NYC: Major Darfur Rally

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“Save Darfur Now: Voices to End Genocide� will be held at the East Meadow in Central Park near the intersection of 5th Avenue and 97th Street. The rally will coincide with the 61st meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, and activists call on UN to deploy a peacekeeping force

(Fiasco and friends join in Save Darfur Now campaign).

Hip Hop artist Lupe Fiasco, multi-platinum, award-winning duo Big & Rich, and popular rock group O.A.R. will appear at “Save Darfur Now: Voices to End Genocide” in New York City on September 17 (www.savedarfur.org/now).

The rally will be held in the East Meadow of New York’s Central Park and will be the centerpiece event in a global day for Darfur (www.dayfordarfur.org), as individuals across the globe will call for the immediate deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to Darfur, Sudan.

“It is an honor to help raise awareness for such an important event,” said Amanda Lugg, community advocate for the Harlem-based African Services Committee, who has recruited more than two dozen members of New York City’s African community to attend the rally. “With an event of such magnitude in our backyard and an issue so critical, we recognize the need to demonstrate our abhorrence of genocide and make our voices heard.”

Since 2003, the Sudanese government-sponsored genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan has killed over 400,000 men, women, and children, forced 2.5 million Dafurians to flee their homes, and left more than 3.5 million individuals reliant on humanitarian aid.

“We are excited to again lend our voices to the people of Darfur,” said Big Kenny of Big & Rich. “Now more than ever these innocent victims need us as the situation continues to deteriorate. Everything I read points to the need to support these people immediately by deploying a U.N. peacekeeping force. Every day we wait is another day when millions in Darfur and the nearby refugee camps face the possibility of death.”

“Save Darfur Now: Voices to End Genocide” will be held at the East Meadow in Central Park near the intersection of 5th Avenue and 97th Street. The rally will coincide with the 61st meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, and activists and entertainers will call on the United Nations to deploy a Chapter VII-mandated peacekeeping force to Darfur immediately.

The website of the rally sponsor, the Save Darfur Coalition (www.SaveDarfur.org), an alliance of 174 faith-based, humanitarian and human rights groups representing 130 million Americans, is featured prominently on Big & Rich’s home page at http://bigandrich.com/. Big & Rich features the vocals of John Rich & "Big" Kenny (l/k/a Kenny Alphin), who were each recognized as "2005 Country Songwriter of The Year" by performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI respectively.

O.A.R., or “of a revolution,” lent their support to the Save Darfur Coalition throughout their summer tour by providing their audience with the opportunity to educate themselves on this modern day genocide.  Known for their songs of respect and understanding, O.A.R. has sold over one million CDs and consistently sells out venues throughout the country.

"We are honored to be part of this rally," said Marc Roberge, lead singer of O.A.R. "It is literally the least we could do and only hope that as entertainers we can turn people's minds in the direction of Darfur. It is a place that needs to be heard, felt, and helped right now. There is nothing more important that we can do as human beings."

Big & Rich will be performing at its second Save Darfur rally, as it headlined the April 30th Rally to Stop Genocide in Washington, D.C. More than 50,000 people attended that rally including participants such as actor George Clooney, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), Congressman Frank Wolfe (R-VA), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Olympic gold medalist Joey Cheek, Archbishop Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

The Save Darfur Coalition will be announcing additional speakers and performers for “Save Darfur Now: Voices to End Genocide” in the coming weeks.

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