19 March 2009
Press Release
Note No. 6193

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents





Specially created for the 25 March commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, a new song, “Blood Into Gold”, will have its public debut in a live performance by Emmy Award-winning musician and philanthropist Peter Buffett and R&B/pop star Akon during a star-studded cultural evening and concert in the United Nations General Assembly Hall.

The concert will bring together, for the first time at the United Nations, international artists and performers, including Akon and Buffet; mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock; Blind Boys of Alabama; soprano Angela Brown; Izaline Calister; drummers and dancers from Cameroon; Gabri Christa Troupe Dance; Gilberto Gil; Impact Theater Group; Bill T. Jones; violinist Daisy Jopling; Salif Keita and his Band; Carl Lewis; baritone Lester Lynch; Ky-Mani Marley; Emeline Michele; Lenelle Moises; pianist Djordje Nesic; tenor Noah Stewart; Phylicia Rashad; Sarah Jones; Liev Schreiber; Stacyann Chin; Stew; Toumani Diabaté; and Whoopi Goldberg.

Actress CCH Pounder will serve as the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies and legendary music producer Nile Rodgers will be the concert’s music director.  The concert will be produced by Culture Project, a not-for-profit organization.

Organized around the theme “Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum”, the concert is being staged as part of a series of events to mark the 2009 remembrance of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade at the United Nations (www.un.org/en/slavery).  The commemorative events are organized in accordance with General Assembly resolution 62/122, which requests the Organization to establish an educational outreach programme to mobilize educational institutions and civil society, among others, on the subject of remembering slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.  The programme is aimed at instilling in future generations the causes, consequences and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade, and to communicate the dangers of racism and prejudice.

A press conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. on 25 March in Room 226 of the United Nations Secretariat with Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Peter Buffett, Akon, Salif Keita, Gilberto Gil, Emeline Michel and Allan Buchman, Founder and Director of the Culture Project [for more information, contact Paulina Kubiak at kubiakp@un.org ].

Press contact for United Nations:  Gary Fowlie, tel.:  +1 212 963 6937; e-mail:  fowlie@un.org Paulina Kubiak, tel.:  +1 212 963 6936; e-mail:  kubiakp@un.org.

For United Nations media accreditation:  http://www.un.org/media/accreditation.

Press contact for Peter Buffett:  Vera Sheps, tel.:  +1 646 613 1101; e-mail:  vera@twoshepsthatpass.com.

Press contact for Akon:  akonvict@att.blackberry.net; amy@konvictworldwide.com; bigjah@att.blackberry.net.

Press contact for Culture Project:  +1 212 925 1806; melissa@cultureproject.org.

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For information media • not an official record