BOSTON, Massachusetts — Lenny Kravitz is a rare generational talent. With 4 Grammys under his belt and over 38 million albums sold worldwide, Kravitz remains one of the most versatile and genre-bending artists of the 2000s. His music, including hits like “Fly Away” and his cover of “American Woman,” blends a multitude of genres, including rock, funk and 60s and 70s soul.
Throughout his long career, Lenny Kravitz has not only influenced contemporary music but also demonstrated a consistent dedication to activism and advocacy, particularly for people living in poverty worldwide.
Early Activism (2005-2012)
Back in 2005, Lenny Kravitz introduced the “No Excuses 2015” international campaign in Florence. As a U.N. initiative, the campaign sought to hold world leaders accountable for their promises to eliminate extreme poverty, hunger and gender-based inequalities and provide universal access to education, health care and water by 2015. Kravitz’s contribution to the campaign’s efforts in Florence included meeting with high school students across the region to explain the importance of taking action at the individual level. Those accompanying Kravitz during his visits included U.N. representatives and local and regional officials.
Furthermore, in 2012 Lenny Kravtiz’s activism shone through his partnership with the UNICEF Tap Project. In the words of Kravitz, the UNICEF Tap Project is a “fundraising and awareness campaign, which is about providing clean, safe water to children around the world.” The initiative also works to provide millions of children with access to adequate sanitation worldwide. Despite being one individual, Kravitz emphasized the importance of using his platform to advocate for the 780 million people worldwide as of 2012 lacking clean water and sanitation.
As part of the UNICEF Tap Project, Kravitz urged fans to find a participating restaurant and pay $1 for tap water, which would then fund the initiative to provide a single child with clean water for 40 days. Throughout his work with both the “No Excuses 2015” U.N. Campaign in Florence and the UNICEF Tap Project, Kravitz emphasized just how far a little individual action can go.
In 2022, Kravitz further demonstrated his commitment to international advocacy through his support of Stand Up for Ukraine. Another initiative with Global Citizen, the Stand Up for Ukraine campaign aimed to disperse immediate aid to the more than 4.4 million refugees fleeing Ukraine and the 6.5 million people displaced within the country as a result of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war. As of 2022, the campaign amassed $10.1 billion in new grants and loans to aid humanitarian efforts.
Even though Lenny Kravitz’s activism dates back to 2005, he continues to advocate for issues of global importance into 2023. He partnered with Global Citizen in June of 2023 to perform a free concert at the Eiffel Tower, alongside acts like Billie Eilish and H.E.R. The event, “Power Our Planet: Live in Paris,” puts pressure on governments to provide $16.7 billion in promised climate financing. It also coincides with the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact. The $16.7 billion in designated funds are set to help global political and business leaders develop finance sustainability projects worldwide. The Eiffel Tower event also supports certain proposals to increase funding for new climate projects, such as relieving the debts of lower-income countries that otherwise lack the necessary infrastructure to contribute to global sustainability action.
Lenny Kravitz’s activism has remained steadfast throughout the past twenty years of his career, evident from his 2005 involvement in the “No Excuses 2015” campaign in Florence to his 2023 appearance at the “Power Our Planet: Live in Paris” event. Moving forward, how Kravitz continues to advocate for communities worldwide will undoubtedly remain a source of inspiration for us all.
– Ben Hofmann