On Thursday, A&E Networks and iHeartMedia announced they are teaming up to present “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America” next month.
While the title is still in the works, the network hopes to raise awareness to confront issues of race, and promote unity and progress on racial equity. The network announced it was inspired by the response of the Mother Emanuel family members in Charleston and others working for reconciliation and change around the country. The two-hour special event will air across the entire A&E Networks portfolio, including A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime, H2, LMN and FYI, as well as on iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio digital platform.
Those slated to perform is Haute 100 lister Pharrell Williams as well as Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Jamie Foxx, Rhiannon Giddens, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Miguel, Pink, Jill Scott, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Bruce Springsteen and Sting.
“As a global media company, A+E Networks has the privilege of being invited into the homes of millions of Americans every day and believe that it is our responsibility to use this incredible platform to inform as well as entertain. By shining a light on the uncomfortable truth that racial inequity and bias still impact our society, we are looking to inspire people to go beyond short-lived, symbolic gestures,” said Nancy Dubuc, President & CEO of A+E Networks.
In addition to the concert, A&E Networks will air “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America,” also a working title. The one-hour special, which will air at 10 p.m., will feature a number of artists discussing racial inequality and violence, including Charleston, Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson. Of those scheduled to appear in the special are Williams and John Legend, who will spark solutions-focused conversations with community members such as family members of victims, community leaders, law enforcement officials, clergy and organizations, all hoping to empower and foster understanding, eliminate bias and addressing inequities.
“The current racial situation in America is at a critical point,” said Ken Ehrlich, Executive Producer. “Today’s musical artists, much like those of the civil rights movement’s history, have strong feelings about what’s going on today, and we’re hopeful that ‘Shining a Light’ does, in fact, give a voice to their concerns, their hopes, and their thinking about solutions to the alarming events that we see around us every day.”
The concert is scheduled to air Friday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. Music buffs can purchase tickets starting Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. via AEG Live at AXS.com and shrineauditorium.com. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Fund for Progress on Race in America, which is powered by The United Way Worldwide.