About the Contest:
The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE and RFK Human Rights are partnering for the second annual Speak Up Sing Out: Songs of Conscience Speak Truth To Power Music Contest. The contest, building on the Speak Truth To Power video contest for middle school and high school students, is designed to expand young people’s understanding of basic human rights and to encourage them to take action.
The music contest challenges students to write songs based on social justice issues using materials from the RFK Human Right's Speak Truth To Power curriculum, which covers more than 100 social justice themes from around the world, and the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE’s Civil Rights curriculum, which discusses the impact of music and musicians on the Civil Rights Movement. Top songs will be judged by RFK Human Right's President Kerry Kennedy, GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli, and others.
Speak Up Sing Out: Songs of Conscience began in the fall of 2014 in Los Angeles as a pilot program with the launch of the music contest and is expanding to a national audience for the 2016 contest. Professional development opportunities will be available to educators where basic song writing techniques will be demonstrated. The winning song will be played at the second annual Speak Up Sing Out: Songs of Conscience Concert in New York City in April 2016.
The April 2015 launch concert at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles featured such legendary musicians as Browne, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Melissa Etheridge and Tom Morello and actors David Arquette, Dennis Haysbert, Chad Lowe and Martin Sheen and Alfre Woodard performed readings from Speak Truth To Power. Contest winner Jade Rhodes performed her winning song at the concert as well and was later featured on CNN.
The contest builds upon RFK Human Rights’ Speak Truth To Power curriculum that is taught to more than three million students each year in schools across the United States and around the world.
The human rights curriculum, which includes over 50 teacher-developed lesson plans for students in grades 6–12, is based on Kerry Kennedy's book, Speak Truth To Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World.