Today is Human Rights Day. It’s the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by countries around the world, after the atrocities of World War II finally inspired the global community to work together to solve international disputes more constructively. Over the last several years, I’ve been fortunate to work with volunteers and educators in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Africa to help tens of thousands of kids learn about their basic human rights, and I find the work and those involved endlessly inspiring.
I’m an artist, and I try to use music to enlighten people. I wrote a song to tell the story of a mother who has lost touch with her teenage daughter and is worried she may have been the victim of human trafficking (Human Right #4: No Slavery). The song imagines what the conversation would be like between mother and daughter if they had the opportunity to reconnect and speak from the heart.
I love working with artists because I feel it’s their role to uplift society, to show us what’s possible and inspire us to be the best version of ourselves.
I work with some incredibly talented animators who donated their time to create a video that tells the story of this mother. I was also lucky enough to work with a friend and producer who brought together talented musicians and an entire choir to bring this song to life. I’m grateful to everyone who participated in this project and I’m happy to share this new video on Human Rights Day 2020.
I love working with artists because I feel it’s their role to uplift society, to show us what’s possible and inspire us to be the best version of ourselves. That’s also what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is designed to do: uplift, inspire and set a higher standard for how we treat one another. It’s not just an idealistic dream. I work with people every day who are creating that new reality in their governments, schools and communities.
Each one of the 30 universal human rights is vital. But my favorite is #29: Responsibility. The fact that it’s a human right to take care of other people and the world we live in is so appropriate. Human rights might seem like an abstract concept, an idea too big for one person to manage, but I find it’s everyday opportunities that allow us to further the cause of human rights in our lives. I hope this next year gives each of us many more chances to take responsibility for one another, to make our schools, workplaces and communities just a little bit better, and to make the world a more inclusive, more welcoming place for all.