What You Need to Know Before You Tune Into Saturday Night Live Tonight

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Hot off their Grammy win and right before their appearance at our Bringing Human Rights Home Concert at the Barclays Center, Imagine Dragons will be sharing the stage with Melissa McCarthy tonight on Saturday Night Live.

Imagine Dragons won’t be joining Seth Meyers on for his last Weekend Update, but if they were, they would tell you all about our concert on February 5.

On Wednesday, Imagine Dragons will be joining the Flaming Lips, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Tegan and Sara, The Fray, Cold War Kids, Colbie Caillat and Cake to take the stage for human rights.

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Why We’re Wishing Imagine Dragons ‘Good Luck’ at the Grammys

good luck imagine dragons

Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins is busy in Washington, DC helping staff prepare for Amnesty’s Bringing Human Rights Home concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn February 5.  But not too busy to send good wishes to Imagine Dragons ahead of the Grammy’s this Sunday, January 26. We asked him about his thoughts ahead of the concert.

Q: So Steven, we are impressed that you like Imagine Dragons. Why?

HAWKINS: I’m excited that Imagine Dragons (in case you haven’t heard, they’re joining our February 5th Bringing Human Rights Home Concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn), have been nominated for two Grammys – for Record of the Year and Best Rock Performance. Their performance with us next month will be dedicated to the cause of inspiring a generation of young people who care about human rights to use their power to improve lives around the world. I’d like to publicly cast my vote for Imagine Dragons! Good luck, Dan, Wayne, Ben and Daniel!

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An Activist Remembers the Concert That Moved a Generation

Peter Gabriel and Youssou N'Dour performing onstage at the Human Rights Now! concert (Photo Credit: Ken Regan/Neal Preston for Amnesty International).

Peter Gabriel and Youssou N’Dour performing onstage at the Human Rights Now! concert (Photo Credit: Ken Regan/Neal Preston for Amnesty International).

By Paul Paz y Miño, Amnesty International USA’s Colombia Country Specialist

Growing up with a Quaker education always led me towards social justice, but it was music that opened the door to Amnesty for me. I’ve been an active member of Amnesty International USA and a volunteer leader for more than half my life and it all started at the Human Rights Now! Tour in Philly in 1988.

Having already been a huge Peter Gabriel and Genesis fan, I was absolutely not going to miss his performance and especially looked forward to his human rights anthem “Biko.” Adding to that, with Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Youssou N’Dour and Tracy Chapman – artists with a strong and ongoing commitment to human rights – the show was unlike anything I had ever seen.

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Members of Pussy Riot Joining All-Star Lineup at Amnesty Concert on Feb. 5th

1528556_10151855501576363_2133184317_n-1By Ann Burroughs, Amnesty International USA Board Chair

I just heard some great news, and I can’t wait to share it with you. I’m so excited to announce that on Feb. 5th, Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova and Maria “Masha” Alekhina will participate in Amnesty International’s landmark Bringing Human Rights Home Concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

I know the ability of music to move mountains. During my time as an activist in apartheid South Africa, singing together helped unite us in the streets, and helped demonstrate our power. Cries of “Amandla!” echoed through the townships and cities alike, and I knew I needed to join in. At the same time, protest songs rang across the world with powerful messages that amplified the voices of the anti-apartheid movement.

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Go Backstage With Imagine Dragons, Ms. Lauryn Hill & More

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Got special plans for Feb. 5th?

I do – I’ll be at Amnesty’s Bringing Human Rights Home Concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn!

Imagine Dragons, Ms. Lauryn Hill, The Fray, The Flaming Lips, Tegan and Sara, Cold War Kids, Colbie Caillat, Cake and other special guests will be there – and I hope you will be there, too!

Make a contribution of $25 or whatever you can to Amnesty International USA and be automatically entered to win concert tickets and backstage passes for you and a guest to the #AmnestyConcert.

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Why Did Esperanza Spalding Record a Song About Guantanamo?

Esperanza Spalding – We Are America from ESP Media on Vimeo.

Today, Grammy Award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding released We Are America, a new song and music video supporting President Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo and urging Congress to help get the job done.

The video features cameos by Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monáe, Harry Belafonte and Savion Glover. The timing couldn’t be better as Senators will soon vote on legislation that would help close the detention facility. You can urge your two Senators to vote the right way here: www.amnestyusa.org/ndaa.

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10 Reasons to Move to the Music and End Violence Against Women

One Billion Rising
On February 14th, Amnesty will join with V-Day in the One Billion Rising campaign to dance in solidarity with the estimated one billion women and girls who have experienced violence in their lifetime.

Violence against women is one of the world’s most pervasive human rights abuses. It is also one of the most hidden. Globally, one woman in three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in her lifetime and yet, justice for these abuses is all too rare.

In the U.S., the Violence Against Women Act is a groundbreaking law that helps break the cycle of impunity for violence.  Currently up for reauthorization in Congress, you can add your voice to ask for immediate action.

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