Show Me: John Legend’s humanitarian side

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leg2Tonight Roone was witness to what at first appears like quite the odd couple: Columbia economist Jeff Sachs and Grammy winner John Legend.  And no, Jeff was not there for a duet.  These formidable giants of academia and entertainment were brought together by an ambitious goal: to eliminate global poverty.

While Sachs is no neophyte when it comes to tackling problems of global consequence (being a special adviser to the UN Secretary General and all) but Legend’s recent world tours prompted his investigation into what he could do to end poverty in many of the places he visited.  The result: the Show Me Campaign, aimed at permanently lifting the village of Mbola, Tanzania, from poverty with $1.5 million invested in seven key agricultural, educational and public health initiatives, in conjunction with Millennium Promise, an organization that helps villages all across Sub-Saharan Africa.  Photos follow the jump.

krebsSachs’ speech, however, moved more than Legend’s talk towards political, systematic problems that perpetuate this extreme poverty in the world.  Instead of tackling the problem in Darfur as a military conflict, Sachs claimed that the issue was fundamentally humanitarian and the conflict was caused by a lack of a stable supply of water.

After a brief Q&A section that included the Dean of and students from the Mailman School of Public Health, Legend concluded the presentation by playing a short, 6 song set that included “Show Me”, a spiritual song
mbola meant to inspire the audience and a cover of R&B standard “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”  CCSC Junior Class President George Krebs [pictured] proudly belted out every last syllable in unison with Legend much to the dismay of those in his general vicinity.




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  1. wow  

    it was amazing. loved it.

  2. aaa  

    I was behind George Krebs. He was so enthusiastic, haha.

  3. EAL  

    George Krebs is the man. Krebs for CCSC president!

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