MUSIC NEWS - Musician and human rights activist Peter Gabriel will host the 6th Annual Focus for Change benefit dinner and concert for WITNESS, the international human rights organization. The special event will be on Thursday, December 2, 2010 in NYC, NY at the legendary Roseland Ballroom.
The event will includes performances by Grammy Award-winner Sheryl Crow and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff (no word on Gabriel). Also on tap, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, will be a keynote speaker who will highlight the power of online spaces to inform people about on-the-ground abuses and mobilize them to take action.
The event will showcase WITNESS' innovative use of video and storytelling to end human rights violations. Co-founded in 1992 by Gabriel, WITNESS has trained and supported thousands of human rights defenders in 80+ countries to use video in their campaigns for change. Video has been used by WITNESS partners to corroborate allegations of human rights violations; as evidence in courts; to promote grassroots education and mobilization; as a resource for news broadcasts; and as a deterrent to further abuse.
"Video testimony ensures that the suffering of thousands of people all over the world cannot be denied or forgotten. Those voices can be amplified and heard in the places of power and courts of justice," said Gabriel of the organization's impact.
This year WITNESS is honoring HBO for using the power of documentary film to educate, illuminate and inspire. It is also honoring WITNESS partner LICADHO for its work to end forced evictions in Cambodia. Dr. Pung Chhiv Kek, President of LICADHO, and the Venerable Luon Sovath, a human rights defender also known as the "multi-media monk" will represent the organization at the event.