The United Nations today named rhythm and blues artist Melba Moore as a Goodwill Ambassador for the construction of a permanent memorial at UN Headquarters in New York to honour the victims of the transatlantic slave trade.
Ms. Moore, in a news conference after the ceremony, said she would concentrate on business communities, celebrities, and the media “to get the word out and get it funded.”
“I may raise my voice in song too,” said the singer, who is also a Tony Award-winning actor.
Ambassador Raymond Wolfe of Jamaica, chairman of the committee established to implement UN General Assembly resolutions to erect the memorial, said that so far just under $1 million has been collected for the project, which he estimated would cost some $4.5 by its projected completion target of late 2012.
The Goodwill Ambassador post is in recognition of Ms. Moore’s “contribution to the arts, as well as social injustice causes, particularly in the African-American communities,” Mr. Wolfe said.
Mr. Wolfe also announced that a similar status will be granted to Jamaican reggae group Morgan Heritage.
Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union, said: “We are pleased with the commitment expressed by both Melba Moore and Morgan Heritage to help us to achieve our objective of establishing a lasting legacy at the United Nations in memory of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. This is a significant initiative for all of humanity, but more so for Africans and for persons of African descent.”