Pharrell Williams & Showbiz Stars Team-up with Media/Social Groups as Game-Changers


Trivia: Who’s been named 2015 People Magazine’s sexiest man alive? (Answer below)

College campuses are ripe with concern and activism over racial issues. From Missouri to D.C. the students are ready to move the needle and shake things up. Something’s also happening in Hollywood. It’s why Pharrell Williams and showbiz stars teamed-up with media & social groups as game-changers.

They’ve kicked-off “Shining a Light’ for progress on race in America. According to Rob Sharenow, executive VP/GM of A&E and Lifetime, telling Billboard Magazine “Race is not an easy thing to talk and sing about. I don’t think anyone has ever attempted to put together something quite on this scale.”

The event was first envisioned as a response to the June tragedy at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s part concert and part hometown conversation for a national audience. The organizers hope that it represents a forum for replacing hate with love, fear with hope and pain with purpose.

It might also be a catalyst for seeing if communities can get down with O-P-P. For everyday folks to benefit from the concert and ongoing conversation there has to be process for social transformation. That’s something Dr. King scholars might advocate using the footnotes from his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

The O-P-P process should include opportunities to motivate systematic social change. It should engage the notion that ‘purposeful lives matter.’ In addition, it should have plans to forge new levels in race relations, social-media engagement and talent development/exposure long after the event is over.

What does that process look like? Think back to wireless companies making the shift from ‘flip phones to smart phones.’ Or when Tech companies went from DOS to IOS? We need a version of ‘Urban Change Now 1.0’ as a social change structure that coordinates shifts & upgrades in the larger system framework.

Techies say to social innovators that a concert or conversation without culture evolution is just temporary as a passing fancy. They’re like social patch-solutions to what’s really needed. The challenge is to not only have new choices in accessories. There needs to be changes in the core structure of the main fabric.

Some of the other partners/performers include iHeartMedia and Jamie Foxx. Nancy Dubuc, President & CEO of A&E Networks tells Deadline “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.”

Answer: David Beckham

Groove-tracks: Little Mix – “Change Your Life” –

Pharrell Williams  – “Gust of Wind” –

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