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Background- ‘We Are the World’ and ‘Girls Like You’

In the 1980s, Ethiopia’s famine crisis reached a critical point, with over one million famine-related deaths, which lead to a global response of providing aid to the people not just in Ethiopia, but all over Africa.

“The Ethiopia famine marked a change not only in disaster response fundraising — out of it also came new collaborations and methods for detecting the environmental and societal factors that lead to food insecurity so future famines can be avoided.” (World Vision).

One of the major organizations that set up camp in Africa was World Vision, a Christian humanitarian aid group that is based in California. BBC reporter Michael Burek was one of the many who traveled Africa with World Vision, and when he returned home to the UK, he brought with him footage of the people suffering in Africa. With Burek’s job and connections, the BBC was able to air footage of the ongoing famine in Africa, which lead to an increased of aid sent to Ethiopia to help with the humanitarian efforts.

(The footage aired on BBC showing the effects of the famine going on in Africa, YouTube.)

The first musicians to respond was Band-Aid, a group of British and Irish artists who came together to record ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ which was recorded and released in late 1984. Inspired by their actions, USA for Africa was created, a group of 45 musicians, and together, sang the original song ‘We Are the World’ penned by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Thanks to the publicity coming from the release of both of the songs, World Vision was able to use the funds coming in to help move thousands of people in order for them to receive better care and the provided services administered.

A feminist, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary,  is someone who supports “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” Today, 21st Century Feminism, “belief that men and women should have equal rights” is a movement that is affecting people internationally. While there is no single factor as to who or what began the feminist movement, it took on a new meaning when President Trump was elected in 2016. As a result of his very public views on women in society and his lewd comments on women in general, there has been constant negativity surging through the country. However, artists such as Maroon 5 have taken this negativity and used it as inspiration for new music. Through the writing, recording, and release of ‘Girls Like You,’ Maroon 5 aimed to use their platform as a successful pop-rock band to empower women and emphasize the strength of all women, all over the world.

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