Music is one of the arts that has been around for centuries and it has provided us with windows into history. Music is a "language" of love, hope and encouragement. Bearing that in mind, it's no wonder that music became a powerful unifier of people. It was and still is used to gather people and lift spirits during protests and political events.
No political crusade integrated music and activism as fully as the civil rights movement, one of the greatest social justice movements in American history. During every step of the movement, music played a crucial role in it. In the early stages of the civil rights movement, social justice groups needed ways to not only spread the message, but also evoke emotion and inspire individuals enough to continue gathering together so they relied heavily on music. Musicians sang songs for multiple purposes: to motivate people through long marches, for psychological strength against harassment and brutality, and sometimes to simply pass the time. During these times, radio and television were a way to bring high-profile events to families that couldn’t be part of them. It gave them hope and courage during the toughest times to listen to music with powerful lyrics. They relied so much on the music that the late great Dr. Martin Luther King wrote in Why We Can’t Wait that music was “the soul of the movement.”
The same thing is happening today. People are uniting around music now more than ever to fight for a cause that has been around for centuries and decades - gender equality. So many movements have been created, like #MeToo, that fight for the better future of not only women, but also for the future of underprivileged, lgbt community, minorities etc. Thousands of women that have been assaulted have raised their voice publicly and encouraged other women to do the same. Women Like Us Foundation has partnered with the ones who spread the word of social justice and gender equality through song and their angelic voices.
Tonality is a new choral group founded by Alex Blake with the intention of connecting people through song and spreading the message of peace and unity. Diverse in background, age, and professions, members of the choral from the Greater Los Angeles Area gather for several unique performances a year in a variety of venues to provide access to arts and culture to everybody. They perform works celebrating many cultures in various languages and musical styles in an effort to unify L.A. community through social outreach and serve as a beacon of peace and understanding. Women Like Us Foundation has partnered with them and attended their amazing concert last Sunday.
Another initiative that inspires us trough music is Hear Her Song - a musical celebration of extraordinary women organized under the guidance of The Canales Projects's founder Carla Canales. Through collaboration with partner organizations Vital Voices and our Women Like Us Foundation, Hear Her Song honored 20 distinguished women for their achievements and courageous life choices, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former First Lady Michelle Obama, Chief Theresa Kachindamoto, Sister Marilyn Lacey, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Each of the honorees' insights and stories formed the foundation for the creation of the new songs, featuring lyrics by TCP's Poet-in-Residence, Jacqueline Suskin and music composed by an all-female cast of today's leading composers and songwriters. The project is led by Kurt Crowley, also current music director of Broadway's Hamilton, and participating composers include Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Emily Estefan, Emily Hall, Molly Joyce, Tania León, and Georgia Stitt. Hear Her Song premiered in full at Washington, D.C.'s National Gallery of Art on March 18, 2018, and was also performed at the Hammer Theater Center in San José, California on May 19, 2018, inspiring trough song all of the women present what they can achieve no matter if they are black, gay, underprivileged or simply, a woman.