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#SIS12 Summit Speaker Highlight: Celebrity Philanthropist - Alicia Keys
The power of celebrity involvement in philanthropy is well known, but why are some celebs so successful in their efforts to innovate and drive social change while others come across as “just talk”? The answer lies in their ability to effectively leverage their status as celebrities to spark a movement, not just a donation.
At the 2012 Social Innovation Summit, we will hear directly from accomplished singer, songwriter, and philanthropist Alicia Keys, who exemplifies the trend of celebrities moving beyond charitable giving to philanthropic action. She uses her platform both as an active participant working against HIV/AIDS, and to inspire others to the same end.
Many have seen Keys use her talents to inspire others through benefit concerts and special performances, but in 2003 she took her efforts to the next level by co-founding Keep a Child Alive. Keep a Child Alive brings attention to the 30 million-plus children who have been killed by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and the millions more that are threatened and orphaned by the disease. Focusing on the most afflicted areas in the world, Keys founded Keep a Child Alive to provide first class care and treatment for HIV/AIDS while giving support and food to the children and families who are affected by the disease.
But the success of the organization isn’t driven by Keys’ monetary support alone. She has visited numerous African countries including Uganda, Kenya and South Africa to promote care and provide on-the-ground support of children affected by AIDS. She has even filmed a documentary of her experiences to help drive awareness and garner support. Keys and her team are re-inventing philanthropy by directly engaging the global public in the fight against AIDS. By actively working to educate people about the emergency issues of AIDS in Africa and India, they are changing the way people perceive their role in being a part of the solution.
The shift from passive charity to active philanthropy is just one aspect of Alicia Keys’ work that will be discussed at the invitation-only Social Innovation Summit on May 31 in the session on the combined power of “Celebrity and Cause”, and it’s clear her voice will inspire others to take action.