Something is happening. Something has shifted. You can feel it. The fight for racial and social justice started in the streets, but now it’s everywhere—we’re in a cultural moment that’s been a long time coming.
And now the push for fairness and equality has the spotlight all to itself, at its own music and arts festival.
The Music Festival That Will Be a Cultural Movement
The Many Rivers to Cross Festival, October 1st – 2nd, just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, is gearing up to be the largest ever music and arts festival dedicated to racial and social justice. Harry Belafonte, founder of Sankofa, which put it all together, said that Many Rivers will be a place for concertgoers and artists “to connect and collaborate with activists, thought leaders, and community organizers from across the country and use their platforms to amplify ideas and solutions to advance human rights for all."
Many Rivers will be like no festival you’ve ever seen, and we can’t wait. Here’s a little preview of what makes this not just any other music festival.
Item number 1
Speakers Who Have Something Meaningful to Say
A remarkable roster of speakers—including Jesse Williams, Dr. Cornel West, Danny Glover, Michelle Alexander, Chris Rock, and Rev. William Barber—will address issues facing communities of color and the country as a whole.
Item number 2
Ice Cream on the House
That’s right, we’ll be there spreading joy and scooping out ice cream all weekend long!
Item number 3
Voter Registration, As Convenient As Can Be
Because democracy requires more than good conversation, amazing music, and delicious ice cream to survive, we’ll also be registering people to vote with our partner, Headcount. Already registered? We hear you. You can also sign up to get texts about important info that will help you get to the polls.
Item number 4
Art That Speaks Loudly
Love murals like we do? Great. There will be a massive mural in the Social Justice Village depicting the struggle for human rights. And renowned artist and social-justice activist Marvin Bing will be showing his work at Many Rivers as well.
Item number 5
A Chance To Change The Course of History
Did you hear? The Voting Rights Act—a massive victory that came out of the 1960’s civil rights movement—was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013 and badly needs to be restored to prevent more discriminatory laws. You can help. We'll be joined by Color of Change in an effort to have people sign a petition to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act. Seriously, add your name. It matters a lot.
Item number 6
Oh Yeah—The Music
It's a pretty badass lineup. We’re talking Public Enemy, TI, Common, John Legend, Dave Matthews, Carlos Santana, and so many more.
Item number 7
But This Is About So Much More Than Music and Fun
Some music events change history. Remember Woodstock? (We kind of do). We think this may be one that alters how we think about gatherings, music fests, and the good that many people coming together can accomplish.
Many Rivers promises to be a defining moment for the racial and social justice movement—arts, activism, and the power of pop culture harnessed to raise awareness, find solutions, and create permanent change. We hope we’ll see you there!