Project Ahimsa is a global effort to empower youth through music. The organization was founded in 2001 in response to the violent attacks on Sikhs and South Asians after 9/11. The organization operates under the auspices of the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding, a registered 501c3 non-profit based in Tampa, FL. Project Ahimsa’s mission is to empower youth though developing and supporting community based music education.
The vision of Project Ahimsa is to generate unity from the means to the ends. Funding to develop the “means” comes from music concerts featuring artists from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Artists such as the Black Eyed Peas, The Doors, Nitin Sawhney, MC Rai, JBoogie’s Dubtronic Science, DJ Cheb i Sabbah, Karsh Kale, Bobby Friction, and MIDIval Punditz have all performed at Project Ahimsa benefit events. Attended by a diverse audience of non-Indians and Indians alike, Project Ahimsa events are built on a healthy collaboration between international artists, non-governmental organizations, public institutions, corporations, and promoters creating a diverse experience interesting to all ages and backgrounds. [link]
Here is one of several videos from Ahimsa’s website that explains what “empowering youth through music” means exactly:
p align=left>Ahimsa is selling a great benefit album to raise funds for their cause:
Global Lingo is an innovative benefit album launch that is uniting real “Slumdog Musicaires” from around the world to join forces with other artist-activists to create and album that speaks the universal language of music. Unlike other albums that benefit children, Global Lingo is an album MADE by the children who have benefited from its programs over the past seven years.
Renowned musicians like Michael Franti and Spearhead (with Sly and Robbie), J-Boogie, Miguel Migs, Junior Reid and the kids themselves from Project Ahimsa youth programs Manav Sadhna are all featured on this first-of-its-kind collaboration and musical celebration of diversity, delivering funky rhythms of reggae, bhangra, hip hop and electronic in a mix-tastic compilation. [Link]
p align=left>”Global Lingo” can be downloaded at I-tunes here. I listened to the tracks on my run earlier this evening. It is feel-good hip hop, especially when you know that the money is going to such a good cause. Even if you aren’t interested in the music but want to support the cause you can donate here. If you have any experience working with or volunteering for Project Ahimsa we’d love to hear from you in the comments.