There’ve been times that I thought I couldn’t last for longSam Cooke, 1967
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes, it will
Music has always been the voice of change. The freedom songs of the US and South African freedom movements, the protest songs against war and oppression—from Vietnam to Palestine, from Estonia’s singing revolution to activist rappers in Senegal—music gives voice to our collective longing for just and peaceful societies and unites us in working toward them.
Change happens, always and continuously, but which changes? What direction? Pushing social change in the direction of justice, equality, inclusion, peace asks for the steady, patient, long-term work of changemakers.
Musicians Without Borders works through music for social change: for change that includes all, that gives all members of every community access to all human rights, that moves us all toward a world with more justice and less violence, with less division and more connection.
We live in complicated times, when everything seems to be changing constantly and it is hard to imagine our ability to influence the changes of our times. But if the global pandemic has taught us anything, it should be that fundamental change is possible– that while some changes are out of our hands, we can always choose to be agents of change. We can respond quickly, creatively and compassionately. The stronger our foundation, the more effectively we can do that.
Let us step into our role as changemakers, with music as our voice, and work together for the world in which we all want to live.