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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Global Artists and Activists Kick Off New Media Initiative and Online Video Contest to Spotlight Global Maternal Health offers free online video “remixer” to raise awareness

SEPTEMBER 16, 2010, NEW YORK—Next week, global leaders will descend on New York City for the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit to review progress made on the UN’s eight MDGs, which aim to reduce poverty worldwide by 2015. Launching today, in anticipation of the Summit, is a new media initiative that draws artists and activists together behind one goal: improving maternal health, the fifth MDG, on which progress has lagged most.

Cofounded by Emmy-winning filmmaker Lisa Russell and Grammy-winning singer Maya Azucena, includes creative content by world-renowned musicians and poets, including Zap Mama, DJ Spooky, Toni Blackman, and Carlos Andrés Gómez, as well as visual material from filmmakers and photographers Christy Turlington Burns, Paul Blackthorne, and Azfar Rizvi. The site features a “remixer” that can be used to create short videos using a library of music tracks, spoken word, film, and photos supplied by renowned mixed media artists from Brazil, Honduras, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and other countries.

“The arts are one of the most powerful ways to build bridges among people from all over the world. has great potential to reach, inform, and mobilize people to make a difference for women’s and children’s health,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “No woman should have to pay with her life for giving life. No child should have to die from a preventable disease. Investing in women and girls is one of the best investments we can make for this and future generations.”

"By working collaboratively with professional artists from around the world—who have tremendous influence in their respective societies and are eager to lend their voice—we feel will engage a local-global dialogue in this new media environment," said cofounder Lisa Russell. The innovative project has caught the attention of leading international women’s health organizations such as EngenderHealth, UNFPA (the United Nations Population Fund), Ipas, and Women Deliver, who are supporting to further the reach of the initiative and spur more action on women’s health. co-founders will be involved in various high-profile events during the three-day MDG Summit at the UN. Lisa Russell will attend the TEDxChange event (co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as a special media guest, and Maya Azucena will perform at the Secretary General’s “Every Mother, Every Child” event, to kick off the Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health.

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