For 15 minutes on Dec. 21 at 5 pm EST/2 pm PST (9 am, Dec. 22 in Sydney, Australia), voices across the world will sing one song in synchrony thanks to the One Earth, One Voice Movement and local founder Shyla Nelson. The global sing-in is to be facilitated by broadcast media, social media, and good old-fashioned grassroots organization. The One Earth, One Voice movement is founded on the notion that no successful positive social change has ever succeeded without song as its unifying rallying cry.
On Sept. 13, 2012, One Earth, One Voice founder Shyla Nelson, began a global 99-day trek, traveling around the world to raise awareness about this campaign and to teach people a song called “Ise Oluwa.” It’s a simple, beloved West African chant. The words translate to “That which the creator has made can never be destroyed.” Nelson hopes that the power of this simple melody offers possibilities for universal harmony—both spiritual and literal. Her trek began at the place where the song originated, with the Yoruba of Abeokuta in Nigeria, and she has continued around the world with the song as the message of healing for the planet.
According to Nelson’s Facebook page from an initial spark of inspiration that ignited on May 23, 2009 in the small town of Charlotte, Vt. she has touched ground on six continents, walked countless cities, met and sung with thousands of people of every walk of life and has watched the vision grow. Her journey includes toting a glass globe made by a local artisan. A symbol of thefrailty of the earth, the globe has been blessed by indigenous elders, environmental leaders, and even children.
Deeply symbolic, the date Dec. 21 marks the completion of the ancient Mayan calendar and has been hyped as the day the world will end. Nelson thinks otherwise, but with the world’s attention focused on this day, she saw an opportunity to mobilize the globe in a new spirit of celebration while acknowledging the delicacy of humanity’s relationship with the earth. The movement strives to find new ways to restore relations between humanity and the earth.
Now in over 60 countries worldwide, One Earth, One Voice is spreading the word and joining in song on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. To become be a part of the largest moment of synchronized song in history meet at the Burlington Earth Clock in Battery Park in downtown Burlington and sing for the earth’s healing at 4:30 pm. Interested parties may follow Nelson’s daily posts on One Earth, One Voice Facebook page or tune in on the website www.oneearth-onevoice.org.