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| by Nancy Hennes

Why Boy Band BTS Was Invited to Speak at the United Nations?

Yesterday, 24th September 2018, UNICEF launched a new campaign called 'Generation Unlimited' at the UN General Assembly in New York. It's an amazing initiative that focuses on nurturing the youth of today (1.8 billion young people in the world) to get every young person into quality education, training or employment by the year 2030. But in the words of the UN Secretary General: "It's too rare for young people to watch the United Nations... Unfortunately far too rare." Which is much needed for such an initiative, that can only reach its full potential, if all generations of society actively participate in reaching the goal of a 'better world.' Here is where BTS fits in being one of the best role models for this generation. As artists who use their work to inspire, motivate, and give hope to thousands if not millions of people, they were the sure fire way to grab the world's attention to such an important cause.

In an unprecedented move, BTS was invited to make a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York during the launch of the UNICEF 'Generation Unlimited' campaign. The speech made by BTS' leader Kim Namjoon (stage name RM) was undeniably inspirational and very moving.

While a lot of people where skeptic of the relevancy of K-Pop to an establishment as prestigious as the United Nations, what Kim Namjoon of BTS said during the speech made it crystal clear that they are indeed the best to represent such a cause. He used lyrics from their own songs to emphasize both messages of loving oneself and having the courage to speak it!

And if that wasn't enough, the impact of his speech was undeniable as fans and non fans alike, listened and started sharing their own stories under the hashtag #SpeakYourself. Just take a quick scroll through Twitter and you'll see the instant impact!

For those of you who don't know BTS -often referred to as Bangtan Boys, here's what you should know  about them (that is relevant to this article):

- BTS is a 7 member, K-Pop (Korean pop music) boy band formed in mid 2013. Their name is an acronym that translates to 'Bulletproof Boy Scouts' which was chosen because they wanted to protect today's youth from society's metaphorical bullets and help them through their music to become bulletproof themselves.

- BTS members are heavily involved in the making of their music, where most of them (especially the three rappers; Suga, RM & J Hope) contribute in the writing and production process. Where they often share their own personal stories as well.

- Their lyrics are not your usual boy band type of cute love songs, in fact, their songs focus on serious topics and troubles of today's younger generation such as depression, mental health, social anxiety, their hardships, hopes and aspirations for the future.

- In 2017, BTS joined hands with UNICEF Korea to launch the 'Love Myself' campaign, an initiative dedicated to help protect and support children and teens against abuse, such as domestic and school violence as well as sexual assault around the world. 3% of their last three albums' (Love Yourself series) sales and 100% of their official goods sales directly goes to the 'Love Myself' campaign.

- Their huge fandom following, called ARMY, is an acronym that stands for: Adorable Representative MC for Youth. They are also known to be socially aware and inspired by BTS when it comes to philanthropy, where they helped UNICEF raise over 1 million dollars ($1M) for the Love Myself #Endviolence campaign in less than a year. And raised another 1 million dollars ($1M) for the Star Wars initiative #RoarForChange to help UNICEF provide food packets to children suffering from malnutrition in just 2 days! Yes, TWO DAYS!

You can find much more insight regarding BTS through Google, but for now, I'll end it here with the words of Kim Namjoon: "Most people thought we were hopeless... These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life... So, now I urge you to Speak Yourself."

If this isn't the perfect example of using creativity, artistry, and power for the greater good and for giving hope to many young people, then I don't know what is.


Main Image Credits: Twitter @bts_bighit





Tags: Celebrities  Unicef  Campaigns  Influencers  Women empowerment