Russell Simmons, Dr. Benjamin Chavis Named U.N. Goodwill Ambassadors

Hip-Hop Summit Action Network chairman Russell Simmons and HSAN president/CEO Dr. Benjamin Chavis will be inducted Tuesday (July 25) as CISRI-ISP Permanent Observer Missionaries to the United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors program.

CISRI-ISP is Rome-based intergovernmental institution that helps fight against malnutrition and extreme hunger in various countries around the globe.

The new position will mark the official launch of an awareness campaign that will use Hip-Hop to address war, poverty and HIV/AIDS, in support

of the UN's Millennium Development Goals and the CISRI-ISP's fight against severe poverty and malnutrition.

"The underlying goal of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network is to end poverty and ignorance," Simmons said, adding the appointments will "significantly enhance" HSAN's global reach to further fulfill the mission.

"We're going to help save lives. We will not be silenced in the face of the awful fact that more than 40,000 people die every day from malnutrition and poverty," Simmons said. "That is unacceptable to the Hip-Hop community."

D. Anthony "Chip" Lumar, a managing partner with Pinnacle International Partners, Inc. will join Simmons and Chavis as a UN goodwill ambassador,

in addition to Gary Foster, chairman of Upliftment Jamaica, H.R.H. Luna Al-Husseini Abu Khadra and Meera T. Gandhi.

Chavis sees the appointments as an asset in expanding HSAN's effectiveness domestically and internationally.

"Hip-Hop culture is global and, as we strive to take back responsibility, the life saving issues of ending poverty and malnutrition are most urgent," he said.

Knowing how challenging it will be to help eliminate poverty and malnutrition, the inductees vow to take an active role in meeting the objective.

"Our job is to wake more people up to this reality," said Chavis. "Being a Goodwill Ambassador is not just ceremonial. We're rolling up our sleeves and look forward to working with the United Nations on these issues."

The induction ceremony will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at the UNCA Club room, United Nations Secretary Building, Headquarters, 3rd floor.