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    Free Concert Spreads Awareness

    Celebrities have it all when it comes to living in this material world: beauty, fame and money. However, there are those who choose to use success for a greater good, and those who live their lives solely to lavish themselves in extravagance.


    Although celebrities don’t have the authority to do anything about poverty or social injustice, they have ways of reaching people, like myself, who would normally be unaware.


    It all began when a friend asked me if I wanted to sign up to go to the Coldplay concert for free.For free? How?


    “It’s part of their Make Trade Fair campaign. You volunteer at the concert, and you get in for free. Fair trade,” she said.


    It seemed simple enough to me, so I decided to let another friend in on this cool deal. His reaction was simply to laugh at me. Apparently, the Make Trade Fair campaign isn’t about getting into concerts for free.


    So I did what anyone would do when feeling outsmarted; I Googled “make trade fair coldplay” and found myself on the Oxfam America Web site, an organization that is dedicated to “change global practices and policies that keep people in poverty.”


    I kept reading.


    In 2002, Chris Martin of the band Coldplay, traveled with Oxfam to the Dominican Republic and Haiti. There, he discovered that unfair trade rules in these rice-growing areas left farmers unemployed and flocking to the slums of the cities to look for jobs, all due to the absence of restrictions on importation of goods, which amounted to a surplus of rice that, oddly enough, was grown by farmers in the United States.


    Why are farmers in the United States exporting rice in Haiti when local farmers have the capacity to grow their own rice? The British rock star also questioned these practices and got involved by talking about it during interviews, wearing the campaign T-shirt and promoting the campaign at his concerts. As a result, his advocacy reaches a young concert-going music-loving audience that would be otherwise oblivious.


    Martin is not alone in his efforts as a celebrity.


    Everyone knows about Bono’s advocacy in the fight against AIDS and poverty around the world. He is the front man for U2, the band that many hail as the last great rock band.


    Yet his efforts differentiate his band from other rock stars in the past, such as, oh, I don’t know, members of Motley Crüe, Kiss or Guns and Roses. While I am not discounting their contribution to the music industry, no one can deny the fact that they are known for their sexual escapades and excessive drug indulgences.


    I can think of several other celebrities to add to my blacklist of wasted stardom, such as Paris Hilton and J. Lo, and I could go on and on with this list, but I have more reading that I’d like to do on the Oxfam Web site before the free Coldplay concert I will be attending this weekend.


    But I’d like to mention that I also have a gray list for people who do a lot of charity work, but for one reason or another, have essentially cancelled out some or all of their good deeds with a bad deed.


    Who are the occupants of this list? Oprah for James Frey, who conned us all, and Angelina Jolie, the horrible home wrecker.


    Source: here

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