The Mi Sangre Foundation, the charitable organization of twelve-time Latin Grammy winner and heralded social activist Juanes, has formed an alliance with the Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) at Columbia University. The objective of the alliance is to promote projects and initiatives that will support the pursuit of peace in Colombia by further mobilizing the country’s society.
The Mi Sangre Foundation and CICR together will organize conflict resolution workshops and seminars, and create campaigns that promote peace and the need to stop all forms of violence in Colombia. In addition to providing the Mi Sangre Foundation with tools for peace education and conflict resolution in Colombia, the CICR will also support Juanes in his continually developing role as an Ambassador for peace on the international stage.
“I feel it is extremely important to generate elevated consciousness within Colombia of the importance of peace and the ways to achieve it,” said Juanes on the new partnership. “I believe it is necessary that each citizen promotes peace, fraternity and reconciliation within society. For this reason, the alliance with the CICR is very important for me and for the Mi Sangre Foundation. I feel very strongly about starting this path together and we are doing so with great faith and expectations.”
Aldo Civico, the director of CICR, said that “peace is too important of an issue to leave it up only to the state and the armed forces. An entire society needs to promote peace and every citizen needs to become a peace-builder. The message of Juanes’ music and his already strong commitment to ending violence makes him an excellent peace-builder and ambassador in the international community. Juanes is making a difference and it is a great honor to support his, and the Mi Sangre Foundation’s commitment.”
For Juanes, this project is the continuation of an already well documented commitment to peace, both through his music and the Mi Sangre Foundation. In 2005, TIME Magazine named Juanes “one of the world’s 100 most influential people.” A native of Medellin Colombia, the multi-platinum selling guitarist-songwriter has often spoken out on behalf of the innocent victims injured by landmines throughout his country.
Juanes has raised both awareness and relief funds through events such as the Colombia sin Minas all-star benefit concert and his performance in April 2006 before the European parliament that secured 2.5 million Euros in Aid. The singer has also worked as an ambassador for YouthAIDS, appeared on behalf of The UN High Commission on Refugees, and lent support to the Red Cross. As a result of his musical message and work in social activism, the French minister of Culture awarded Juanes with the highest cultural honor given by France, L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, declaring him Knight in the order of Arts and Letters.
The Center for International Conflict Resolution, founded in 1997, is a network of professionals, scholars, and practitioners contributing to the resolution of international deadly conflict through research, education and practice. CICR’s partners strive to increase understanding of international conflicts through innovative and collaborative research and are committed to offering courses that disseminate knowledge about conflicts and their causes.
CICR’s partners respond directly to the expressed needs of parties involved in ongoing conflicts, empowering individuals and organizations to address conflicts constructively. It is currently operating in Timor Leste, Iraq, Colombia and has been forming state officials of 30 governments of different parts of the world in genocide prevention. Among its partners, CICR counts Senator George Michell, who mediated the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland.