Carlos Santana Among Artists Taking Part in ‘Artists United for Amazonia’ Global Livestream to Benefit Amazon Emergency Fund

Carlos Santana will be strummin’ for a cause…

The 72-year-old Mexican Grammy-winning guitarist and entrepreneur will be taking part in a global livestream event to benefit the Amazon Emergency Fund, an indigenous-led effort providing rapid response grants in the region to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carlos Santana

Santana, considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, will be joined by Jane FondaMorgan FreemanPeter Gabriel and numerous other artists for the Thursday, May 28 event. 

They’ll join indigenous leaders, scientists and a coalition of NGOs in presentng Artists United for Amazonia: Protecting the Protectors, a livestream event produced by Artists for Amazonia

The two-hour event will run from 8:00 pm to 10 pm ETE and will be hosted by part-Spanish actress and Game of Thrones co-star Oona Chaplin, who played Talisa Maegyr on the series. The livestream will be available via Facebook and through the event website. 

The program will promote the Amazon Emergency Fund, launched last month by a coalition of indigenous organizations, NGOs, and allies to respond to the urgent needs of indigenous peoples of the Amazon threatened by COVID-19.

Funds raised will be used for: immediate prevention and care; food and medical supplies; emergency communications and evacuation; protection and security for indigenous territories; and food sovereignty and community resilience. The Amazon Emergency Fund aims to raise $5 million over the next 60 days for Forest Guardians to protect themselves against the pandemic in all nine Amazonian countries. 

The Artists United for Amazonialivestream will feature living-room musical performances, interviews, and calls to action.

Performers include Herbie HancockRocky Dawuni, Butterscotch ClintonXiuhtezcatl MartinezCary ElwesAlfre WoodardWade Davis,Wagner Moura, and Brazilian Grammy winners Ivan Lins and Luciana Souza.

Others participating include Jane GoodallTom Bergeron, Ed Begley Jr.Frances FisherMatti Caspi, Suyan CaspiWendie MalickScottie ThompsonKali UchisRocky DawuniCeline CousteauMatthew ModineQ’orianka KilcherChloe Smith from Rising AppalachiaSonia GuajajaraAngela KaxuyanaNina GualingaBenki PiyakoMapu Huni Kuin, Lizardo CauperThomas LovejoyCarlos Nobre, Atossa SoltaniLeila Salazar-LópezChristina Miller, and Wade Davis

“This event is part of an extraordinary alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to preserving the most biodiverse region on Earth,” said Sarah duPont, founder of Amazon Aid Foundation and co-director, River of Gold. “Illicit and unregulated gold mining is one of the most dangerous forms of deforestation in the Amazon Basin and releases toxic mercury into the ecosystem. Since the pandemic, gold mining has exploded across the Amazon and into indigenous territories bringing with it violence and COVID-19. Now, the Amazon is at the tipping point and the protectors of the Amazon are under dire threat. What happens in the Amazon affects us all.” 

Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch, added: “The Amazon and its peoples are in a state of emergency due to climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a crime against nature and a crime against humanity. It is a time for all to unite and act in defense of the forest and in solidarity with the indigenous and traditional peoples across the Amazon who are protecting this great rainforest and our climate for all of humanity and life on Earth.” 

Marisol Nichols Seeking a Seat on the SAG-AFTRA National Board

Life’s a SAGfor Marisol Nichols

The 45-year-old half-Mexican American actress and Riverdalestar is seeking a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as an ally of president Gabrielle Carteris through the Unite For Strength faction.

Marisol Nichols

UFS also announced earlier this week that Camryn Manheimis running for SAG-AFTRA secretary-treasurer — the third-highest elected post in the union — as part of the slate for the re-election of union president Carteris. 

Election ballots will be mailed to dues-current members on July 29 and will be tabulated on August 28. SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 performers.

Carteris, who has been president since 2016, is facing challenges for the post from Matthew Modineand current secretary-treasurer Jane Austin. Unite for Strength and United Screen Actors Nationwide— which have been the ruling factions at the union for the past decade with an emphasis on pragmatic policies — unveiled Manheim’s candidacy on Tuesday.

Unite For Strength also announced that Michelle Hurd, currently serving on the national board, will be running for president of the Los Angeles local; Clyde Kusatsu and Ellen Crawfordwill be running for vice president slots. Rebecca Damonis seeking re-election as New York president. Maureen DonnellyJim Kerr,Ezra Knightand Liz Zazziare seeking re-election as New York vice president as USAN, which is allied with Unite for Strength.

Membership First has not yet announced its slate other than Modine. The progressive faction has several high-profile reps on the 80-member national board including Modine, Frances FisherDiane Ladd and Martin Sheen.