It was a cool evening in Los Angeles, where hundreds of entertainment industry affiliates clamored to the Hollywood Palladium for Van Jones-hosted “We Rise Tour”. The night’s theme? Projecting love and giving hope to people who have paid their debts to society, allowing them a real chance at life.
Anti-recidivism—that was the was the theme of the night. Van Jones’ We Rise Tour centered around empowering the youth and community to lead more active conversations about police, incarceration, and returning to our communities. The evening kicked off with introductions by board members and Van himself. The night progressed on, supported by performances by DJ Mo Beatz, Joelle James, Illinois Boy, spoken word artists Decora and Mila Cuda, and Public Enemy 2.0.
The panel was filled with an array of guest speakers from Marta Kauffman (creator of ‘Friends’) to Nick Cannon, Russell Simmons, Nnamdi Asomogha, and Shaka Senghor.
What really bolstered the moment was how the men opened up about their experiences. During the event Nnamdi told the tale about using his career to continually spotlight social injustice and black men disproportionately being incarcerated. Nick Cannon got candid about being racially profiled, and the trauma he faced from having to visit his loved ones in jail. Shaka got real about his time in jail, and Russell Simmons subtly tried to make us all vegans.
Overall, the We Rise Tour is the archetype of events that we need more of. With the current political climate it’s easy for us to bury ourselves in our homes, on the internet, in our solitude… But that night allowed for openness, community and dialogue.
Catch the Van Jone’s ‘We Rise Tour’ in a city near you. Visit LiveNation.com for ticket info. Check out our gallery of images below.