As the Ebola outbreak ravaged parts of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in late 2014, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars band found themselves stranded in the United States. An internationally known band formed in refugee camps during that country’s bloody civil war, the All Stars traveled to Milwaukee in December to raise awareness and needed relief funds to address the Ebola crisis in their home country and beyond.
CIE’s Institute of World Affairs organized a benefit concert and discussion on the ways the Ebola outbreak has impacted Milwaukee community members from the affected countries. The concert was an inspiring celebration of the resilience of the human spirit and raised over $1300 to support Doctors Without Borders! The Milwaukee-based Fighting Ebola, Saving Lives coalition also collected funds for relief operations in Liberia.
While in Milwaukee, the All Stars also visited the Milwaukee High School of the Arts to perform and discuss how the arts can be used to create social change. Students shared with the band how they were using their artistic talents to raise awareness about poverty and hunger in Milwaukee as part of a service-learning project.