Benefit Concert

The Problem

Joseph Kony is a man with radical Christian beliefs who believes in mysticism, and that he is compelled by a higher power to wage war over Northern Uganda, and currently, the Republic of Congo. Joseph Kony and his followers are known as the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA. They abduct children at night when they are sleeping and force them to abduct others, threatening to kill them if they do not comply. They massacre many, killing people who stand in their way. They burn down villages and schools and have the Acholli people of Uganda living in constant fear. Northern Uganda must deal with the LRA, but at the same time, little resources, causing AIDS to be rampant as the medicine becomes an expensive luxury. There is a warrant out for Kony's arrest from the International Criminal Court, but he hides himself in the deep jungles of the Congo, recently massacring almost 300 people. Peace talks have tried to be negotiated, but Kony will not finalize a peace agreement, in fear that when he reveals his location to sign a document, he will immediately be arrested. Children continue to be abducted and nothing is being done about it. It is as if they are invisible.

Plan of Action

First we decided on a location. Next we picked a date, arranging that it was the first day of Winter Break, because one of the bands we had in mind had members in college, so they needed to be back in Memphis to play. My friend had a large backyard so her and I felt that would be the best location. Next we decided the entertainment - we wanted local Memphis bands, but ones that people liked and would draw a diverse crowd. We contacted many different bands through phones calls and email until we had a lineup of 4. They all had very different sounds. We started thinking about ticket designs. We ended up using playing cards, displaying cut outs of a hand and a heart. We wrote the word for peace in Swahili and put all the information about the concert on each card. We started getting the word out. We told people at our school, we told people at other schools, we made fliers, we posted information about it on Facebook. We got different school's student councils involved. Announcements were made, people were started to get excited. Tickets were sold at schools and people personally contacted me to come by and pick some up. They were ten dollars per ticket. We contacted Memphis Stage and lighting and got them to donate a stage for a discounted price. We talked to Christian Brothers High school, a local all boys school that had a few band members. They offered to pay for the stage and have people from their technical theatre staff come and help set it up. The day of the show finally came. I started setting up at noon. I was going to DJ in between sets as a transition period for new bands to start setting up. I carried all my equipment up to the balcony to get situated. I went out and bought lots and lots of cans of assorted sodas to sell at the concert, to earn even more money to send to Uganda. We set up a table in front of the gate and had a couple friends sit there with a money box, taking people's tickets or money.

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