Invisible Children’s Fourth Estate Leadership Summit at the UCLA campus brought together thousands of students, educators, and celebrity supporters this past weekend (August 8-11) with the shared purpose of promoting justice, global equality, and basic human rights. In a weekend highlight at Saturday evening’s ceremony, new US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power delivered a poignant speech, which served as a cry to get involved and provide “results.” Others like Kristen Bell, Sophia Bush, and Don Cheadle also took to the stage to show their support.
Bush made an impassioned speech and called on young people to fight injustice and join together. Choking up in response to the vehement applause, she reminded the crowd that we are all accountable, and should think in terms of “us” rather than “us versus them.” Bell provided a comic interlude as she introduced Cheadle, who presented the 2013 Peace Award to Kunangbangate Belaha for his work in bringing safety to central African communities. Other celebrities lending support at Saturday night’s event included actress Kristin Davis, actor Ryan Hansen, Glee’s Kevin McHale, and recording artist Kimbra.
Attendance for this weekend’s summit skyrocketed, following the pervasive viral video Kony 2012, about the unjust acts of African cult leader Joseph Kony, made by Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell. The summit consisted of four days of leadership-geared programming, including workshops on topics like human trafficking and women’s empowerment, original films such as the documentary Blood Brother, live dance performances and music by Hans Zimmer, and a roster of speakers.
In addition to Saturday’s remarks by Power, who felt called to act for human rights after reading about genocide in college and encouraged people to tweet her at #whatmatters, Invisible Children’s director of idea development Jedidiah Jenkins, author Amy Eldon, and nonprofit founder Jamie Tworkowski took the stage before the 1,500 activists from 27 countries to further inspire and enlighten on standing up to global injustice. The Invisible Children’s latest grassroots campaign #zeroLRA is aimed at stopping the inhumane acts of Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army.