that was. Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, MLK, Marsha Johnson (LGBTQ activist). Because of them, we are able to live a more equitable future, but it doesn’t mean the work is done. There is still much to do.
Salma Hayek, speaking on her experience in delivering vaccination aid to Sierra Leone and the success of vaccination campaigns. What goes into building a worldwide effort to create a decrease of communicable disease. She is right in saying that we have overcome disease before, but that the effort in order to get it done was massive. And it will continue to be again.
Performances Worth Mentioning
6. Shakira performed, “Sale El Sol”, a great hit that reminds me of my youth (before Shakira went blonde). But it was touching to hear a song of hope, through all the chaos.
7. Christine and The Queens, I’ve never heard of this performer but I loved the artistic nature of her performance amidst the backdrop of the empty Grand Palais. Her moves reminded me of Jagger and we all know no one moves like Jagger. 🙂
8. Yeme Alade performed “Shekere”, an uplifting song that had me want to get up out of my seat. If only I knew what the lyrics were saying, but even then it was fun and light. Lovely dance song.
9. Miley Cyrus singing “Help” in that empty stadium was poignant of the times we are living through. Where our ‘new’ normal may not be that normal as such. Who knows when packed stadiums will be a thing any more and if we really think about it- when was the last time a stadium full of people made you feel comfortable? Me?- Never.
10. J’Nai Bridges w/ Gustavo Dudamel, LA Phil & YOLA “Heaven & Whole World In Your Hands” was something I have never seen before. J’Nai singing opera with the philharmonic, some wearing masks, and the rendition replacing He for She. It was pretty epic. I’m not usually an opera fan, but this was beyond beautiful. And that voice!
While most concerts so far have had collages of videos and pictures of front line workers and protests, this one also had mini-documentaries from people working to make their communities better. The storytelling aspect of the overall concert was exceptional.
My favorite was the Dreamcatchers Academy in Lagos, which spoke of how education is deeply impacted by Covid-19 disproportionately affecting impoverished children all over the world. Not everyone has access to online education. That being said, the inspiration of dance as a motivation for learning is clever and having them participate in the J Balvin music video was super cute. Definitely something they can use in their portfolio from now on. If you’re interested in learning more check out their webpage.
There were also plenty of spots for information, scientific information. There is no end to the stories of how vaccines have helped nearly quell pandemics before such as Polio, where it has nearly been eradicated throughout the world.
No one is safe from Covid-19 unless everybody is safeDr. Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General
And can I say I am so glad I now live in a country where its leaders can say the following:
If you found the concert moving or you think I missed some of your favorite performances, feel free to let me know below.