Press Release

Playing for change and the United Nations Population Fund announce "Peace Through Music: A Global Event For Social Justice" - A Facebook exclusive in celebration of the United Nations 75th anniversary

23 Nov 2020


Los Angeles, CA — November 23, 2020 — In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and GivingTuesday, Playing For Change and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, are thrilled to announce Peace Through Music: A Global Event for Social Justice, produced by Playing For Change and Blackbird Presents, exclusively on Facebook Live on December 1st, 2020.

The global virtual event will inspire people to act for peace, justice and equity, everywhere and for everyone. It will feature performances from some of the world’s most iconic artists, including: Aloe Blacc, Angélique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Becky G, Brandi Carlile with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman Santana, Gabi Melim, Gary Clark Jr., Jack Johnson, Jim James, Keb’ Mo’, Mavis Staples, Nathaniel Rateliff, Peter Gabriel, Rhiannon Giddens, Ringo Starr, Robbie Robertson, Robert Randolph, Run The Jewels with Josh Homme, Sheila E., Skip Marley and Cedella Marley, The War and Treaty, Yo-Yo Ma and many more. Special appearances include Billie Eilish, Ellie Goulding, Killer Mike, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, Norman Lear, Prince Ea and Sara Bareilles.

Through the universal language of music and the art of storytelling, the event will call for equality, human rights, and an end to discrimination, spotlighting people of African descent and championing the full protection and promotion of human rights for all. It will embody the unity and common purpose that beat in the heart of humanity.

Peace Through Music: A Global Event for Social Justice will premiere exclusively on Facebook Live on the Playing For Change Facebook Page on GivingTuesday (December 1, 2020 at 12 pm PST / 3 pm EST). GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

Contributions from partners and all donations made to Peace Through Music’s Facebook Fundraiser will support the Playing For Change Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund, Sankofa, Silkroad, and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation - organizations that strive to eradicate poverty, inequality, and systemic racial and gender discrimination around the world.

“We are stronger together than we are apart, and it is an honor to partner with like-minded artists and charities that echo this sentiment. The power of music is one tool we can use to unite and eradicate racism, inequality, poverty, and all other diseases that have plagued our world for much too long. The things in life that divide us, disappear when the music plays, and that’s something we hope you see and feel during this event,” says Mark Johnson, Playing For Change Co-Founder.

“Music is a wonderful medium to raise awareness about our collective quest for peace, justice, equality and dignity – the noble ideals of the United Nations. It is a powerful, unifying language that can help build bridges and advance social justice in all of its forms,” says Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund.

“We need to rediscover and reassert the language of our unity, of our common fears and common hopes, forged through the crucible of the pandemic.  And what better example is there of a common language beyond our differences, notwithstanding our divisions, than music? We are delighted to be a part of this exciting event, advocating for social justice, and in honor of UN75,” says Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary.

“We are honored to work with artists and organizations that share in the values of peace, justice, and equality for all humans. This event is a reflection of these values at a time when they are sorely needed in this world,” says Keith Wortman, Founder, and CEO of Blackbird Presents.

“On Giving Tuesday, people all over the world come together to support great causes and give something back,” says Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. “We are proud to be working with Playing For Change to inspire people everywhere to work toward a more peaceful, just and equal world for everyone.”


Full Lineup:

Afro Fiesta, Abiodun Oyewale (The Last Poets), Ahmed Al Harmi, Al Harban Brothers, Alcione, Alfred Howard, Ali Boulala, Aloe Blacc, Amina J. Mohammed (UN), Angélique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Azueï, Baaba Maal, Barou Sall, Becky G, Béla Fleck, Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead), Bill Summers, Billie Eilish, Binho, Bizung Family Band, Brandi Carlile with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Carl C-Wyya Edwards, Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman Santana, Chandrajit and Venkat, Chango Spasiuk, Char, Clarence Bekker, Cristina Pato, Congo Drums, Cory Henry, Courtney "Bam" Diedrick, Donald Harrison and Congo Square Nation, Dr. John, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Dudu Nobre, Dynamic Music Collective, EduMundo and Caveman, Ellie Goulding, Eyadou Ag Leche, Fabián Miodownik, Gabi Melim, Gary Clark Jr., George Porter Jr., Grandpa Elliott, Guardians Of The New Fire, Hiromitsu Agatsuma, Hutch Hutchinson, Ibram X. Kendi, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, Ivan Neville, Isabella Madrigal, Jack Johnson, Jaiksona Soto, Jamal Murray, Jane Elliott, Jim James, John Cruz, John Prine, Johnny Herno, Kasha Sequoia Slavner, Keb’ Mo’, Keiko Komaki, Killer Mike, Kimberly L. Jones, Kolgate, La Escuelita del Ritmo, Larkin Poe, Los Hijos de Benkos, Louis Mhlanga, Lukas Nelson, Mamadou Sarr, Marcus King, Mark Johnson, Mark Lozano, Massamba Diop, Mateo, Mavis Staples, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, Mermans Mosengo, Meshell Ndegeocello, Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead), Mohammed Alidu, Nasreen Sheikh, Natalia Kanem (UNFPA), Nathaniel Rateliff, Nikki Burt, Norm, Norman Lear, Ousseynou and Assane Kaba, "Papi" Felix Garemua, Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers), Paulo Heman, Peter Bunetta, Peter Gabriel, Playing For Change Band, Playing For Change Foundation, Prince Ea, Pyramid Lake, Paiute Tribe, Rahat Inayat Ali, Rajeev Shrestha, Reggie McBride, Rhiannon Giddens, Ringo Starr, Robbie Robertson, Robert Randolph, Roberto Luti, Robin Moxey, Roger Ridley, Rubén Rada and Family, Rudson Daniel and Enio Taquari, Run The Jewels with Josh Homme, Sanjay Shrestha, Sean "Pow" Diedrick, Sebastian Robertson, Sexteto Tabala, Sara Bareilles, Sheila E., Shemekia Copeland, Sherieta Lewis & Roselyn Williams, Skip Marley and Cedella Marley, Sol Homar, Songhoy Blues, Taikoproject, Taimane, Tal Wilkenfeld, Taslima Khan, The Cape Town Ensemble, The Silkroad Ensemble, The War and Treaty, Tito Puente Jr., Toumani Diabaté, TP OK Jazz, Tula Ben Ari, Tushar Lall, Vusi Mahlasela, Washboard Chaz, Whitney Kroenke Silverstein, Yo-Yo Ma, Zulu Choir.

For more information about Peace Through Music: A Global Event for Social Justice, please visit Watch it live on December 1st through the Playing For Change Facebook Page.

About Playing For Change 

Playing For Change (PFC) is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. PFC spreads their positive message for humanity to millions of people through inspiring multicultural music videos, a live global touring band and a 501c3 foundation supporting music education around the world.

Learn more at

About Playing For Change Foundation

Founded in 2007, the Playing For Change Foundation was established to create positive change through music and arts education. Its work engages marginalized youth in low income, yet culturally rich, communities around the world. Utilizing local music, teachers, and infrastructure, each student is able to rise up through music, dance, arts, sports, and much more, all within their own culture. It currently operates 15 music programs in 11 countries, teaches over 3,000 kids each week, and has positively impacted more than 40,000 lives of kids and families in need. The Foundation was awarded the Polar Music Prize in 2019.

Learn more at

About the United Nations Population Fund

UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. It is formally named the United Nations Population Fund. UNFPA's mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA calls for the realization of reproductive rights for all and supports access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, quality maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education.

Learn more at

About UN75

To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the United Nations launched the world’s largest global conversation on ‘the future we want’. UN75 invites people everywhere to imagine the future they want and contribute ideas on how to make it a reality, building a better and more sustainable world, for all. It is also the largest survey to date on priorities for recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, over a million people from all countries and all walks of life have had their say. Their answers provide unique insights into what the public wants at this challenging time for the world. 

Learn more at Take the UN75 global survey – have YOUR say:

About Blackbird Presents

Blackbird Presents is a leading global media company that creates and produces premium, music-driven events and content via a range of strategies including all-star concert events, tours, festivals, broadcast specials, episodic series, and documentaries. Recent concerts, broadcast specials and releases include “Willie: Life & Songs Of An American Outlaw,” “All In For The Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration,” “Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard,” “The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson,” “Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert,” “Outlaw: Celebrating The Music of Waylon Jennings,” “I'll Take You There: Celebrating 75 Years of Mavis Staples,” “The Life and Songs of Emmylou Harris,” “Lynyrd Skynyrd: One More For The Fans,” “The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: Celebrating Mac and His Music” and “All My Friends: Celebrating The Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman,” the last of which earned a GRAMMY® Award nomination for Gregg Allman and Taj Mahal's awe-inspiring performance of "Statesboro Blues. ”Blackbird Presents is also the creator and producer of The Outlaw Music Festival Tour, in partnership with Willie Nelson; The American Roots Music & Arts Festival, in partnership with Eric Church; and The Last Waltz 40 Tour in partnership with Robbie Robertson.

Learn more at

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