“Every Man, Woman and Child” is a musical presentation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Spiraling Music has released a dozen new improvisations on the original ballad, which was the FIRST grassroots expression of the UDHR ever performed for the UN (1987). More recently, the chant version won a Global Peace Song Award in 2016.
Every Day is Peace Day, but September 21 is a global event. Put music on the maps!
This year, with human rights in focus and change desperately needed in the world, we want to engage communities around the globe to move, groove, and meditate to the meaning of this song, and jam with us to create greater awareness of the UDHR.
Each of the recordings can be used as a musical setting for a community reading of paraphrased articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). For choreographed or freestyle dance, a Hip Hop version featuring Austin Starchild includes a spoken reading of the 30 articles. A West African Highlife version featuring Pope Flyne includes a long break for groups of dancers to recite the articles themselves. The original Ballad version is suitable for house parties and religious performances such as Praise Dance. Yoga Flow Suite, which has been entered into this year’s Grammy Awards, is a full-length album featuring vocalist Kimberly Haynes and David Vito Gregoli, for yoga teachers to use in setting intention for local and global peace. Finally, a five-movement Meditation on the musical theme has been released for contemplative and meditative community events and ceremonies. A PSA (Public Service Announcement) is also available to publicize all events using Every Man, Woman, and Child on tv, radio and podcast media.
Visit www.spiralingmusic.com/peaceday to get the music and guidelines for creating a movement- or meditation-based Peace Day event with your community. This year’s Earthdance theme is “Collective Intelligence,” and the Peace Day theme is “Climate Action for Peace.” Human rights are fundamental to both of these themes, and Every Man, Woman and Child can be easily adapted and expressed creatively by teachers and performers for every community, as explained in the free guides provided on the website.
Composer and musical peace activist Merrill Collins created the Every Man, Woman and Child project when she was composer-in-residence at Pathways to Peace and co-director of their Children’s Peace Education program in 1986-87. Pathways To Peace (PTP), an International organization with Consultative Status with the United Nations, and a UN-designated Peace Messenger Organization, partnered with the United Nations to inaugurate the Culture of Peace Initiative for the document’s 40th anniversary in 1985. They have hosted the International Day of Peace on September 21st since 1982. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the U.N.’s Culture of Peace Initiative.
Every Man, Woman and Child, which won a Global Peace Song Award in 2016, was recognized by the UN in 1987 as the first grassroots arts expression of the UDHR after Collins performed it at the United Nations with children from Oakland, California through Pathways to Peace. Their presentation laid the groundwork for all further artistic expressions and paraphrasing of the UDHR, now the world’s most translated document.