August 15, 2016 — Grammy Award-winning artists Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Patty Griffin are among those embarking on a new concert tour raising awareness of the unprecedented worldwide refugee crisis, with performances benefiting Jesuit Refugee Service's Global Education Initiative.
“Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees” launches
in October, featuring intimate evenings of acoustic music in several cities in
the U.S. and Canada, including St. Louis, Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. Buddy
Miller, The Milk Carton Kids and several other guest performers will also be part of the tour. To see the list of shows and buys tickets, click here.
Jesuit Refugee Service aims to double the number of refugees it educates to 250,000 by 2020, and the 11-city concert tour will raise both money and awareness for this goal.
Lampedusa — named for the island off the coast of Italy where many refugees flee — will aid JRS in educating displaced children and young adults in primary through tertiary school and vocational training in over 45 countries.
In June, Harris and members of the JRS/USA team traveled to Ethiopia to get a closer look at refugees’ issues and needs. Today, there is a record high of 60 million refugees around the world, who are displaced for an average of 17 years.
Emmylou Harris listens as JRS Mai Aini project director Fanule Abebe explains the the music program for young refugees at the camp in northern Ethiopia. (JRS/USA, Christian Fuchs)
“What I’m going to try to do, what I can offer, is my ability to perform and have people come see me, along with some other artists,” Harris said in a recent interview. “Patty Griffin is going to be one of the lynchpins, in addition to myself and Buddy Miller. And we will have other revolving groups of artists joining us on stage. It’s in the round — there will be no bands, no big production. It’s just people singing songs, telling stories.”
Lampedusa follows the message of World Refugee Day 2016: to “open minds and unlock potential.” JRS believes it is not enough to give refugees a safe place to stay: They must also be provided with opportunities to grow and contribute to society. Access to quality education allows refugees to better fulfill their own potential and fully contribute to the growth and strength of their communities.
“We have to have the resources to give them a chance to realize their potential,” Harris said. [Source: Jesuit Refugee Service]
For more information, please contact Gail Griffith, Director, Global Education Initiative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.