Concert to benefit social justice awareness

TCU’s own Tim Halperin and other musical artists will be performing today in the Campus Commons to increase awareness and raise funds for global social justice.

The TCU chapter of Amnesty International, campus organization Invisible Children and TOMS shoes have come together to host “Invisible Soles Event of Justice,” a social justice concert event, in the hopes of increasing visibility on campus and energizing the student population into action, said Alexis Branaman, a junior international communications and strategic communication major.

Branaman, president of the TCU chapter of Amnesty International, said the university has a wide variety of social justice groups that aren’t necessarily widely known. She said she has teamed up with several of these groups, from both on and off campus, to work to change this.

The event will feature live music from Matt Cliff, Matt Meyer, Tim Halperin and the J.Walkers.

Students will also have the opportunity to shop with TOMS shoes, Invisible Children and other vendors committed to social justice, said Dani Folks, vice president of Amnesty International and a senior social work and anthropology major.

Erin Griffin, president of Invisible Children and junior entrepreneurial management major, said all funds raised through Invisible Children T-shirt sales and donations will go directly to Pabbo Secondary School, TCU Invisible Children’s partner school in Northern Uganda. Pabbo educates children from the largest internally displaced persons camp in Northern Uganda, she said. Pabbo is also supported by the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at Arlington, Griffin said.

For every pair of TOMS shoes bought at the event, a pair will be donated to a child in need, said Kim Jones, a sophomore art education major and TCU representative with TOMS shoes.

According to the TOMS Web site, since its beginning in May 2006, TOMS has given more than 10,000 pairs of shoes to children in Argentina and 50,000 pairs in South Africa. In 2008, TOMS plans to give 200,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world.

Amnesty International held a concert last fall as part of its “Week of the Missing,” an event which educated students on prisoners of conscious, or people imprisoned for their beliefs, as well as Amnesty International’s ongoing efforts to have them released, Branaman said. Conversations between Branaman and best friend Griffin led, she said, to this “now sprawling social justice event.”

“This is an opportunity for questions, for discussions and a time to light a fire for justice in the hearts of our students at TCU,” Branaman said. “I believe that countless students are searching for something to be impassioned by, something to get behind. We are giving them an opportunity to find a cause at the event for justice.”

Frogs for Fair Trade and off-campus organizations Falling Whistles, Esther Havens Photography and Wishing Well Africa are also scheduled to attend, Griffin said. The groups will make presentations between the music transitions and will have tables set up all day to promote awareness and give students a chance to get involved, she said.

Folks said she hopes the event will inspire students to become more educated on social injustices.

“We never imagined it would blossom into something so big,” she said. “We want TCU to get excited about becoming part of the change.”

The Invisible Soles Event of Justice will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Campus Commons. Admission is free.

Invisible Soles Event of Justice

What: Social Justice Concert

When: 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. today

Where: Campus Commons