Entertainment for the night will include Chicago artists J. Ivy, GLC, Phenom, Mikkey Halsted, Yaw, Khari Lemuel, Frontline Magazine editor Marcus Kline, and Zarakyah Ben Ahmadiel, the Chairman of RBG (Red, Black, Green) Environmental Restoration Agency.
“I was watching the outcome of the Haitian earthquake and made a couple calls with a few friends of mine, and we decided that we needed to do something,” said Ahmadiel, a member of C.H.I., a network of event promoters, DJs, artists, musicians, community activists and corporations that have joined efforts to assist Haiti. “We called these artists to have a positive impact towards the relief effort.”
The entire event won’t be just music though. C.H.I. also plans to bring “edutainment”—education with entertainment—with Ahmadiel and Kline.
“Marcus Kline runs the school that my son goes to,” Ahmadiel said. “He has a good grasp of the politics and the history of how Haiti developed to be so vulnerable to this earthquake. A 7.0 any other place in the world like San Francisco would’ve been damaging, but it wouldn’t be this catastrophic [if not for the] poverty before the earthquake.”
According to Life magazine, on Sept. 2, 2009, Indonesia also suffered a 7.0 earthquake, which killed 57 people. However, according to CNN, the Haitian government’s confirmed death rate is over 72,000 and some guesstimate as high as 200,000.
Admission to the Chicago Haitian Initiative event is $15 at the door or $10 with a donation of medical supplies, food, clothing and water. Whole Foods Market, located at 1101 S. Canal St., in the Chicago south loop area, will be donating non-perishable food items to C.H.I.’s benefit concert as well. All proceeds for admission and donations will be distributed to Doctors Without Borders, the Yele Haiti Foundation and Food for the Poor.
“We guarantee that all 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly to the benefit and assistance of the earthquake relief funds,” Ahmadiel said.
However, Ahmadiel does acknowledge the hesitancy of donating to the Yele Haiti Foundation, which is why the funds will be donated to more than one organization.
“Originally [the Yele Haiti Foundation] would’ve gotten all of it,” Ahmadiel said. “I still support Wyclef and what he’s been doing for quite awhile. I don’t frankly question his integrity. What is in question is Yele’s ability to service the people right now.”
According to Ahmadiel, the Shrine is also in agreement with the donations for the night.
“We reached out to Joe [Russo] and told him what we were trying to do,” Ahmadiel said. “He let us have The Shrine at no cost, and any of the production costs we normally would have incurred he’s taking care of so we thank him for that.”
Joseph Russo, the founder of The Shrine, was not available for comment at this time. However, it wasn’t just The Shrine’s owner that wanted to help in the Haitian relief fund.
“Everybody was down and willing to assist and help so we would hope that the community at large can go beyond the sympathy that they feel with the images they watch on TV, and really empathize and act that out by coming to a great show,” he said. “Beyond us, for the next few days, months and years, continue to support the relief efforts on behalf of the Haitian earthquake victims.”