I have just returned from London, inspired by the youth, musicians, athletes, and community leaders who are taking action in their communities to stop hate and create global tolerance. In anticipation of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, Special Representative Pandith and I joined festivities in London to promote the Hours Against Hate -- Walk A Mile campaign. The Hours Against Hate -- Walk A Mile campaign activates people around the world to walk in someone else's shoes to promote respect across lines of culture, religion, tradition, class, disability, and gender.
My trip included an amazing rock concert hosted by the legendary Dave Stewart at London's Hospital Club. Artists, musicians, and companies donated their time and talent for Hours Against Hate -- Walk A Mile, with many musicians performing songs created especially for this campaign. The all-star lineup included KT Tunstall, Jihae, Mike Scott and the Waterboys, and Daryl Hall, but the real stars of the evening were 72 students from Tottenham who performed their inspirational song, "Everybody Dreams." A year ago, riots broke out in Tottenham, an ethnically diverse neighborhood in north London's borough of Haringey. This violence included fatalities and extensive damage and revealed deep divisions within the community. This student-choir from Tottenham wrote "Everybody Dreams" to rebuild their community and promote unity and tolerance. Their performance was incredibly moving and there was not a dry eye in the house.
The next day, we joined the Tottenham student choir and hundreds of families for Haringey's Olympic Torch Relay Festival and Walk A Mile event. Using our newly downloaded SoFit apps, we walked a mile through the neighborhood parks to support global tolerance efforts around the world. Also joining the walk were members of the Global Impact Institute and the Brazilian pop-artist Romero Britto, who generously created artwork for the campaign. As the Olympic torch passed through Tottenham, I was humbled and inspired by what this community has been through and their ability to recover stronger and more inclusive than ever before.
We also met with Howard Buffett's Global Impact Institute at the House of Commons. The Global Impact Institute is serious about having an "impact" and making huge changes globally for tolerance, including supporting our Hours Against Hate -- Walk A Mile campaign. Meeting participants included actor Kal Penn, Dr. Bernice King, and author Matthew Bishop, an expert in philanthropy.
It was rejuvenating to be in London in the days leading up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. There is wonderful, impactful work happening in Tottenham and around the world to create positive change and combat anti-Semitism and hatred in all its forms. As you cheer on the athletes during the London 2012 Games, I encourage you to honor the Olympic spirit of peace and tolerance in your own community. Get involved at www.facebook.com/2012HoursAgainstHate and www.2012walkamile.com.