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Online Event with Linkin Park and United Nations Foundation Engages Music Fans and Facebook Users about Rebuilding in Haiti and the Social Media Connection

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Linkin Park Encourage Facebook Town Hall Participants to Help the UN Help Haiti

Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, C.A., Palo Alto, C.A.  —   February 23, 2011

The United Nations Foundation today hosted a Facebook® Town Hall to keep the public engaged in rebuilding Haiti after last year’s earthquake, and giving participants unique access to experts and high-profile speakers from the United Nations, multiplatinum alternative band Linkin Park, and the United States government.  The Town Hall was the first time UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has spoken alongside members of a band to educate and raise awareness about efforts to rebuild Haiti.
The unique speaker lineup engaged a wide base of participants for the interactive online forum.  Attendees watched live and asked questions as representatives from the United Nations, members of Linkin Park, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the UN Foundation spoke about the latest developments in Haiti and ways for individuals to continue helping the Haitian people one year after the devastating earthquake.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “Significant progress has been made in Haiti in the thirteen months since the earthquake, and there is still tremendous work to do.  Governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals all have a role to play in supporting the rebuilding efforts.  This Facebook Town Hall provided an innovative, effective way to educate people on the work the UN is doing in Haiti and ways that individuals can get involved.”

During the event, fans were able to log on to the UN Foundation’s Facebook page to participate in the live-streamed Town Hall through a live chat feature.  Participants were encouraged to Download to Donate as part of Linkin Park’s charity, Music for Relief, where a one-time donation offers year-long access to a growing catalog of music from a variety of artists.  Donations made to Download to Donate support the work of five organizations in Haiti: Artists for Peace and Justice, charity: water, Direct Relief International, Partners In Health, and the UN Foundation.  By partnering with Download to Donate, the UN Foundation aims to raise enough money to enable UN agency partners to provide 100 new solar lights to keep the women and children of Haiti’s tent camps safe at night.

“As a band we have always focused on creating the music our fans are passionate about,” said Linkin Park's co-lead vocalist, Mike Shinoda.  “Now we are asking our fans to direct their passion to help others.  That’s why we established Download to Donate, giving music lovers a way to access a unique lineup of songs while helping the rebuilding efforts in Haiti.”

“Helping Haiti rebuild and transform is a long-term process that requires global support,” said Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation. “The UN Foundation and others have used Facebook in new and innovative ways to mobilize the resources needed to help the Haitian people. Today we have once again come together on Facebook to maintain the focus on Haiti, to continue the conversation, and use the power of social media to get people involved.”

“This is a time of great challenge for Haiti, but also a time of great hope,” said Mark Feierstein, USAID's Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean.  “The United States' commitment to Haiti's recovery and reconstruction will endure. The people of Haiti deserve partners who will stick with them over the long term, empower them to take the lead in their own development, and invest in building up their capacity to govern and support themselves.”

“By working with Facebook, the United Nations, the UN Foundation, and Linkin Park gained the ability to reach a global audience on a global issue, without having to travel,” said Facebook Marketing Director Randi Zuckerberg.”  We are proud to have had this opportunity to help the UN Foundation raise awareness that there is still work to be done in Haiti, and anyone can get involved and donate.”

After welcoming participants to the Facebook virtual Town Hall meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with members of Linkin Park and its official charity, Music For Relief, to recognize their significant contribution to relief efforts in Haiti and other countries affected by natural disasters.  The organization was founded by Linkin Park following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.  Since then, Music For Relief has raised over $3.9 million for survivors of multiple disasters across four continents and initiated programs to help reduce global warming.  During the meeting, Linkin Park and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon explored ways Music for Relief and the United Nations can continue to work together to mobilize the public on global issues.

Those who missed the event can view a recording of the discussion at www.livestream.com/unfoundationlive.

Background
To date, the UN Foundation has raised nearly $4 million benefiting the UN’s relief efforts in Haiti. The funds were granted to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to help provide food, medicine, water and shelter following the earthquake; to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for the Cash for Work Program, an initiative to offer Haitians temporary jobs to remove rubble; and to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) for material health kits and solar street lights to keep women safe at night. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the solar lights, the UN Foundation has decided to make that initiative the focus of its participation in Download to Donate. For more information, please visit www.unfoundation.org/haiti.

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About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities.  We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach.  Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems.  These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting technology innovation to improve health outcomes.  These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.

About Music for Relief
Founded by two-time Grammy winning/multiplatinum rock band Linkin Park, Music for Relief is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing aid to victims of natural disasters and the prevention of such disasters. Since its inception in 2005, Music for Relief has raised over $3.9 million for victims of multiple disasters including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, wildfires in Southern California & Victoria Australia, China’s Wenchuan earthquake, and a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.  Music for Relief also supports environmental programs to help in prevention and mitigation of future natural disasters such as the Send Dirt campaign for wetlands protection and restoration and the Million Tree Project in China’s Inner Mongolia Desert.  Music For Relief has organized a benefit concert featuring multiplatinum artists, sent musicians and volunteers to Southeast Asia and the U.S. Gulf Coast to help rebuild and donate supplies to people in need, and planted over 810,000 trees to help reduce global warming. For more information, visit www.musicforrelief.org.

About Linkin Park
Linkin Park is a modern alternative band comprised of lead vocalist, Chester Bennington, drummer/percussionist, Rob Bourdon, guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Dave 'Phoenix' Farrell, DJ, programmer Joe Hahn and Mike Shinoda - lead vocals, keyboards, guitar.  The highly anticipated fourth studio album from Linkin Park A Thousand Suns  (Machine Shop Recordings / Warner Bros) has been described as a psychedelic journey that explores the conflict between technology and humanity. The album debuted at the top of Billboard's Top 200 album chart, making A Thousand Suns the 3rd consecutive Linkin Park album to reach #1. For more information, visit www.linkinpark.com

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