30 Songs / 30 Days and YouTube Covers for Half the Sky Movement

Posted on October 04, 2012, by Renee Muza, Half the Sky Movement

Half the Sky Movement tells the stories of many people: women and girls around the world battling oppression and agents of change who are helping them to reach their full potential. It also tells the stories of those who have been touched by the women in the book and documentary series and moved to help spread the word. 

As Nicholas Kristof has noted, “It’s not about statistics, it’s about individual stories that create that connection, that empathy.” With our 30 Songs/30 Days campaign, we used the power of storytelling through music to engage people. Thirty female musicians — including Sheryl Crow, Kimya Dawson and Corinne Bailey Rae — donated songs for free download that expressed a range of stories that spoke to the movement.  

We also launched a complementary campaign featuring artists — males included — who wanted to offer their own take on one of the 30 songs. These artists were amazingly diverse and from a wide range of musical backgrounds.

Jorge Narvaez, a single father of two, is the founding member of Reality Changers, a California-based nonprofit organization that mentors inner-city youth. He and his daughter Alexa, who have appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, covered “Blood Brothers” by Ingrid Michaelson. His YouTube channel has a stunning 111 million viewers. Through his music, Jorge says he wants to “show the world an alternative way to be a family and raise children through art, music and building community.”



Another artist we were delighted to feature was Kiersten Holine, who was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the movement. Her repertoire is a mixture of originals and those of the greats; for us she sang Lucinda Williams’  “Born to be Loved.” Her most recent album, Candescent, can be found on iTunes.



Our first singer to offer to contribute a cover song was the internationally touring singer-songwriter Tristan Clopet, who said of the Half the Sky Movement, “I admire so much the women featured in the documentary who fight everyday for equal opportunity and am privileged to help spread awareness to such an important cause.” Tristan covered “Mary,” by Patty Griffin.




We were contacted via Twitter by Dimitra Smith, front woman of Static People, a punk band out of Sonoma County, California. She said she “saw the trailer and was very inspired,” and wanted to know how she could contribute. In support of the Half the Sky Movement, they made their song “Bleed You” available for free. They chose this song for its message of “fighting back against oppression and corruption.”


Half the Sky Movement has the best interns in the world. One of them is Eddie Kuspiel, whose band, Nonsense, played a poppy, upbeat version of Patty Griffin’s “Mary” and became an immediate office-wide sensation.