Working Together We Can Change the World – Jay Haze, Feb 23, 2011
Participants onboard talk with Jay Haze about consumers' ability to change the world through shopping choices.Recently he has relocated to Peru, and he is working on a project which will teach electronic music production to children living in impoverished areas. He joined Peace Boat as a guest educator on the 72nd Voyage between Callao, Peru and Cartagena, Colombia. Having grown up in small-town American poverty and having experienced the criminal justice system and living in a group home as a teenager, Jay Haze is deeply committed to issues of poverty, and has started a charity project for children in Peru. "I went to a slum in Lima and talked with people, and I found that in one case 24 people were living in one room with no toilet, just a bucket," he said. "Here in South America the gap between the rich and the poor is at an astronomical level, so I decided to give it a shot and see what I could change," he said. "Latin America is really a place where we can make a difference." But Jay emphasized that poverty is not limited to Latin America. "Right now the world is in an advanced state of poverty, even in first world countries," he said. For Jay Haze, the arts and activism are connected, but he emphasized that anyone can become involved in helping others, and that we all need to act now. "Help is like a cold; it's contagious, so start with your neighbour because they're usually the one who needs it most," he said. "We can all do something if we try."
Jay Haze shared his music skills with Peace Boat participants at an all-night party organized with volunteers interested in sound production.Peace Boat staff member, Emilie McGlone, met Jay Haze through her involvement in Parties 4 Peace, a Tokyo-based group that fundraises for various causes by organizing art and music events. Parties 4 Peace asks artists and venues to volunteer their time, talent and resources to raise funds for non-profit projects around the world. "By getting artists to volunteer to play and venues to provide the space and resources, we can raise funds to really make something positive happen," said Emilie, who founded Parties 4 Peace in 2002. Sometimes parties raise as much as 3,000 US dollars in one night, she said. After Emilie's meeting with Jay Haze in Tokyo, Parties 4 Peace and Peace Boat together invited him onboard in hopes of expanding fundraising efforts to include artists and producers from around the world. "If we could get more artists around the world fundraising for the same projects we would gain more support and be able to create more projects," she said. Parties 4 Peace works with volunteers in Tokyo and has also held parties in Chile. The group is working to expand its fundraising parties to cities around the world, and is looking for people interested in forming partnerships. In addition to looking for volunteers to work at the parties, venues and sponsorship to support the work, Parties 4 Peace is looking for artists who want to make donations by having music events in their own cities or by collaborating on international music projects.