26 March 2014
Press Release
Note No. 6406

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

Note to Correspondents

United Nations Academic Impact to Host ‘Conversation’


with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, 2 April

Refugee All Stars, formed by a group of refugees from Sierra Leone, will be at United Nations Headquarters on 2 April to take part in the United Nations Academic Impact’s conversation series, “Music for Peace”.

The event, simply titled “A Conversation with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars”, will be held in Conference Room 4 from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m.  It will focus on the role of music in promoting peace and the eight-member band will answer questions from the audience and perform songs.

Throughout the 1990s, the West African country of Sierra Leone was wracked with a horrifying war that forced millions to flee their homes.  The musicians that would eventually form Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars are all originally from Freetown, and they were forced to leave the capital city at various times after violent rebel attacks.  Most of those that left the country made their way into neighbouring Guinea, some ending up in refugee camps.

The event is open to all, but seats are limited.  Those interested in attending are requested to pre-register by sending an e-mail to academicimpact@un.org (subject:  Music for peace).  It will be webcast and made available at http://webtv.un.org.  Online viewers are encouraged to submit their questions and comments to the same address.

The “conversation”, organized by United Nations Academic Impact in association with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict, World Music Institute, Modiba and Apollo Theater, is second in its “Music for Peace” conversation series.  Earlier, on 24 March, it hosted, in conjunction with the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, a special event featuring Indian sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan.  Academic Impact believes that every discipline of learning and practice can prove relevant to the ideals of the United Nations.  Music is one that it’s two key principles — that of peace and that of “unlearning intolerance”.

For more information on United Nations Academic Impact, please contact Hasan Ferdous at tel.:  +1 212 963 6555, e-mail:  ferdous@un.org; or visit http://outreach.un.org/unai.

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For information media • not an official record