What do Katie Couric, Rainn Wilson and hip-hop legend Rev Run have in common? They’re all tweeting about KONY 2012, Invisible Children’s latest film campaign about Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony.
The film has garnered public attention through social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, where individuals have posted links to Invisible Children’s YouTube and Vimeo video channels. To date, it has received more than 90 million hits on those two channels alone.
Belmont’s SAPB is bringing the film to campus as a part of its Invisible Children benefit concert Thursday night from 6-9 p.m. in the Neely Dining Room.
The screening of the film will be followed by a concert featuring Belmont alumnus Evan P. Donohue.
SAPB’s live entertainment coordinator Emily Young helped develop the event. For Young, the Invisible Children benefit concert marries music with humanitarianism.
“This is a great combination of an activity for students to participate in that’s both fun and informative and allows them to get involved in something aside from just going out and doing something fun just for themselves,” she said.
According to Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 website, the film is a campaign that “aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.”
Representatives from Invisible Children and Exile International, a Nashville non-profit dedicated to social justice, will be at the event to answer questions and discuss how Belmont students can educate others about Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army.
In 1987, Kony established himself as the leader of a preexisting rebel group in northern Uganda which he renamed to the LRA, according to Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 website.
For 26 years, the LRA has waged war against Ugandan civilians as well as extended their attacks into the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and south Sudan. According to Invisible Children, the group has abducted more than 30,000 children and displaced at least 2.1 million people.
Kony and his rebel group are notorious for forcing abducted children to serve as child soldiers and sex slaves.
Young feels having representatives at the event gives attendees the chance to collectively learn more about KONY 2012 apart from what has been posted online. “They can really ask questions and get the information and responses they need and decide if it’s something they want to support; and, then, there will also be opportunities to purchase action kits and help spread the word and donate,” she said.
Belmont students who attend the showing will also receive personal/professional growth convocation credit.