For Immediate Release
October 5, 2001
Washington, D.C.–Today the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights/Education Fund launched a new public service announcement (PSA) campaign spearheaded by Grammy award-winning artist Dave Matthews, calling on viewers during this time of tragedy to reflect on the promise of America: that people who trace their heritage to every nation on Earth can live together with mutual respect and understanding.
Entitled “We are ALL Americans,” the PSAs were created with the pro bono assistance of world- renowned photographer Albert Watson. The spots feature a diverse cross-section of individuals and remind the nation, particularly during this time of crisis, that hate will not stop hate and that it is un-American to discriminate against individuals based on who they are.
Dave Matthews said, “We, as Americans and as members of the world community, must be united in our mourning, focused in our anger, and united in our resolve to find appropriate solutions. Let us find strength and comfort in the wisdom and diversity of this great land and not stray from the promise of America.”
Acclaimed photographer Albert Watson, said, “I was honored to respond to Dave Matthews’ call and lend a hand. It is critically important that we teach our youth and ourselves about our differences and in doing so, de-bunk the myths associated with people who are perceived as being different.” Watson added, “That is the greatest gift of America — that we can take a tragedy and turn it into a positive.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights/Education Fund, affiliated with the nation’s largest and most diverse civil rights coalition, is the sponsoring organization for the PSA campaign. Through its web site, www.civilrights.org and a toll-free number, 1-800-558-5233, the Leadership Conference will provide the public with anti-discrimination information, resources, and effective counteraction tools in the fight against hate violence.
Karen McGill Lawson, Executive Director of the Leadership Conference Education Fund, said: “We are pleased to lend our support to this very important effort and we applaud Dave Matthews, Albert Watson, and the countless other individuals and institutions who contributed to this project for their extraordinary expression of goodwill. Efforts like this demonstrate that this nation will not allow this tragedy to deter us from continuing our journey towards social and economic justice.”
Dave Matthews added, “No thanks are due me. Each of us is searching for a way to help repair the damage that has been done to this country. The PSA is a small gesture of brother and sisterhood that I am happy to make.”
The PSAs are being distributed to national television and cable networks and also will be aired online at www.civilrights.org.
Additional support for the PSAs was provided by Jack Rovner, President, RCA Records, and many other RCA Records staff. The Internet component of the campaign was created through the donated services of Perspective Software and Design (www.perspectivesoftware.com).
Contacts: Brian Komar/Corrine Yu
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights/Education Fund
Little Big Man
Dave Matthews Band Publicist
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights/Education Fund is the nation’s largest and most diverse civil and human rights coalition of more than 180 national organizations whose members include more than 50 million Americans. For more information, visit www.civilrights.org.
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Anti-Discrimination Hotline 1-800-552-6843