What’s on your playlist? How does music change us and the world around us? In the last five decades, popular music has played a prominent role in social change, protest, and the demand for equality for all. From Jimi Hendrix “Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock, Marvin Gaye’s seminal “What’s Going On,” Bruce Springstein’s “Born in the USA,” and Childish Gambino’s “This is America,” artists for years have used music to shine light on disparities in our country. While these calls, at times misunderstood, have seeped into the national consciousness, the use of this music -- from the homogonzied industry itself and pop culture -- has often not addressed the very social issues that drove its creation. Join us for a discussion about music and social justice with four extraordinary people who have dedicated their careers to the power of music to make change. Ken Fischer, President Emeritus of the University Musical Society, will introduce Ismael Ahmed, founder of the Concert of Colors; Brandon Victor Dixon, Broadway performer whose roles include Aaron Burr; Mike Ellison, Detroit musician; and Louise Toppin, Professor of Voice in the School of Music, Dance, and Theatre and vocal artist. Detroit notable and WDET music host, Ann Delisi will moderate the conversation, discussing music, playlists, and social change.
Special feature -- students, suggest your contributions to a playlist for social change! We’re compiling the Democracy & Debate Social Justice playlist on Spotify, and we want your voice to be heard! Enter your suggestions here.
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