Like anyone born white in America, I come from a place of great privilege. It’s impossible to deny the racist foundation upon which our nation is built, and the excruciating pain of the present moment. This weekend we witnessed yet another needless death of a young black man, this time in Atlanta.

What is it that we can do as individuals to make the world a more just place? How do we model the society we wish to live in for our children? Those of us committed to a more humane future have our work cut out for us. And those of us who work with children have a particular responsibility to recognize just how early racial prejudice is formed.

As a musician, my worldview has been shaped by collaborations with artists from dozens of countries around the world. Through our recordings and concerts, we aspire to model cross-cultural collaborations that highlight the differences that enrich us, and the shared humanity that unites us.

While music can be a powerful source of inspiration, this is a time that demands direct action. Marching with thousands of people from my hometown provided some hope, but we all need to do more to create the world we want the next generation to inherit.

Here's a series of resources you might find helpful to start these important conversations with your children and family:
The specter of racism and genocide hits close to home. My father was born in Nazi Germany, and many of my relatives were murdered for simply being Jewish. My family was saved by strangers: people in England and then the United States who were horrified at the atrocities and stepped forward to save desperate refugees.

None of us can control the color of our skin, our family backgrounds or the history that precedes our birth. But all of us can use the limited time we have on earth to work towards a more just and peaceful future.

Environmental Activism

As an outspoken environmental activist, Ben describes his work as "leveraging the power of music to educate, inspire, and empower young people to help solve the most pressing issues of our time."

In 2019 he founded the Econiños project, which shines a spotlight on grassroots organizations that are addressing critical issues in their communities and fostering youth leadership. Developed in partnership with Green Latinos and Moms Clean Air Force, the project activates a nationwide network of over one million parents who are working together to safeguard the environment and protect our children’s health.

Ben performs annually on Capitol Hill as part of the Play-In For Climate Action, an event that spurs legislators to fight for climate safety, keep toxic chemicals out of our homes, and put an end to the corruption at the EPA. He has also performed at the National Climate Rally. He has written numerous songs about environmental issues and has been commissioned by the National Forest Service to address the critical role that bats serve in the stability of our ecosystems.
Working on both sides of the border, Ben developed a friendship with Mexican environmentalist and poet, Homero Aridjis,  who lobbied for more than a decade to protect the Monarch's winter home, establishing Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Michoacán.

In 2019, Penguin Random House published Ben's book, Senorita Mariposa, which chronicles the monarch butterfly migration. As part of the book release, Ben made a pilgrimage to the mountains of Michoacán, where he witnessed millions of butterflies congregating in their winter home, and met with Homero at his home in Mexico City.
Ben and Homero
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